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RLA find errors in wording of proposed deregulation act

RLA find errors in wording of proposed deregulation act

RLA Find Serious Drafting Error In Rented Housing Regulations Of Proposed Deregulation Bill

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have called on the Government to delay the implementation of the proposed Deregulation Act after they found errors in the wording of the document that would expose private rental sector landlords to a legal minefield.

The RLA published the following on their newshub

A major drafting error in Government regulations affecting the private rented sector risks undermining confidence in new legislation being applied to the sector.

The Deregulation Act, passed prior to the General Election, provides Ministers with the power to introduce a new standard form for landlords to complete and provide to a tenant when seeking to regain possession of a property on a no fault basis, known as a Section 21 notice.

With the form due to become legally binding from the 1st October, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has written to the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, to seek a delay following the revelation of a serious drafting error.

The standard form, as currently drafted, notes that where a fixed term tenancy ends and then turns into a rolling or periodic tenancy the Section 21 notice would only be valid for four months from the date that it is served on the tenant*.

This contradicts the Deregulation Act, which makes clear that the required period to regain possession of a property where a tenancy is a rolling or periodic tenancy, should instead be four months from the date the Section 21 notice expires**.

Despite having engaged thoroughly with the Government on its proposals, the final version of the standard form, published last week, had not been shown to the RLA.

The RLA is warning that the drafting exposes landlords to a legal minefield, and is calling for the implementation of the plans to be delayed to give more time to get them right.

RLA policy director, David Smith, said “The RLA continues to share the Government’s ambitions to ensure that all landlords understand and properly implement their legal responsibilities and obligations. In light of the major changes being introduced for the sector it is vital that all documents published by the Government are clearly understood. This drafting error will serve only to dent the confidence of landlords in the legislation. Whilst Ministers are understandably eager not to let these new measures drift, it would make more sense not to rush their implementation than face the potential legal difficulties that will now arise for landlords.”

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Landlords Face Tougher Penalties Under Immigration Bill Proposals

Landlords Face Tougher Penalties Under Immigration Bill Proposals

Landlords Must Evict Illegal Immigrants Or Face Prison Under New Immigration Bill Proposals

It has been announced that UK private rented sector (PRS) landlords could face a 5 year prison sentence if they fail to conduct proper ‘Right to Rent’ checks included in new Government proposals for the Immigration Bill

The proposed changes to legislation will require PRS landlords to verify the immigration status of all prospective tenant applicants, before tenancies are agreed. Any landlord who repeatedly fails to conduct these checks would be in breach of a new offence, carrying maximum penalties of five years’ imprisonment or a fine.

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More Calls For Smoke Alarms To Be Compulsory

More Calls For Smoke Alarms To Be Compulsory

Fire Service Calls For 2013
Smoke Alarm Law To Be Enacted

The Government passed a law back in 2013 requiring private rental sector (PRS) landlords to provide smoke alarms in all UK rental properties.

However, this new bill is still under public consultation and as yet it has not been brought into force and some local authorities claim that this is putting tenant’s lives at risk.

Now there are further calls from the fire service for more new laws to be introduced to make sure all landlords, both social and private sector, install smoke alarms in all rented properties.

Mandatory smoke alarms are among the key issues to be discussed at the Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual fire safety conference due to be held in Gateshead next month 10th – 11th March 2015.

The call for UK landlords to install smoke alarms in rental properties forms a central part of the LGA’s key report ‘The Fire and Rescue Service: Making our Nation Safer’, which was launched on Saturday 7th February 2015.

The report highlights a series of proposals on how UK fire services can improve fire safety for tenants, including calls for electrical wiring in rented properties to be inspected annually, the same way UK PRS landlords are obliged to obtain gas safety certificates (CP12’s) every year.

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Shelter Say Rogue Landlords Are Damaging Tenants Health

Shelter Say Rogue Landlords Are Damaging Tenants Health

New Survey Reckons PRS Properties Are In Such A Poor
State They Affect Tenants Health

According to a newspaper report published in The Independent last week, around 10% of private rental sector tenants have suffered ill health in the last 12 months because they feel that rogue landlords had failed to deal with poor conditions in their rental properties.

Housing and homelessness charity Shelter and British Gas commissioned a survey of 4,500 private rented sector tenants and reckon that poor living conditions are commonplace for tenant families in the UK’s private rented sector.

Around 50% of the tenants surveyed said they had lived in a rental property with damp or mould in the past year, and 20% of tenants said their rented home has electrical hazards, while 17% of tenants reported living with pest infestations including mice, ants and cockroaches.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said “No family should have to live in a home that puts their health and well-being at risk, let alone face eviction just for asking their landlord to fix a problem. Yet every day, we hear from parents up and down the country living in fear that damp or gas and electrical hazards are putting their children in danger, but feeling powerless to do anything about it. With a bill to end revenge evictions going through parliament next month, we now have a real chance to change the law and protect renting families. We’re calling on people across the country to email their MPs and ask them to vote to end this unfair practice once and for all.”

Have Shelter got their facts wrong?

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Empty Property Rates - £1.1 Billion Tax Bombshell

Empty Property Rates – £1.1 Billion Tax Bombshell

The taxpayers Alliance have reported that a massive £1.1 Billion (GBP) was paid last year in Business Rates on empty properties, a rise of 19% between 2009/10 and 2011/12

This is the first time that a figure has been calculated for the amount collected in empty property rates since exemptions for empty commercial and industrial properties were abolished at the 2007 Budget.

Before 2007, empty industrial properties were exempt from Business Rates and empty commercial properties were subject to extensive reliefs and reductions.

Apart from a short exemption period and extremely limited reliefs, full Business Rates are now payable on all empty commercial and industrial properties.

With the economic downturn making it increasingly difficult for commercial landlords to find new tenants, this tax has had some devastating effects:

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UK Bailiffs Christmas Holidays

UK Bailiff Seasonal Amnesty

A seasonal reminder to landlords and letting agents that Bailiff Amnesty’s will begin around 12th December 2011 to the 9th January 2011. Please check your local County Court for more details.

 The amnesty, which is not widely publicised, is implemented due to local authority offices, solicitors, courts and housing welfare organisations festive holiday closures.

Unfortunately for landlords, the festive season of good cheer can be one of the costliest periods due to an increase in rent arrears, especially from LHA tenants.

 Up to the end of 2010, there were 995,000 LHA tenancies and rent arrears in this sector were thought to be in excess of £290 Million (GBP).

This year research indicates that there are now over 1Million LHA tenancies and with more changes to the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill due to be implemented on 1st January 2012, rent arrears are expected to increase further.

 Landlords are urged to act fast when dealing with defaulting tenants, especially at Christmas as courts experience backlogs of paperwork and hearings in the New Year.

Speak to your local office now or call our free phone help line – 0800 840 7133

 Legal 4 Landlords Eviction and Rent Recovery Services

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