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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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Landlord Fined For Unreasonable Delay On Repairs

Landlord Fined For Unreasonable Delay On Repairs

Landlord Fails To Conduct Repairs And Is Fined Over Delay

A landlord in Northumberland has been fined £2,000 (GBP) by Sunderland Magistrates Court for failing to carry out rental property repairs within a reasonable timescale.

Mr Brij Bushan Chowdhry was fined £1,000 (GBP) plus £900 (GBP) costs and a £100 (GBP) victim surcharge for failing to comply with the terms of a Housing Act Improvement Notice served on one of his properties.

Complaints about the disrepair of the rental property were first made by Mr Chowdhry’s tenants back in September 2010 and the property was subsequently visited by housing officers and a list of essential repairs was passed to Mr Chowdhry, however, the repairs were not carried out.

Sunderland City Council served a formal improvement notice to Mr Chowdhry in October 2012 but he again failed to act.

Sunderland City Councillor Graeme Miller said: “We work closely with private landlords to provide them with what help and support we can to maintain their properties, but will not hesitate to take action against those who fail to do so wherever necessary. Sunderland City Council will prosecute poor landlords who fail to co-operate with us in eliminating poor standards of accommodation in our communities. All tenants have the right to expect to live in safe, secure and healthy housing and we will continue to work with private landlords to ensure that right is respected.” 

This story seems very one sided, however there is little point in landlords ignoring either tenant requests for repairs or formal improvement notices served by county councils because as the above report shows, the landlord will lose. What is worse is that without repairs being done the damage will get worse and the costs to make good any damage will increase, so swift action may have a cost implication but failing to do anything will be far more expensive in the long run.

But, what if these requests were not ignored?

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RLA Argue Over Wording of Immigration Bill

Government Listen To Reason Over Immigration Bill

Government Listen To Reason Over Immigration Bill

 The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have won a victory for private rental sector (PRS) landlords after raising concerns that it would have imposed a double penalty on landlords and effectively legalised squatting.

The RLA had a meeting with Immigration Minister, Mark Harper on 17th October and highlighted the concerns of its landlord members over the wording of the Bill.

Clause 17 of the proposed Immigration Bill was originally ambiguously worded and the RLA have argued that unless the specific wording of Clause 17 were to be left as it was, it would see landlords facing a double penalty for breaching legislation. Landlords would face hefty fines and be unable to enforce the payment of rent and they would be unable to take back possession of the property, allowing the tenants to reside in rental properties rent free.

Under the current wording of Clause 17, landlords could argue against the fine by checking identity documents that were not obvious forgeries but they would lose the right to claim rent for the property because the tenant was residing illegally in the country pending deportation or an appeal.

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More Tenants Face Eviction Over Bedroom Tax

More Tenants Face Eviction Over Bedroom Tax

Bedroom Tax Blamed For Increasing
Eviction Numbers

The apparent shortage of 1 and 2 bed properties in either the social or private rented sector means that more tenants are facing eviction for non-payment of the Bedroom Tax because there are no suitable properties available for them to move into.

Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of the Circle Housing Group, one of the UK’s largest housing associations managing 65,000 residential properties, has warned of a rise in tenant evictions because of the government’s new under-occupancy penalty, more commonly known as the bedroom tax.

Mr Rogers said “It is inevitable that there will be a long-term increase in the number of people failing to pay their rent as there are simply not enough vacant smaller properties for people affected to move into to avoid the charge. Circle Housing Group are offering tenants financial advice and encouraging those affected to look at a house exchange scheme, which has seen a 26% rise, but an increase in evictions is also to expected. The under-occupation charge is hitting a lot of people very hard, as you would expect. They are losing money and by the very nature of being on benefits, they are on very low incomes. People can’t down-size because there aren’t enough properties for them to move in to. We did a survey and one finding was that if you let every single bedroom that came vacant, and you housed an under-occupier there, it would take eight years to clear the backlog. Our view is that  for the vast majority the transfer system is untenable. We won’t evict someone if we can’t find a solution for them. If they don’t take that solution that we offer, then we will evict, but we see it as our job to make sure we don’t go down that route. If that happens we see it as a failure; it is expensive to the local authority, it is expensive to the person, traumatic for the person, often not good for the community. We see evictions generally as a last resort. From our perspective I think as time goes on they will go up a little but our plan is that by using our solutions we minimise the impact.”

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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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Tax Year Deadline is 31st January 2013

Tax Return Deadline Looms For LandlordsDespite all the awareness campaigns and TV advertising, Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) repeatedly attempt to tell us that completing a self assessment tax return doesn’t have to be taxing!

However, as anyone who has ever completed a self assessment tax return will tell you, the evaluation of personal income for the tax year and the amount of time needed to complete a self-assessment form, either on paper or online can be very considerable.

When managing a single property or declaring a growing rental property portfolio, it can be hard work to set aside the time needed to tick all the right boxes.

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