News

Government announces proposals for new Housing Court

November 14, 2018

Taken from and ARLA Briefing email The Government has today launched a consultation which looks at reforming the routes to justice for both landlords and tenants, with the most radical option being to set up a new Housing Court. Currently, most housing cases are heard in the County Court (e.g. possession cases) and the first-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), but many can find the process daunting and confusing, especially without support, with evidence showing that landlords are fearful of longer tenancies …

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Rental growth Highest in East of England over the Last Year!

November 13, 2018

Taken from Property Eye 13th November 2018 Rental growth hits an eight-month high but are tenants actually better off than ten years ago? – Property Industry Eye Rental growth last month hit its highest level since February, according to data from Countrywide firms. The agency’s figures, sourced by its Hamptons International brand, suggest rents on new lets were up 2% annually in October to £977 per month. This is the highest rate of growth since February, with each region seeing …

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£2 million more given to local authorities to crack down on rogue landlords

Taken from The Negotiator 13th November 2018 Local authorities are to be given an additional £2 million to crackdown on rogue landlords, it has been announced. The new cash helps answer one of the key criticisms of the government’s attempts to reform the broken housing market; that new rogue landlord legislation is pointless unless backed up with robust enforcement. Six months ago the government launched a national rogue landlord database but, a national newspaper reported last month, the database remains …

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Landlords increasingly avoiding renters claiming Universal Credit, says MP

October 23, 2018

From Negotiator Magazine 19th October 2018 As the government once again delays the roll-out of its flagship welfare reform, worrying signs of problems within the rental market are emerging. As leaked government documents show the roll out of Universal Credit is to be delayed again, Liverpool MP Louise Ellman yesterday told the House of Commons during a key debate on the welfare reform that landlords in her constituency are increasingly reluctant to rent their homes to those claiming it “because …

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Government moves a step closer to full regulation of the industry

October 17, 2018

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler has announced that a new working group will be set up, tasked with raising standards across the housing sector. The working group will be headed up by Lord Best, an independent cross bencher, supported by professional bodies including ARLA Propertymark and consumer groups such as Citizens Advice. The group will look at ways to improve standards for home buyers, sellers, tenants, landlords and leaseholders. At the moment anyone can operate as a property agent, although lettings …

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ZPG and OTM integrate with Facebook Marketplace

OnTheMarket and Zoopla are now listing their rental properties on Facebook’s MarketPlace, the social platform’s answer to both Ebay and Craigslist. Although OnTheMarket says it will be adding ‘tens of thousands’ of properties, Zoopla has said its deal will upload 300,000 homes to rent onto MarketPlace, making it in one go the largest rental property platform outside of the big three portals in the UK. Facebook’s data suggests that approximately 35per cent of its active users around the world visit …

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The Rules are Changing – Be prepared for HMO changes in England

September 28, 2018

In England on 1 October, the criteria for what kind of House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) needs a mandatory licence is being extended and agents will need to ensure they’re keeping landlords up to date with the incoming change in legislation and making sure that applicable properties are licensed. The UK Government announced in May 2015 that it would be changing the criteria for Mandatory HMO Licensing in England in a bid to address poor conditions and overcrowding in the …

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Rural buy-to-let property at risk of exploitation by ‘sub-human’ crime gangs

September 10, 2018

The Home Office warned letting agents and landlords to be wary of tenants offering cash up-front for more than six months’ rent – one of five signs of exploited children being housed to courier drugs and money across the country. After a National Crime Agency report found urban gangs rented property in rural and market towns to use as a base, the Home Office released posters to help crack down on ‘county lines’ – urban dealers establishing new markets, with a single …

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Taylor Wimpey is facing fresh scrutiny over complicated leases after Barclays refused to lend against a high-profile London development

August 29, 2018

From the Financial Times 28th August 2018 Barclays, one of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders, has taken issue with underleases sold to buyers in its Chobham Manor development in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, where homes fetch up to £1m. The incident raises questions about the increasingly complicated leasehold structures being used by some top housebuilders, which are leaving lenders nervous about the potential future value of their security. Last year, Taylor Wimpey set aside £130m …

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Letting agents turn away tenants on housing benefits

August 22, 2018

Letting agents are discriminating against tenants on housing benefit, an undercover investigation has found. Shelter and the National Housing Federation found one in 10 agents in England refused to let to those on the benefit. The undercover investigation found the policy was enforced even if tenants could afford the rent. Stephen Tyler told the BBC that housing benefit discrimination had forced him to sleep in his car. The wheelchair user told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “We have been trying to …

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