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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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Beware Of Rental Properties Being Turned Into Cannabis Farms

Beware Of Rental Properties Being Turned Into Cannabis Farms

New Government Guide On Cannabis Farms Launched

The UK Government have launched yet another guide for landlords and their appointed lettings and property management agents warning of the consequences of investment properties being used as cannabis farms.

The launch of the new Home Office Cannabis Farm guide comes as the number of cannabis plants seized by UK police forces across the UK in the past two years exceeds 1 Million.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have stated that its landlord advice team have received calls from a high proportion of private rental sector landlord members who have been affected by criminal activity in their rental properties by drug gangs using them as cannabis farms.

Among a number of concerns that the RLA have is that private landlords can be affected on multiple levels;

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Overseas Property Investors Targeting UK Property Bargains

Overseas Property Investors Targeting UK Property Bargains

Overseas Property Investors Know A Bargain When They See  One!

There has been a great deal of debate about the impact of overseas property investors and foreign nationals purchasing property within the city of London, driving up property prices and giving the UK housing market a boost.

Foreign property investors purchased up 75% of new residential property developments within the central London area during the last 12 months, although many developers argue that many of these residential properties would not have been built without the up-front cash from overseas property investors.

According to data from Knight Frank, foreign property investors also purchased 49% of all properties valued over £1 Million (GBP) in central London during the same timeframe, and new residential properties accounted for just 20% of these property transactions.

The 10 most expensive post codes in central London are SW1, SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10, W1, W8, W11, WC2 and NW1 had 3,477 residential properties for sale.
70% of these properties were valued over £1 Million (GBP)

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Tenants Fear Eviction For Reporting Outstanding Repairs

Tenants Fear Eviction For Reporting Outstanding Repairs

PRS Tenants Living In Fear Of
Retaliatory Evictions

A new survey has revealed that some tenants in private rented sector properties are living in fear of eviction because they had dared to complain to the landlord about outstanding repairs.

A third of tenants have been evicted or threatened with eviction after complaining to their landlord, according to new research carried out by online tenant community The Tenants’ Voice.

  • 61% of tenants said they were wary about complaining to their landlords
  • 71% of tenants have paid for repairs themselves rather than ask their landlords.

The survey suggests that a growing number of PRS tenants are facing retaliatory evictions because they voiced concerns over repairs. Desperate, cash strapped landlords have avoided taking out adequate Landlord Insurance policies to protect their rental properties and instead served section 21 notices to bring about the end of a periodic tenancy, rather than undertake the repairs that the tenants have requested, hoping that any new tenant won’t complain as much.

The UK tenant survey found that many tenants worry about asking their landlords to carry out repairs in fear of reprisals.

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Landlords Face Closer Scrutiny From HMRC

Landlords Face Closer Scrutiny From HMRC

HMRC Want Landlords
To Pay Up

Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are determined to hit private rental sector (PRS) landlords for as much tax as possible.

Over the past few months, HMRC inspectors have been closely scrutinising PRS landlord activity, focusing on any money generated by sales of buy-to-let properties that were purchased by property investors.

HMRC have created dedicated task forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region and in the South East of England to ensure property investors are not evading tax obligations.

HMRC have also been publicising a property sales campaign to try and round up property investors who have yet to declare income from the sale of rental properties, so if you are a property investor who has recently sold a rental property, (that has never been your main residence), you better hurry up and declare it to HMRC before 6th September 2013.

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Even MP's Think Landlord Immigration Checks Are Unworkable

Even MP’s Think Landlord Immigration Checks Are Unworkable

MP’s Question Immigration Checks By Landlords

The Governments plan to make private rented sector (PRS) and social housing landlords legally responsible for checking the immigration status of all tenant applicants has raised questions on the policy from MP’s.

The proposal to make landlords perform immigration checks on tenants and prosecute those who fail to comply has caused outrage among UK PRS landlords, who would be expected to be doing the UK Border Agency’s work without payment.

Following the outline of the new proposals, Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, a former housing minister, told the House of Commons during a lively debate on the Queens speech that landlords performing immigration checks on tenants would be unworkable, stating that: “The Government cannot tell us how their policy will be enforced, because they do not know who the landlords are and they will not have a statutory register.”

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Tenants are renting the same UK private rented sector property for longer as the rental property shortage

continues to limit choices.

Tenants are staying put in the same rental property for an average period of some 20 months, according to the latest research from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The tenancy length figure is up year-on-year from an average of 19 months reported in the first quarter of 2012, indicating that tenants are beginning to take a longer-term view of renting property in the UK private rented sector (PRS).

ARLA’s data comes from 527 member offices and 56.9% of ARLA registered letting agents have reported greater demand from tenants looking for rental property than there are properties available.

There has also been a dramatic reduction in the number of lettings and property managing agents reporting an increase in suitable properties coming on to the market for rental purposes because they can’t be sold, with figures down to just 29% from 42% at the end of 2012. The result is a rental property shortgage across the UK.

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Council Tax Changes Costs Landlords

Council Tax Changes Costs Landlords

As of 1st April 2013, all UK local authorities will have the discretion to charge the full Council Tax due on any empty properties within their borough. This is bad news for landlords as this will include any empty private sector rental properties.

The changes are designed to increase local authority revenues and will affect properties that until now had been granted automatic exemption or discounts, including furnished and unfurnished properties in the private rented sector (PRS).

Properties that would previously have been exempt including those that are empty because of necessary building work also lose the automatic right to be let off Council Tax for up to a year.

Numerous local authorities have decided to charge the full amount of Council Tax from the outset. The important changes to Council Tax charges are detailed below:

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Landlord Possession Orders And Tenant Evictions Increase

Tenant Eviction Figures Increase Again

Tenant Eviction Figures Increase Again

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of PRS landlords seeking to evict bad tenants and the volume of possession orders doesn’t look like abating any time soon according to data released by the UK Government.

Government figures show that there were 103,329 landlord claims for tenant eviction and orders for possession made last year, the highest recorded rate over the last five years and continues to represent an upward trend.

It is estimated that between 67% and 80% of claims led to a possession order being granted by the courts.

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