Landlord Law Newsround #344

Landlord Law Blog NewsroundWelcome to another edition of our Newsround where we bring you all the latest housing news.

Deposits fall short of damages or rent arrears

Reposit, an alternative deposit scheme claims that 17% of tenancy deposits do not cover tenants rent arrears or damages and that landlords often need to claim more than five weeks rent. This is up from 13% in 2023.

CEO Ben Grech says

Our figures show cash deposits are now inadequate across a significant portion of the market and one which is growing, most likely caused by the cost-of-living crisis.

49% of tenancy agreements end with no costs needed to be taken from the deposit. This is another noticeable challenge for both tenants and landlords of the cost of living crisis.

And whilst we are on the subject of deposits, in another report out this week by SpareRoom, a flat-sharing platform, Their survey claims that 63% of renters have had money deducted from their deposit due to cleaning issues. The average amount deducted was £250 but some have had more than £750 taken.

Where tenants have contested the amount 41% came to an amicable agreement with their landlord to reduce the payment. But only 17% of tenants pay for a professional clean on leaving their tenancy.

This is another noticeable challenge for both tenants and landlords of the cost of living crisis.

EPC’s are woefully inadequate

Which? has called on the government to reform EPC’s stating that they are ‘unreliable and inaccurate’ and full of unhelpful, unrealistic advice with costly improvements suggested that take a long time to get pay back. It wants the government to make sure there is better auditing and that energy assessors have the right training.

Rocio Concha, director of Which? policy and advocacy said

The next government must make Energy Performance Certificates a more reliable and useful tool for householders.

This should include reviewing the auditing and training requirements for Domestic Energy Assessors and ensuring EPCs provide relevant information and clear, actionable advice for consumers.

Propertymark backs Which?s’ report, Timothy Douglas head of policy and campaigns said they would like to see a ‘Property Passport’.

A Property Passport would provide a detailed guidance on the actions required, and already undertaken, to improve the property, based on building fabric and operational data helping building owners and occupiers make decisions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Another council hits record £1000 HMO licence fee

A Midlands’ council, Sandwell is planning on charging £1000.00 for a new licence fee for smaller HMO landlords with three or more people. HMO’s with five or more occupants already requires a licence. This would affect 3000 properties that were previously exempt. The council says

Our aim is that over the five year period, the licensing scheme will improve housing conditions, reduce significant persistent problems caused by anti-social behaviour, including modern-day slavery and human trafficking, and [lead to] an increase in good landlords and an elimination of rogue landlords.

They further state that ongoing pressures of tackling anti-social behaviour, fly tipping of domestic waste and property condition are what has driven this expansion and deems it now necessary.

Rent control controversy rumbles on in Scotland

The housing minister in Scotland has spoken out stating that the private rented sector is are not against rent controls. He is keen for investment in getting more homes built but did not acknowledge that the rent freeze has driven out landlords.

John Blackwood Chief Executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords said

I was giving evidence in the Scottish Parliament and along with other private rented sector housing stakeholders, we pointed out the unintended consequences of rent control measures and how investors are leaving the sector and no longer see Scotland as an attractive investment option.

You can read more here.


Holiday lets boom appears to be fizzling out
Landlords open to installing electric chargers for tenants
What do tenants want from the general election?
Agency bosses and landlord fined more than £27000
Shocking truth reveals councils’ powers over landlords
Rent controls do not work and never will, expert warns Labour

Newsround will be back next week

The post Landlord Law Newsround #344 appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.





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