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Rent Control Argument Rages On

Rent Control Argument Rages On

Most Tenants Would Support Rent Controls

The majority of tenants renting property in the UK’s private rented sector (PRS) would support the introduction of rent controls if they were introduced according to data gathered by a Manchester based letting agent.

The research was conducted by Geo Property Lettings through a number of industry related websites and social media profiles over a 3 month period. The survey discovered that 77% of tenants in the UK private rented sector would support the introduction of rent controls should the Government decide to implement such a scheme. Only 5% of tenants were opposed to the introduction of rent control whilst 18% of tenants expressed no opinion either way.

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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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Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Warning

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Warning

New Smoke And Carbon Monoxide
Alarm Legislation 
Comes Into Force
On 1st October

On October 1st 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations are supposed to come into force meaning that landlords or their appointed lettings and property managing agents must install a smoke alarm on every floor of a rental property used for accommodation and fit Carbon Monoxide alarms in any room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, and all alarms should be in good working order.

However, there are calls for this legislation to be delayed due to lack of notice and ambiguity of the actual legislation.

The introduction of the new legislation is intended to save lives, we are already aware of the dangers that a potential fire in a residential rented property can cause, however, many landlords remain oblivious to the danger posed by Carbon Monoxide.

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PRS Rental Price Growth Stalls

PRS Rental Price Growth Stalls

UK PRS Rental Price Growth Stalls

It was widely expected that UK private rented sector (PRS) rental prices would increase during the course of 2015, due to the lack of available rental properties on the market and continued strong demand from prospective tenants.

However, research by HomeLet found that the pace of rent rises had begun to slow in the three months prior to August 2015. Average PRS rental prices being charged to new tenants were only 1.6% higher than they were at the start of the year compared to the 2.2% rise that had been observed during the three months to August 2015.

PRS rents remain considerably higher than they were when figures are viewed on an annual basis, with average rental prices reaching £992 (GBP) in the three months to August, 10.5% higher than August 2014. 

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Right To Rent Immigration Checks Making PRS Landlords Over Cautious

Right To Rent Immigration Checks Making PRS Landlords Over Cautious

Lawful Tenants Refused Rental Properties
Because Of Right To Rent Immigration Checks

Right to Rent immigration checks could cause more UK private rented sector (PRS) landlords to refuse tenancy applications from lawful tenants because they are over cautious about letting to tenants with foreign accents and names or have unfamiliar identity documents.

According to the Residential Landlords Association, (RLA), the complexity of the Government’s plans to turn landlords into unpaid Border Agency staff could see lawful tenants being refused housing.

The warning comes as new research by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) indicates the difficulties caused by the Government’s Right to Rent scheme, originally piloted in the West Midlands, concluding that UK PRS landlords Right to Rent checks have resulted in discrimination against tenants who appear “foreign”.

The JCWI research discovered that:

  • 42% of landlords were less likely to consider tenant applications from someone who did not have a British passport,
  • 27% of landlords were reluctant to engage with tenancy applications from people with foreign accents or names

Under the new immigration bill, PRS landlords are set to be legally responsible for checking the immigration status of tenants. Following the pilot scheme in the West Midlands, the Government recently announced that the immigration checks by landlords would be expanded nationwide, with landlords facing up to five years in prison for failure to undertake the Right to Rent checks.

Residential Landlords Association policy director, David Smith, said: “Whilst the RLA opposes discrimination against tenants because of their race or nationality, the Government’s plans are causing confusion and anxiety for many landlords. If the Government expect landlords to act as border police it should provide the training and material needed to give them the confidence to carry out the checks required of them. In the absence of such support, today’s research sadly shows the inevitable consequences of the policy which the RLA has long voiced concerns about. Faced with considerable sanctions, landlords will inevitably play it safe where a tenant’s identity documents are either unclear or simply not known to them. It is concerning that the Government remains committed to rolling out the Right to Rent policy nationwide without first publishing its assessment of the impact it has had in its own pilot area. Ministers should halt plans to proceed with its rollout to allow time for proper scrutiny and consideration of the impact it is likely to have.”

The research by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants comes before the publication of the Home Office’s own assessment of the Right to Rent pilot scheme detailing its level of effectiveness.

There seems to be a huge communication breakdown somewhere, we as landlords are now unpaid members of the UK Border Agency, like it or not, we mustn’t discriminate against any tenant applicant because it is an “ism” and can be punished by imprisonment and a large fine, however, if we house someone in need, we leave ourselves open to prosecution and a large fine. If we act in a professional manner, we are accused of not caring, but if we have too much contact with tenants we are seen as overbearing and interfering. If we spend money on properties we are seen as rich money grabbers that are open to exploitation and if we don’t spend vast amounts to correct damage caused by tenant lifestyles as and when tenants demand then we are called tight and heartless. Homeless charities want the UK PRS closed down, the Government want as much of our profits as they can get their hands on and the media think we are all descendants of Rachman and Rigsby – How is the system supposed to work?

Government Issue Response To Tax Relief Petition

Government Issue Response To Tax Relief Petition

Government Issue Muted Response To Tax Relief Petition

The Government has published a response to the online petition that opposes the proposals to change the amount of tax relief on buy to let mortgages announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in the post election summer budget.

From April 2017 onwards landlords will only be able to claim the basic rate tax relief rather than the higher rate tax relief on buy to let mortgage payments. It is widely feared that the move will severely affect the profitability of the private rented sector (PRS).

The online petition to reverse the planned tax restrictions on individual landlords has attracted more than 23,600 signatures since being posted.

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Landlords Outraged At Right To Rent Prison Threat

Landlords Outraged At Right To Rent Prison Threat

Landlords Outraged At
Right To Rent Prison Threat 

Private rental sector landlords and letting agents have expressed outrage over proposed amendments to the forthcoming Immigration Bill (2015) expected to be introduced in September, when MPs return from their summer break.

Section 20 – 37 of the Immigration Act 2014 contained the provision to make it compulsory for landlords to check the immigration status of all new adult tenants. Now officials want to enforce the measures, in order to strengthen their grip on the private rental sector (PRS).

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Harrow Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Breach Tenants Rights

Harrow Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Breach Tenants Rights

Harrow Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Force Landlords To Make Monthly Rental Property Visits

Harrow council’s decision to force private rental sector (PRS) landlords to make monthly inspections of their rental properties could be in breach of tenant rights, according to the National Landlord Association, (NLA).

Harrow Council’s Selective Landlord Licensing scheme comes into force on the 1st November 2015, and it is proposed that PRS landlords in Edgware will be required to make monthly inspections of their rental properties, disturbing the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property and creating extra work for landlords.

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Landlords Could Be Taxed Out Of The Market

Landlords Could Be Taxed Out Of The Market

Conservatives Set About Raising Increased
Tax Revenue From Landlords

Before the general election the Conservatives were the only political party to not openly target landlords and property investors with manifesto rhetoric, making them the property professional’s choice for power.

Even before the budget statement was delivered by Mr Osborne, there was plenty of press coverage about the generous tax treatment enjoyed by private rental sector (PRS) landlords and buy to let property investors.

So it was of little surprise that the Chancellor chose to turn to the private rental sector in order to raise some additional revenue for the government.

Conservatives Vowed To Leave PRS Landlords AloneSpotlight predicted that this would happen after the Conservatives were elected, and this year’s summer budget could be just the tip of the iceberg.

George Osborne before the  summer 2015 budget announcement George Osborne’s post election Budget announcement, made earlier in July, contained two  important changes to buy-to-let taxation that will impact on portfolio landlords and higher rate  tax payers.

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Geo Property Lettings

Professional Property Management in Greater Manchester

Introducing A New Breed Of Letting Agent

Geo Property Lettings are a new breed of letting agency who are very different from the traditional stereotypical letting agents that all landlords complain about.

Based in Irlam and covering the whole of Greater Manchester, we are different because we actually care about our landlord and tenant clients. We may not have a high street presence but that just means our overheads are lower, we know how to market properties and exceed client expectations, consistently!

We have been members of The Property Ombudsman since 2011 and use state of the art property management software to keep track of all our managed properties across Greater Manchester.

Geo Property Lettings get property repairs done when asked, providing photographs before and after works are conducted, with realistic quotes from tried and trusted trades who we have used for our own rental property portfolios over the last 10 years, our contractors have excellent ethics and high standards and we trust them, that’s not something that all other agents can boast!

Geo Property Lettings promise our landlord clients:

  • Quality fast & efficient service
  • High standards
  • No rip-off’s
  • No quibbles
  • No repeat charges
  • No BS!

All tenant applicants are thoroughly referenced by the UK’s leading specialist supplier of products and services to the property lettings industry and we are highly experienced dealing with both working and benefit claimants.

We can even help organise specialist insurance for landlords and tenants including;

  • Rent Protection Insurance
  • Tenant Liability Insurance
  • Landlords Buildings Insurance

Our typical charges are just 10% of the monthly rent for a full all inclusive property management service or 50% of the first month’s rent for tenant find only service.

We pride ourselves on customer retention, always delivering superb customer service and looking out for our landlord and tenant clients interests.

We are looking for landlords who are fed up with spending more time and money than they need to managing their existing letting agents, landlords who are fed up with empty properties, expensive property repair costs and poor service.

Geo Property Lettings are small enough to care

and large enough to cope!

We have a number of pre approved tenants waiting for suitable 2/3/4 bed rental properties within the Greater Manchester area and we can fill your empty properties quickly – Call us today – 0161 777 8844 or visit our website http://www.geopropertylettings.co.uk

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