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Housing Minister Wants Crackdown On Rogue Landlords

Housing Minister Wants Crackdown On Rogue Landlords

Government Want New Measures To Tackle Rogue Landlords

Government housing minister, Kris Hopkins, has stressed the need for a fairer, more flexible private rented sector, and wants to raise standards of all rental property conditions and he intends to root out rogue landlords.

The housing minister wants PRS landlords and their tenants to offer their views on what else the Government can do to tackle the problems in the UK’s private rented sector, and what action needs to be taken to further boost the growth of the sector.

In particular, Mr Hopkins wants tenant and landlord views on a variety of new initiatives and safety measures including:

  • Tackling retaliatory evictions where a minority of PRS landlords evict tenants for requesting repairs to the property
  • Requiring landlords to repay rent where they have rented out a property that proves to have serious defects or hazards to tenants health, or where landlords have evicted a tenant illegally
  • Making landlords responsible for improving safety measures in rental properties, such as fitting hard wired smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and periodic electrical safety checks

The UK Government has already introduced an array of new guidelines, including providing local authorities with over £6.5 Million (GBP) to root out and prosecute rogue landlords in their areas.

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Survey Finds 30% of Tenants Quit Rental Properties Due To Poor Standards

Survey Finds 30% of Tenants Quit Rental Properties Due To Poor Standards

Landlords Need To Take Note Of Survey Findings
To Attract And Keep Good Tenants

One in three current PRS tenants have quit properties and ended tenancies within the UK private rental sector due to lack of repairs by landlords and the overall poor condition of rental properties in general.

These shocking tenant revelations are from a survey carried out on behalf of the National Landlords Association (NLA) by shower manufacturer Methven, last month.

The survey of PRS tenants discovered that poor quality fixtures and fittings in rental properties are a major cause of grievances and less than 10% of tenants who took part in the survey were completely happy with the condition of the property they were currently renting.

Over 60% of private rented sector tenants who took part in the survey said the standard of bathroom fixtures in rental properties is below average with 16% reporting that standards were poor. A further 53% claimed a good shower is an essential feature of a good rental property, which is good news for the shower manufacturers conducting the survey.

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Yet another local authority has set its sights on compulsory landlord licensing for every privately owned rental property within its boundaries. 

Liverpool City Council Want Landlord Licensing To Become Mandatory

Liverpool City Council Want Landlord Licensing To Become Mandatory

Liverpool City Council is the second local authority in the UK to launch a consultation for the introduction of a citywide landlord licensing scheme affecting over 50,000 properties.

The controversial move towards mandatory licensing of all private landlords follows that of Newham, in London, which became the first council in England to introduce mandatory licensing of all private rental properties on January 1st.

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A commercial radio advert which suggested that people would be better off putting their money into property rather than keeping it in the bank has sparked a furore and landed an estate agent in trouble with the authorities.

The radio advert, approved by the Commercial Radio Companies Association prior to broadcast, was pulled following complaints.

Three complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, (ASA), claimed that the advert was misleading because it did not make it clear that there were risks associated with investments. Two of the complainants believed the advert misleadingly presented buy-to-let as a low-risk investment.

Two of the complainants also challenged whether the advertiser was regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and, if not, whether the ad was suitable to be broadcast on radio.

The company responsible for the advert, Aldermartin Baines & Cuthbert (ABC), told the ASA that they offered many properties that reflected yields of between 7% and 12% but had been guided to suggest a 5% yield, which was very conservative and definitely deliverable. They claimed that they had also been very careful to ensure the ad spoke in very general terms and did not guarantee any return or yield. ABC also said that accountants and financial advisers had contacted them and commended them on the advert.

The company did not accept that the ad misleadingly presented Buy-To-Let as a low risk investment. They said that whilst the radio ad did not mention ‘low risk’, it focused on the issues of inflation eroding the value of money, either on deposit or as the debt of a mortgage, and that if a deal was considered risky, banks would not lend on it particularly in the current economic climate.

The Commercial Radio Companies Association said they were happy with the content of the advert as, in their view, it had been carefully worded so as not to misleadingly imply that investing in a buy-to-let property was low risk or risk-free.

They said the advert was for buy-to-let property promoted as a buy-to-let ‘investment’. They understood that buy-to-let property was outside the FSA’s remit because it was an ‘investment’ not felt to be in need of FSA regulation. They did not feel that banning such adverts from radio would be fair or proportionate.

The ASA considered the advert misleadingly presented buy-to-let investment as low risk and did not make clear the potential risks associated with such an investment. It stated that the risks involved were not limited to tenants not paying their rent and felt that the overall impression was that the advert presented buy-to-let investment as an alternative, or a preferable option, to saving.

The ASA noted that buy-to-let property was not regulated by the FSA and considered the advert to be promoting an investment and despite the CRCA’s comments, it upheld the public’s complaints and subsequently banned the broadcast of the radio advert .

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