Currently viewing the tag: "rent arrears"
Protesters Call For Ban On Section 21 Notices

Protesters Call For Ban On Section 21 Notices

Protesters Occupy Government Offices
In Call For Ban On Section 21 Notices

Last week campaigners from a tenant group called London Renters occupied the lobby of the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) by bedding down in sleeping bags to protest at retaliatory evictions by private sector landlords and over the apparent insecurity of tenure within the UK’s private rented sector (PRS).

The protest followed a workshop apparently held by the Department of Communities and Local Government covering ways of making it easier for landlords to evict tenants.

The protesters wanted to highlight how being evicted by a private sector landlord has become the leading reason for homelessness in the UK. The campaigners want secure tenancies for all tenants, and in particular an end to ‘no fault’ evictions under section 21.

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Landlords may avoid LHA tenants in future

Benefit Cuts To Make 40,000 Homeless

PRS Landlords Urged Not To Refuse
Housing Benefit Tenants

Following the decision by UK mega landlord, Fergus Wilson to evict benefit tenants from his rental properties, a campaign group has called on landlords with rental properties in the private rental sector not to discriminate against tenants on benefits.

Dan Wilson Craw, a spokesperson for poverty charity ‘Priced Out’, said such action could make people who need benefits unwilling to claim them due to fear of losing their home, meaning they could fall further into poverty, stating: “This is just one symptom of a wider housing market that is simply not working in the consumer’s interests”. The charity chose to discuss the issue with the Guardian newspaper, after the broadsheet featured the announcement by Fergus Wilson, who owns around 1,000 rental properties in Kent, after he had taken a drastic course of action to evict all tenants claiming benefits and instructed his appointed letting agents not to accept any further applications from prospective tenants who receive housing benefits due to the high number of tenants claiming local housing allowance (LHA) who had fallen into rental arrears. 

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Discretionary Payments Scandal

Discretionary Payments Scandal

70% Of Local Authorities Spend Less Than Half  Of Discretionary Payment Pots

Official Government figures suggest that 70% of UK local Authorities are committed to pay out less than half their emergency hardship fund or discretionary housing payments pots by the midpoint of the current financial year.

The figures were confirmed following further research by Inside Housing published in November, which found many local authorities were on course to hand back millions of unspent discretionary housing payment funds in April 2014.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures, released on Friday 20th December 2013, show one in six local authorities have committed to pay out less than a quarter of their DHP pots.

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What Lord Freud Had Say To The RLA

What Lord Freud Had Say To The RLA

Welfare Reform Minister Speaks Out On Universal Credit

Controversial welfare reform minister Lord Freud has spoken exclusively to Residential Property Investor magazine, published by the Residential Landlords Association.

Universal Credit was originally intended to be a fundamental reordering of the UK’s welfare and state benefit system, however when policy guidelines were announced, the reforms dealt private rental sector landlords a cruel blow, as it was decreed that landlords with tenants claiming local housing allowance (LHA) would no longer receive direct payments, even if they believed that the tenant was in an extremely vulnerable position.

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MP’s Claim Universal Credit Is Another Government White Elephant

MP’s Claim Universal Credit Is Another Government White Elephant

Universal Credit Roll-Out faces major delays

The current Local Housing Allowance (LHA) benefit system is likely to continue until at least 2017 for the majority of private rental sector (PRS) landlords and tenants in most of the UK, following major delays to the roll-out of the new Universal Credit system.

Universal Credit was originally due to be rolled out nationally to all new tenants claiming benefits from October this year, however due to continued problems, the controversial welfare reform measure will just be extended to an additional six jobcentres.

The delay is being blamed on poor IT by Government ministers, leading to claims that Universal Credit is just another Government white elephant.

Universal Credit was heralded by its proponents as an easier way to deliver state benefits including housing benefit or LHA and tax credits into one lump sum paid monthly to claimants, but its proposal saw an immediate backlash from PRS landlords, letting agents and landlord associations over the abolition of direct rent payments to landlords.

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Good news for landlords

Good news for landlords

There is a lot of Good News For Landlords Around As PRS rents Increase, Tenancies Last Longer And Demand Remains Strong

Good news for landlords as monthly PRS rents have increased by 1.1% year on year to average £845 (GBP) per calendar month (pcm). Scotland has witnessed the greatest rental price increase at 6.7% compared with the first quarter of 2013.

There has also been an increase in the number of older private rented sector tenants according to the latest quarterly index published by Countrywide lettings agency, who noted a 6% annual growth in the number of tenants over the age of 50 renting property in the UK private rented sector (PRS). The lettings agency also report that there has been a 7% annual decline in the number of tenants aged under 25 in the second quarter of 2013.

Buy-To-Let yields are strengthening across the UK, with the average yields being recorded in 3 regions:

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Government Offers Direct Payment Guarantee For Social Landlords

Government Offers Direct Payment Guarantee For Social Landlords

Private Rental Sector Landlords
Expected To Fend For Themselves

PRS landlords were left furious after the Government Welfare Reform minister offered social landlords the opportunity for direct payment of housing benefit under the Universal Credit scheme, but there was no such offer for private landlords.

Government Welfare Minister, Lord Freud has offered landlords a series of small concessions over Universal Credit, with payment of housing benefit to tenants temporarily suspended if rent arrears exceed two months. However, this only applies to social housing landlords, i.e local authorities and housing associations and not private sector landlords.

Lord Freud confirmed that direct payment of housing benefit to tenants who are at least two months’ behind with their rent, would be suspended, with the total amount of rent outstanding paid back to social landlords within six to nine months.

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Direct Payment Of Universal Credit Can Be Made To Landlords with Tenants in Arrears

Direct Payment Of Universal Credit Can Be Made To Landlords with Tenants in Arrears

The Government’s change of policy will now allow automatic direct payments of housing benefit to landlords providing the tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears.

The government rethink has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) and all UK landlords who house tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

Yesterday was the day the Government’s first flagship universal credit pilot scheme went live in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, and a circular to all housing benefit staff revealed that automatic direct payments to landlords will now be allowed in the pathfinder areas.

The policy change was tucked away on the last page of an obscure circular published by the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) yesterday. Universal credit expert and RLA trainer, Bill Irvine, spotted it and immediately informed the RLA.

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Countrywide’s Quarterly Lettings Index Results

Survey Reveals Favourable Rental Market For UK Landlords

Survey Reveals Favourable Rental Market For UK Landlords

Results from the latest Countrywide Quarterly Lettings Index has revealed a favourable UK lettings market for buy to let landlords.

Countrywide’s Quarterly Lettings Index analyses rental prices, rent arrears and gross rental yields in the UK private rented sector and is the UK’s largest national lettings index based on over 50,000 properties across England, Scotland and Wales and the latest survey has uncovered a number of interesting statistics:

  • Average monthly rents in Inner London are the highest in the UK and four times more than in Scotland
  • Scotland has the cheapest rental accommodation in the UK and is the only region where arrears have increased
  • Average monthly rents increased the most in Wales and the East of England at 5.5%, followed by Outer London at 5.4%
  • Average UK rental yields of 6.2%, with Wales topping list at 6.7%
  • Rising rents, falling arrears and fast letting times provide perfect recipe for buy-to-let investors
  • Average rents have risen and rental payment arrears have fallen in Q1 2013 compared to the prior year.

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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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