NEWS

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Help to Buy: 350,000 households supported to buy a home

On 11 May 2022 the DLUHC published Help to Buy statistics showing: 355,634 properties have been bought with a Help to Buy: Equity Loan since its launch in 2013. First-time buyers account for 83 per cent of total purchases. The total value of Help to Buy: Equity Loan stands at £22 billion and the value […]

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Family of seven left to live in one bedroom flat by Bromley council

On 12 May the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman reported that Bromley council has agreed to pay a family £6,000 after it did not do enough to help them when they were threatened with homelessness. The family had been given an eviction notice by their landlord in July 2019, and the council accepted it […]

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Housing supply for local authorities in England

The House of Commons Library has published a paper data on housing supply for district-level and unitary local authorities in England.  It can be seen here and says: Data is available on housing stock broken down by tenure, net supply of new housing, and supply of affordable housing. Find the local authority you live in […]

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Screwfix expands

Home improvement business Screwfix will create 800 retail jobs by January as part of plans to open 80 new shops across the UK and Ireland. The retailer’s sales were boosted during the pandemic as locked-down Britons hired tradespeople to spruce up their properties and gardens. Screwfix and B&Q owner Kingfisher enjoyed profits of more than […]

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Cost of living: ‘Rent rises mean I want my landlord to evict me’

Money is so tight for Amy Jones that she asked her private landlord to evict her and her son so she can be considered for social housing. The 29-year-old will risk homelessness after cutting back on food and heating to pay the deficit between her universal credit allowance and rent. It comes as two students […]

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It’s not too late to respond to consultation on property tax review

The independent expert advisers to government on tax simplification, the OTS, says there has been a strong response to its consultation process ahead of a forthcoming property tax review. The Office of Tax Simplification has had almost 1,000 responses so far to its call for evidence, they are also attending the West of England Landlord […]

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Residential landlord Grainger sees profits surge 120%

This is Money are reporting that earnings at Grainger have more than doubled thanks to a large rise in rental income and soaring growth in the valuation of its investment properties, when profits climbed to £75.6million in the six months to the end of March from £34.3million in the same period the previous year. See […]

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Do you check the Gas Safe Register each time?

The Health and Safety Executive is urging landlords to check the credentials of gas fitters following a case heard recently in Southwark Crown Court in London.The court heard that Valentin Pauliuc, trading as VP Plumbing & Heating, was hired in February 2019 by HSM Builders Limited, the principal contractor for a domestic renovation in South […]

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More details emerge of how agents will be involved in new PRS ‘portal’

More details have emerged of the government’s plans for an official ‘rental property portal’ for the private sector that will tie homes, landlords, redress and housing standards into one website. The proposed initiative was buried in the detail of the briefing document released to accompany the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday but will have significant ramifications […]

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Plans for landlords to be forced to rent out empty shops will not work – lawyers say

Government plans to be outlined in the Queen’s Speech that will force landlords to rent empty retail units to the highest bidder in rental auctions will work in any meaningful way, according to retail lawyers. The Conservative government hopes the measures will reinvigorate high streets that it believes are “blighted by derelict shopfronts”. However, retail […]

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Queens Speech – Renters Reform Bill

The Queens Speech was read today by Prince Charles, officially opening parliament. It outlined 38 Bills, all details can be seen here Bill of Rights National Security Bill Economic Crime Bill Modern Slavery Bill Online Safety Bill Draft Victims’ Bill Draft Protect Duty Bill Public Order Bill Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill Higher Education (Freedom […]

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Landlords face a battle with the banks to get mortgages

The Telegraph have published an article that Landlords are battling an affordability crunch as banks clamp down on borrowing over fears the cost of living crisis will push up rental arrears. According to Chris Sykes, of the mortgage broker Private Finance, this means that a landlord who expects monthly rental income of £1,000 will see […]

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iHowz publish recomendations for forthcoming PRS White Paper

At iHowz we have published specific papers on the potential impact of losing the Section 21 (see here), and have written to the Business Secretary to try to get clarification on energy requirements in rental proiperty (see here). We have now set down all the requirements we believe will help ‘reboot’ the Private Rented Sector.  […]

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Benefit freeze sees more than 40pc of London tenants on universal credit struggle with rent

As some east London tenants face a £200 monthly rent shortfall, landlords have called on the government to raise benefits to help people afford the rising cost of living. Data released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) at the end of last year has been analysed by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), which found […]

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Number of landlords seeking to recover rental debt rises by 180%

Landlord Action, one of the UK’s best known eviction and housing law specialists, has seen a sharp rise in landlords requesting to use their debt recovery service. Instructions for the last year, April 2021 to March 2022, were up 180 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic year, April 2019 to March 2020. The circumstances of […]

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Who pays a rent repayment order? Supreme Court date set for decision

Agents who manage properties on behalf of landlords face waiting until the end of this year to find out if it is they, or the landlord, who must pay a rent repayment order )RRO) when a licence has not been applied for, where required. RROs of up to 12 months’ rent can be granted by […]

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Agents – are you compliant with the new transparency rule?

The National Trading Standards announced steps introducing new material disclosure rules, on what agents and landlords should include in property listings. This is being introduced in three stages, with stage 1 going live at the end of May 2022. Stage 1 – The basics stipulated on property portal listings for rented and for-sale properties will […]

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Fareham Borough Council are ‘obstructing’ airport commercial/residential development

Peter Day, from Hangar Homes Ltd, said he was denied access Solent Airport in Lee-on-the-Solent to conduct a ground survey by the landlord – Fareham Borough Council. Mr Day believes that councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council, is being ‘wilfully obstructive’ as ‘he does not want the planning application to succeed’. He said: ‘He […]

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The Housing Ombudsman’s call for evidence on noise complaints

The Housing Ombudsman has launched a call for evidence to support their next systemic investigation which will look at noise complaints. The investigation will explore how social landlords manage reports of noise nuisance and what drives complaints about how those are handled. Noise complaints can have a particularly significant impact on residents causing deep frustration […]

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Referencing

As the cost of living crisis deepens, we urge our members to take a close look at tenant’s bank accounts to see if they are making use of buy now pay later credit. According to the Guardian, the buy now, pay later company Klarna will start reporting UK customer debts to credit agencies for the […]

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Licensing approved for Oxford

Oxford City Council’s ‘selective licensing’ scheme was given the green light, meaning that all private rented homes in the city will need a licence from September. Just under half (49.3 per cent) of all Oxford’s homes are privately rented. An independent review in 2020 found that more than a fifth (6,200) of the 30,500 homes […]

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Government gives approval for extension of licensing scheme

THE Government has formally granted approval for the extension of two selective landlord licensing schemes in Burnley for a further five years. The previous schemes in Burnley Wood/Healey Wood and the Leyland Road areas of the town, which covered 2,000 houses, expired at the end of last year. While there was an improving picture in both areas, […]

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Many landlords still excluded from new Building Safety Law

The Building Safety Bill has become law – and while it does offer help to leaseholder landlords with one or two investment properties, those with larger portfolios remain excluded.Under the new legislation, owners of up to three properties in the UK will qualify for the protections. This includes all properties and not just those requiring […]

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