Are you risking heavy fines by operating an HMO without the correct licence?

February 4th, 2015

Licensing for all HMOs was introduced from October 2000 to try and improve standards in the sector, in terms of both physical accommodation and the management of tenancy issues.

However, many landlords are risking heavy fines and even putting their tenants safety at risk by operating an HMO without having the correct licence.  With mandatory licensing of certain larger HMOs having been introduced across England & Wales since April 2006, smaller HMOs and single family properties may also need licensing under the myriad of selective and additional licensing schemes being set up by Councils across the country.

Read the full story on Property Reporter

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Discover a way to serve a section 21 notice faster, less expensive and with greater security

February 3rd, 2015

RentPro has been partnered with Mailsoft Solutions for some time now and currently provides two services through RentPro: Registered Emails and Electronic Signatures, of which we explain in more details the benefits of these services in the following post:

http://www.rentpro.co.uk/blog/2015-the-year-of-the-goat/

Did you know however that many agents that use Mailsoft Solutions also use the Registered Emails service to serve Section 21 Notices.  Although service by email is now acceptable legal practice, proof of receipt is essential, but is something that is not possible with standard email. This is where the Registered Email service comes in. Continue reading »


Residential Landlords’ Association launches election manifesto

January 14th, 2015

As thoughts turn towards May’s general election in the UK, the Residential Landlords’ Association has detailed its own manifesto. Recommendations for any future government include enforcement of powers to tackle criminal operators who bring the sector into disrepute, measures to encourage investment in homes to rent and a new right for tenants to renew their tenancies for up to five years.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today:  http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/1360-landlords-urge-longer-tenancies-sales-to-first-time-buyers

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Court of Appeal rules on tenancy deposit case

December 19th, 2014

Long-standing tenancies could be impacted by a new Court of Appeal decision. Although tenancy deposit regulations do not require landlords to protect deposits taken before April 2007 the court ruled that the Housing Act states that a Section 21 notice cannot be issued if the “deposit is not being held in accordance with an approved scheme”. This implies that if a landlord who is holding a deposit taken before April 2007 wishes to issue a Section 21 notice, s/he should either first protect the deposit in an approved scheme or return the deposit to the tenant.

Full story available from Property Industry Eye:  http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/new-court-appeal-decision-tenancy-deposit-case/

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Parliament to see return of anti-evictions measure

December 5th, 2014

Four members of the House of Lords plan to re-introduce a bill to ban revenge evictions that was defeated in the Commons last week. The defeat was procedural, with two Tory MPs talking out the time available in a filibustering process. Landlord bodies that opposed the original bill are likely to restate their opposition when the new amendment goes to the Lords.

Full story available from Letting Agent Today: http://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/1257-it-s-back-anti-revenge-evictions-measure-back-in-parliament

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Scotland: Flexibility is key for tenancy reform

December 4th, 2014

The consultation period for the Scottish Government’s proposals for a new tenancy for the private rented sector ends on 28 December.

Peter Robson, non-executive chair of Weslo Housing Management, views the proposal for a new list of grounds of possession as the most contentious of the new proposals as it doesn’t spell out the mandatory grounds in enough detail.

Read the full story on Scotsman

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Pilot scheme on immigration checks starts today

December 1st, 2014

The pilot scheme where letting agents and landlords must check if prospective tenants have the legal right to seek residency in the UK starts today in the regions of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall and Dudley. Under the Act, agents will be required to make ID checks to establish the immigration status of all prospective adult occupiers before a residential tenancy agreement is granted. Records will need to be kept for 12 months after the end of the tenancy.

ARLA is monitoring the progress of the pilot scheme in the West Midlands and is working with the Home Office to submit information for government evaluation. It wants agent and landlord feedback, to be sent to Rachel Hartley at rachelhartley@nfopp.co.uk.

Read the full article on LettingAgentToday

A useful read for more detail on what is involved for the immigration checks is the following document from Property118:

The Immigration Act 2014 and checking a tenant’s right to rent

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Britain experiencing surge of ‘part-time’ landlords

November 27th, 2014

According to the latest research from LV= landlord insurance, over 7% of adults in Britain rent out a property to help supplement their income and receive on average £678 per month.   The driving force behind the trend is people moving to a new home and then renting out their old one, with one in twenty having ended up renting out a property because they moved in with a partner and did not want to sell or couldn’t sell their own.

Whatever the reason may be, all landlords must comply with current regulations on rented homes.

Read the full story on Property Reporter

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.


Winter is setting in but no freeze on rent or tenant demand

November 26th, 2014

This month there have been many stories in the press about the positivity of the private rented sector.  At the beginning of the month it was reported that tenants have rebuilt their financial position, with the total number facing serious rental arrears falling by a significant 9% over the last 12 months.  The average tenant deposit has also increased by 11% over the last year, and with deposits usually reflecting rental values, the figures appear to imply that demand for rental properties is outstripping supply causing pressure on the rental market.

Two reports out this month also predicted the long term growth of the private rented sector.  The forecast from Savills predicts that there will be an additional 1.2 million households in England & Wales in the private rented sector by 2019, and the report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, predicts that by 2040 one in five people will live in private rented homes.

Brandon Lewis, Housing Minister, rejected calls earlier in the month from SAGEagent to make Client Money Protection compulsory.  However, he seems to have had somewhat of a change of mind, as just this week the Government amended the Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection, a move that was welcomed by SAFEagent.


Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection (CMP)

November 25th, 2014

In a surprise move yesterday the Government amended the Consumer Rights Bill to require letting agents to display whether they offer client money protection (CMP).  This amendment has been welcomed by SAFEagent, who had wrote to housing minister Brandon Lewis recently requesting that CMP be made mandatory.

Chair of the SAFEagent steering group, John Midgley said: “We are delighted that the Government has made this common sense move and listened to our concerns on the need for financial protection for landlords and tenants.  This is the first step in ensuring that being part of a CMP scheme is made a mandatory requirement.”

Read the full story on Letting Agent Today

RentPro cloud based rental property management software for letting agents and landlords.