Get On With It – major agency tells government to reform renting

A major agency has told the government to get on with ensuring the Renters Reform Bill is passed into law as soon as possible.

A after a lengthy delay, and with a series of amendments to be debated, the Bill returns to the House of Commons on Wednesday this week; if…

Regulation of Property Agents – government slammed by Lords

The government’s failure to act on the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) working party – chaired by Lord Richard Best and published five years ago – has received sharp criticism from all parties in the House of Lords.

Junior levelling up minister Baroness Swinburne was on the receiving end of strong…

Rent Controls – Call by Labour MPs in defiance of party policy

Five Labour MPs have put forward an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons calling for rent controls – even though the party nationally is opposed to such a policy.

The MPs are Nadia Whittome (MP for Nottingham East); Rachael Maskell (York Central); Grahame Morris (Easington, and a former front…

Independent agency runs seminar series for new landlords

Top tips will be provided for landlords in the private rental market in a seminar next month organised by high profile independent lettings agent Nicol & Co.

Property, legal and financial experts will be putting the Worcestershire lettings sector under the spotlight at the Nicol & Co Landlord Event from 6pm…

Grow Your Lettings Agency – free webinar this week

Rightmove is hosting a webinar tomorrow for owners and managers of lettings agencies, focused on growing their business to the maximum potential.

The portal’s lettings expert – Christian Balshen – will be joined on the webinar by acquisitions and lettings consultants Lucy Noonan and Peter Fuller.

The webinar will take place from…

An interview with Robin Stewart of Anthony Gold – Part 3

This is an interview I did with Robin Stewart on 27 February 2024.  Robin is a senior solicitor with Anthony Gold Solicitors.

The full interview is published in our Landlord Law Podcast but I am publishing the video version also here in sections.

Part 1 is herePart 2 is here.

In this third part of our interview, we discussed the proposed landlord portal and consumer rights, in particular unfair terms.   And we offer our services to develop a report or guide on unfair terms – if anyone wants to fund it! We also consider how the Renters Reform Bill (if passed) will affect agent charging.

The post An interview with Robin Stewart of Anthony Gold – Part 3 appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.

Lettings chief claims “renting negatively impacts life”

A prominent supplier of deposit alternatives to lettings agents has come out and said that “renting negatively impacts quality of life, stress and hopes for the future.”

Sam Reynolds, chief executive of Zero Deposit, comments: “Life is often stressful regardless of your living arrangements or what stage of life you are…

Agency has not paid Fixed Penalty Notice in dispute over deposit

A statement from a city council claims that a property company failed to attend court in a case of deposit protection, and failed to pay a fixed penalty notice.

The statement – from Belfast city council – says: “A residential estate agent trading as Bowden Property Group Ltd was fined £1,600…

Online firm launches budget “self-service” lettings platform

An online lettings platform claims to have launched the first “end-to-end self-service lettings platform” which could save landlords around £3,800.

Hello Neighbour operates in London and claims that conventional letting agents in the capital charge landlords around £4,000 in fees to let one property; Hello Neighbour claims the self-service platform would…

Landlord Law Newsround #335

Landlord Law Newsround #335

Welcome to our weekly Newsround where we bring you all the latest housing news and more. Let’s see what has been happening in the housing this week.

Renters Reform Bill moves to the next stage

And the latest news just released yesterday afternoon that it is now confirmed that the Renters’ Reform Bill will return to the House of Commons next Wednesday 24th April. This will be its report stage and third reading after which it will go onto the House of Lords.

A spokesperson from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has said

We are absolutely committed to the Renters (Reform) Bill, which will have its remaining stages in the House of Commons next week. This Bill will abolish Section 21 evictions and deliver a fairer rented sector for tenants and landlords. We will continue to work across the sector to ensure it passes into law as soon as possible.

It’s progress has been very controversial with a section 21 delay until until the court systems has been re-vamped, a new property portal for all landlords, and open ended tenancies.

HHJ Jan Luba KC hangs up his silks

This month has seen HHJ Jan Luba KC, a prominent Kings Council Judge retire. He has served as a Senior Circuit Judge in 2019 and the Designated Civil Judge for London between 2019 and 2024.

Jan has been a significant contributor to housing law books for practitioners such as ‘Defending Possession Proceedings; Repairs: tenants’ rights; and housing allocation and homelessness’ and he founded and co wrote with HH Nic Madge (and later with Sam Madge-Wyld who has given many webinars and talks to Landlord Law over the years) a monthly column in ‘Legal Action’ and the ‘Housing Law Week’ newsletter.

You can read more about HHJ Jan Luba KC here.

Tenants and landlords impacted by increase in rent arrears

A new report by Reposit, an alternative deposit provider, states that there has been a worrying increase of 27% or rent arrears between January and March 2024. The average arrears claim is now £1816.00.

Pressure from the cost of living crisis is seen to be the main cause of the increased arrears situation that many tenants are finding themselves in and consequently the number of tenants ending their tenancy with arrears is now at 18% in this first years quarter, this is up from 15.3% in the previous quarter.

Chief Executive Ben Grech of Reposit says

Five-week cash deposits now average £1,256 and with arrears claims topping £1,800, more and more landlords are at risk of not having enough deposit to cover possible losses.

Our data shows that in 14% of cases, a five-week cash deposit is inadequate against the costs incurred.

Worrying news for landlords.

Claim in rise in homelessness caused by Section 21

Campaigners Renters’ Reform Coalition claim that the delay in abolishing section 21 evictions has resulted in ‘real human suffering and damage’. Tom Darling the campaigners manager says

If they were serious about producing a ‘better deal for renters’, [the Government] would engage with renter groups about what is needed to fill the gaping holes in the bill.

Sadly, we haven’t seen much of that – and the result will be many more made homeless because of England’s broken renting system.

The coalition states that since the government promised to end section 21 evictions some 84,460 renters who have had eviction notices have claimed homelessness support in some means. Shelter did a similar research back in 2022 and found that there was to be around 75,000 section 21 evictions in a year but since the governments pledge to abolish section 21 it is more likely to be around 400,000.

The government has recently announced that the no fault eviction will only be scrapped for new tenancies, section 21 on existing tenancies will remain until the courts have been reviewed. However the Renters’ Reform Coalition want the notice period to be increased from two to four months, limited rent increases and a two year protected period where renters cannot be evicted under the ‘no fault’ grounds.

Energy efficiency drive must continue

The Conservative Environment Network are calling for the government to give landlords tax relief to those who improve the energy efficiency in their rented accommodation. They claim that this will cut tenants bills and make the country as a whole less reliant on imported gas. They claim that previous schemes and offers have failed in getting landlords to either take up offers or to act and improve energy efficiency.

They want landlords to be able to claim any costs towards energy efficiency improvements or retrofits as a tax deductible expense, stating that this would be a ‘win-win’ for both landlords and tenants improving the value of property whilst lowering bills for tenants.

However, research from Paragon Bank this week has found that 32% of portfolio landlords are improving their properties to EPC C or above despite the government dropping the proposed regulations.  Richard Rowntree, manging director of mortgages at Paragon Bank Said

It’s encouraging to see portfolio landlords continuing to enhance their properties so they meet EPC C or higher, despite the proposed regulations being shelved.

There is are still some landlords who are reluctant to take on any energy efficiency improvements, some 16% are not doing anything until the legislation making and EPC C mandatory becomes legislation.

Snippets

Cannabis growing turns rented house into a fire hazard
Landlord to require licences for rented homes
Plan to improve energy efficiency of older homes
NE city reveals plans for unusual licensing scheme
Rent to rent sector ‘must be cleaned up’ warn agents

Newsround will be back next week

The post Landlord Law Newsround #335 appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.

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