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Government Set To U-Turn On Immigration Checks By Landlords

Government Set To U-Turn On Immigration Checks By Landlords

Immigration Checks Unworkable Say Critics

There could be a moral victory for common sense on the cards as the UK Government are set to perform yet another U-Turn on policies as they are forced to back down on requiring landlords to conduct immigration checks on all tenants.

The Government plan was announced in the Queen’s Speech back in May and intended to force private rented sector (PRS) landlords to check their tenants’ immigration status or face fines of up to £3,000 (GBP).

Under the intended reform, all UK landlords and letting agents would be forced to check the immigration status of every tenant and tenants would have to produce documents showing they have permission to be in the UK.

There are also been concerns raised about landlords’ ongoing responsibilities for tenants already in their rental properties whose status may have gone from legal to illegal. Under the proposals, first-time offenders could face fines of £1,000 (GBP) per illegal immigrant in their rental properties. Landlords who failed to make proper checks within the last three years could also be fined £3,000 (GBP) per tenant.

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Peter Singh Will Share Multi-Let Success Strategies on 5th & 6th October

Peter Singh Will Share Multi-Let Success Strategies on 5th & 6th October

Peter Singh, one of the UK’s fast growing authorities on Multi-Let property management, is holding another of his unique two day seminars on the 5th & 6th October 2013, where he will share the essential requirements to build your own profitable Multi-Let property portfolio.

Multi-let properties are a particular type of rental property that has been split into individual dwelling units, also called Houses of Multiple Occupation or HMO’s.

The concept requires leasing a suitable single let property at a fixed monthly rental price, the property is then sub divided into individual rooms, complying with all the usual safety and legal regulations for a small cost.

The rooms of the multi let property are then let out individually to professional tenants. The profit is made after deducting the difference between the rent paid for the single let of the rental property and the rents paid by individual tenants.

Multi-Let rental properties produce excellent monthly cashflow for property investors and landlords who know how to effectively split suitable properties, without even having to be the owner of the property.

If you want to discover how Peter can help you control property and how a few simple changes to your existing property investment strategy could help to generate excellent monthly cashflow from your existing rental property portfolio, then sign up to attend this unique training event on 5th -6th October 2013.

If you could copy Peter’s strategy for producing an extra £1000 PER MONTH from property, what would that do for your rental property portfolio?

Multi-Let Success - 5th & 6th October - Book Now!

Multi-Let Success – 5th & 6th October – Book Now!

Peter will be sharing a wealth of profitable information for property investors and landlords, on this exclusive 2 day training event, including:

  • HMO/ Multi-let Intro to the Law
  • How to find your £1000 Goldmine area
  • Estate Agent insider’s knowledge
  • The FIVE tenant profiles to know
  • Maximum effect strategies for sourcing tenants and keeping them
  • Staging the property and the safety lessons
  • Systemised Business – maximum cashflow with minimum time
  • Where to get furniture at MASSIVE discounts
  • Power team – where to assemble your discounted tradesmen
  • Legal packs
  • All the templates, notices, tenant spread sheets and manuals

Read what other property investors had to say after attending Peter’s last training days on the 24th & 25th August here – https://www.facebook.com/MultiletSuccessStrategy/posts/203794419794859

or view their video testimonials below

 

Multi-Let Success Strategies with Peter Singh - 5th & 6th October

Multi-Let Success Strategies with Peter Singh – 5th & 6th October

Fresh Warnings Over Rent-To-Rent

Fresh Warnings Over Rent-To-Rent

Rent-To-Rent Contracts May
Breach Mortgage Agreements

National newspapers are claiming that the Rent-To-Rent strategy for maximising profits from rental properties is immoral and illegal

Private rental sector landlords who utilise a rent-to-rent strategy, by which a property investor agrees to rent a property from the owner with the intention of sub-letting it to tenants for a profit, are being urged to check with their mortgage lenders that the practice will be allowed.

The warning was printed in The Sunday Times and follows last week’s news published by The Guardian newspaper and landlord news portal LandlordToday.co.uk, on the rent-to-rent phenomenon, which drew a mixed reaction.

Some lenders will not allow sub-letting, including The Mortgage Works (TMW), although BM Solutions does permit sub-letting.

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Illegal Immigrants To Be Banned From Renting Property In The UK

Illegal Immigrants To Be Banned From Renting Property In The UK

Landlords Face £3000 Fines
For Letting To Illegal Immigrants

Private rental sector landlords will be risking a fine of £3000 for breaking the law by letting rental property to illegal immigrants without doing proper background checks and comprehensive tenant referencing.

The proposal is currently undergoing a seven week consultation process and set to become part of the forthcoming Immigration Bill, launched by Immigration Minister, Mark Harper.

Under the proposed new legislation, illegal immigrants will not be entitled to free NHS treatment and will be prohibited from renting property in the UK.

Mr Harper said: “The consultation seeks views on the creation of a duty to require landlords to conduct immigration status checks on tenants before providing residential accommodation, with financial penalties for those landlords who let property to illegal migrants having failed to conduct the necessary checks. The landlord checking proposal is modelled on the existing civil penalty scheme for employers of illegal migrant workers.”

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Confusion Remains Over Displaying EPC's

Confusion Remains Over Displaying EPC’s

As of the 9th January 2013 the laws regarding Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) changed, however some landlords have stated that the regulation changes are still causing some confusion.

An EPC is a certificate stating how environmentally friendly a property is. By law an EPC must have been commissioned on all properties prior to marketing for sale or to let, and must be obtained within 7 days of the property first being marketed.

If an EPC is not obtained within 7 days, a further 21 days are allowed providing it can be proven that all reasonable efforts were taken to obtain the EPC beforehand. It is the responsibility of the seller or landlord of the property to obtain the EPC not the Estate Agents.

Although changes have been made there are certain similarities between the new laws surrounding EPC’s and the previous regulations.

For example, EPC’s are still required for all properties with the amendment that listed buildings are now exempt. An EPC must still be displayed on all documents however; the requirement to put the front page of the EPC into advertisements and property particulars has now been replaced with a requirement to insert the asset rating instead.

A summary of changes that have been made due to the new legislation are as follows:

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Tenant evictions increase because of severe rent arrears

as rents and utility bills rise

Rise in Tenant Evictions

Rise in Tenant Evictions

UK landlords are well aware that continuing to house tenants that are already in rent arrears can be a costly exercise, unless swift action is taken to evict them.

Hiring eviction experts can help speed up the eviction process of these non paying tenants and using eviction experts should avoid the case being thrown out of court due to minor inaccuracy or mistakes in the required paper work.

Landlords are moving faster than ever to evict tenants who fall into rent arrears according to the latest figures from Sweet & Maxwell, the leading legal information provider.

Any tenant more than two months behind on their rent is classified as being in severe rental arrears. The number of tenants affected by rent arrears rose nearly 5% during the last quarter of 2012.

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Many Local Authorities are struggling to crack down on rogue landlords because of a lack of public sector funding.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) surveyed a number of local authorities across the UK and uncovered an alarming number of failed prosecutions against bad landlords due to public sector cuts.

One local authority stated: “We generally have no budget to prosecute.”

Another local authority said that it had been unable to take anything through to the prosecution stage since 2009 because their legal department was so small.

A third council said that it had “practically disbanded its  private sector housing team”.

In other areas, one environmental health officer was expected to cover the large geographical area of 2 local authorities, following a restructure.

Head of policy at CIEH, David Kidney, said: “This survey confirms our worst fears that many councils are finding it increasingly difficult to conduct investigations due to cutbacks in government housing expenditure. This is impairing the ability of EHOs to tackle abuses in the private rented sector. As we have said, it makes no economic sense to cut back investment in housing. The equation is a simple one: poor housing leads to poor
health which needs to longer NHS queues, which end up putting a further squeeze on the nation’s resources. The Government’s obsession with cutting spending is putting some of the most vulnerable people at risk. We must have an informed, evidence-based discussion about housing in this country.”

 

Rent arrears fall again in 2012

More UK Landlords Using Rent Guarantee Products

Private Rented Sector (PRS) rent arrears dropped in February with 9.3% of all rent late or unpaid at the end of the month, down from 10.7% in January.

With household bills increasing, UK unemployment still rising and the whole country still struggling to avoid a double dip recession as a result of the Eurozone crisis, together with the government’s welfare reforms and public sector belt tightening, there hasn’t been a great deal of optimism around, especially from landlords.

However, figures released by LSL property services show that UK landlords have a little less to worry about, with the amount of rent arrears and late payments falling again.

Either private sector landlords are having an excellent run of good fortune, having tenants who are able, paying the rent in full and on time, or they have become smarter and are now utilising the range of Rent Guarantee products that are currently on the market, to ensure they get paid and their monthly cashflow doesn’t suffer.

Being a landlord and letting a property in the UK means there will always the risk of the tenant not paying the rent, (rent default).

Even the best tenant referencing service cannot predict if a tenant will lose their job and fall on hard times and not be able to pay their rent.

How do landlords cover their expenditure if this happens?

In today’s struggling economic climate, many UK landlords are finding their tenants struggling with rising unemployment and increased bills. Often leading to the rent not being paid and the tenant facing eviction when the amount of rent arrears exceeds 8 weeks.

Recovering arrears can be difficult and costly for landlords, without any guarantee of success.

At Legal 4 Landlords, our Rent Guarantee Insurance will cover landlords against their tenant defaulting or failing to pay the rent.

Legal Update by Legal 4 LandlordsFollowing a recent High Court decision the new defence to a Section 21 Notice is none compliance with The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007

The decision in Suurpere-v-Nice (2011) confirms that the prescribed information must be complied with and if this is not done landlords could be subject to sanction when before the Courts

The Sanctions

  • If a possession claim subject to section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 is issued without the information being properly provided and served, the section 21 notice will be invalid and the claim could be struck out.
  • A counter claim can be made, and if the prescribed information has not been provided or if the deposit was not registered, the Court may award 3 times the deposit.
  • Ultimately the deposit protection is the responsibility of the landlord and as managing agents you have a duty to comply with the regulation on behalf of the landlord.

What is “Prescribed Information”?

• The minimum information required by statute that is to be given to the tenant on registration of the deposit. This must be as a separate certificate and signed by the landlord and tenant and not part of the tenancy agreement.

• This must be a certificate and it must be sent to the tenant with the proof that the deposit has been registered together with any information provided by the individual deposit scheme.

Download our Fact Sheet on Deposit Law Issues and Latest Case Law Updates and Clarifications

Property investors need to research before they buy in 2012

UK BTL property investors urged to be thorough with Due Diligence

Property investors are being urged to thorough research in order to be very selective about the areas they choose to purchase investment property in during 2012.

Poor returns from savings and the continuing strong demand for rental property will be the driving factors behind an increase in property investment in the UK buy to let (BTL) market.

However, taking a gamble on certain locations could be risky for would-be Buy To Let landlords with unemployment rising, Government welfare reforms and the fallout from the Eurozone crisis still looming.

UK property investors are urged to seek to purchase Buy-To-Let properties in popular residential areas with a good infrastructure and a strong employment market, such as upmarket commuter hotspots around all major cities.

Buyer and tenant demand will continue to outstrip the current supply of UK housing stock, supporting property price growth.
Property investors should avoid areas that are reliant on manufacturing or the public sector, during 2012 as these areas may face high levels of unemployment, and with the cap in housing benefit payments now in effect, rental yields may not be as healthy. Such areas are expected to see relatively low property transaction levels in 2012 and a fall in house values that could be more than 5%.

By conducting thorough Due Diligence property investors can purchase Buy-To-Let properties in strong locations that will deliver a reliable rental incomes and a good supply of quality tenants, in addition to a modest capital growth

A list of useful Due Diligence sites to aid property investors in their search for the best areas can be found here

Private Rental Sector property rents are expected to continue growing strongly in most areas, hopefully, in the region of +5% this year, due to continued restricted mortgage lending and poor employment prospects leaving a whole generation of potential first time buyers (FTB’s) with little prospect of buying a home.

To ensure rental income remains constant throughout the duration of a tenancy, landlords can utilise Rent Guarantee insurance to keep a regular income coming in from their buy-to-let property.

Policies offered by Legal 4 Landlords include 6 and 12 Month Rent Guarantee insurance policies designed to protect landlords whose tenants default on rent payments.
Rent Guarantee insurance can also provide additional cover to meet the cost of legal proceedings for the eviction of defaulting tenants from rented properties.

There Will Never Be A Better Time To Invest In Property

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