Updates & News
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The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity in Westminster – from Theresa May’s Government making a final attempt at creating a legacy, to the appointment of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, and the almost-total shake up of the Cabinet, and of Government priorities.
One of the last actions of the May Government was publishing the consultation on the abolition of Section 21. The consultation will be open until 12 October 2019, and landlords are encouraged to respond directly, via the gov.uk website, by email or by post.
Now is the opportunity for landlords to make their voices heard.
So – what are the key points for landlords to know?
The Government proposes removing ASTs from the Housing Act.
There are a number of proposed changes to Section 8 grounds – but all are up for debate.
The Government wants to introduce some protections for tenants where a Section 8 is used, such as requiring prescribed information to be served, such as the How to Rent guide, gas safety certificate, deposit protection information and Energy Performance Certificate.
The consultation mentions court reforms – but doesn’t commit to the widescale reform needed to ensure possession cases are more consistent, quicker and less costly.
Landlords have the opportunity to have your voices heard – by signing our postcard to the Prime Minister, responding to the consultation, and by lobbying your MP.
Action 1 – tell the Prime Minister what you think (by Monday!)
Thousands of landlords have already signed the NLA’s postcard to the Prime Minister to Save Section 21. We will be delivering the postcards to Number 10 next week so this is your last chance to make sure your name is included and explain why you think Section 21 shouldn’t be abolished.
You can still sign the postcard online – with the final day for signatures Monday 12 August.
Look out for details and photos of the delivery of your postcards to Downing Street on Wednesday via our social media channels and in your email inbox.
Action 2 – respond to the consultation
The NLA has produced guidance to support landlords in understanding the consultation document, the Government’s proposed changes and how you can put across your views effectively.
We have also answered some frequently asked questions about the consultation and what the proposed changes would mean for landlords.
Responses to the consultation must be received by the Government by Saturday 12 October. The document is lengthy – 75 pages – and it’s vital that individual landlords make their voices heard. Personal experiences and detail about the challenges which the proposals will pose for your business are essential to show the Government the impact the change would have.
Action 3 – lobby your MP
Your MP is your representative in Westminster, where the Section 21 proposals will be further scrutinised. If MPs don’t vote for the Government’s legislation it cannot become law – think Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Therefore, it is important to contact your MP about your concerns regarding Section 21 and the court processes. Simply put, the more landlords an MP has contacting them on the same issue the more likely they are to do something about it – landlords can make an impact. MPs have a duty to represent their constituents. And, remember, above all, your MP wants your vote.
The NLA has produced a lobbying guide to support you to engage with your MP, including how to find out about your MP, the themes you can include in your correspondence, and the action you can ask them to take.
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In my last post I mentioned that there are over 150 pieces of legislation pertaining to the private renal sector, have a read through the eye-watering list below...
1. Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
2. Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003
3. Anti-Social Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004
4. Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
5. Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003
6. Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2003
7. Building Regulations Part P: Guidance Booklet
8. Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982
9. Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Order 2000
10. Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002
11. Consumer Protection Act 1987
12. Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (SI no.2739)
13. Control of Pollution Act 1974
14. Council Tax (Additional Provisions for Discount Disregards) Order 1992
15. Council Tax (Chargeable Dwellings) Order 1992
16. Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992
17. Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992
18. Council Tax (Liability for Owners) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
19. Council Tax (Liability for Owners) Regulations 1992
20. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
21. Crime and Security Act 2010
22. Criminal Law Act 1977
23. Data Protection Act 1998
24. Defective Premises Act 1972
25. Deregulation Act 2015
26. Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No. 1 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2015
27. Disability Discrimination Act 2005
28. Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 (SI no.3260)
29. Employment Rights Act 1986
30. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) Regulations 2007
31. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2008
32. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
33. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011
34. Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
35. Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
36. Energy Act 2011
37. Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
38. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010
39. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014
40. Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2014
41. Equality Act 2010
42. Equality Act 2006
43. Estate Agents Act 1979
44. Finance Act 2003 (Part 4)
45. Firearms Act 1968
46. Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988
47. Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997
48. First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) Fees Order 2013
49. Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
50. Freedom of Information Act 2000
51. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2010
52. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
53. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1989
54. Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (SI no.1324)
55. Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (SI No. 2451)
56. Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
57. Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996
58. Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990
59. Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015
60. Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014
61. Home Information Pack (Suspension) Order 2010
62. Houses in Multiple Occupation (Management) (England) Regulations 2009
63. Houses in Multiple Occupation (Management) (Wales) Regulations 2009
64. Housing (Interim Management Orders) (Prescribed Circumstances) Order 2006
65. Housing (Scotland) Act 2014
66. Housing (Scotland) Act 2010
67. Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
68. Housing (Scotland) Act 1988
69. Housing Act 1985 Part 10
70. Housing Act 1988
71. Housing Act 1996
72. Housing Act 2004
73. Housing Act 2004 (Commencement No 5 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) (England) Order 2006
74. Housing Act 2004 (Commencement No 5 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) (Wales) Order 2006
75. Housing Act 2004 (Commencement No. 3 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) (Wales) Order 2006
76. Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance and Information Sharing) Amendment Regulations 2007
77. Housing Benefit (Local Housing Allowance, Miscellaneous and Consequential) Amendment Regulations 2007
78. Housing Benefit (State Pension Credit)(Local Housing Allowance and Information Sharing ) Amendment Regulations 2007
79. Housing Benefit (Amendment) Regulations 2009
80. Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005 (SI no.3208)
81. Housing Health and Safety Rating System (Wales) Regulations 2006
82. Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007
83. Housing (Tenancy Deposit) (Specified Interest Rate) Order 2007
84. Housing (Tenancy Deposit) Order 2007
85. Income & Corporation Taxes Act 1988
86. Income Tax (Trading and other Income) Act 2005
87. Infrastructure Act 2015
88. Inheritance Tax Act 1984
89. Immigration Act 2014
90. Immigration Act 2016
91. Land Registration Act 2002
92. Land Registration Rules 2003 (Si no.1417)
93. Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012
94. Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended)
95. Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
96. Landlord Registration Act 2002
97. Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012
98. Licensing and Management of HMO and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment)(England) Regulations 2012
99. Licensing and Management of HMO (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
100. Licensing and Management of HMO(Additional Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2007
101. Licensing and Management of HMO and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006
102. Licensing and Management of HMO and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2006
103. Licensing of HMO (Prescribed Descriptions)(England) Order 2006
104. Licensing of HMO (Prescribed Descriptions)(Wales) Order 2006
105. Local Government Act 2003
106. Local Government Finance Act 1992
107. Management of Health and Safety at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2006
108. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended)
109. Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
110. Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006
111. Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005
112. Money Laundering Regulations 2003
113. Money Laundering Regulations 2007
114. Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants etc) Act 2010
115. Occupiers Liability Act 1957
116. Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994
117. Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
118. Private Landlord Registration (Information and Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008
119. Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act 2011
120. Private Rented Housing Panel (Applications and Determinations) (Scotland) Regulations 2007
121. Private Water Supplies (England) Regulations 2016
122. Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
123. Protection from Eviction Act 1977
124. Public Health Act 1961
125. Public Health Act 1936
126. Race Relations Act 1976
127. Redress Schemes for Lettings & Property Management Work (Requirement to belong to a scheme etc) (England) Order 2014
128. Regulatory Reform (Assured Periodic Tenancies) (Rent Increases) Order 2003
129. Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (Si no.1541)
130. Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002
131. Rent Act 1977
132. Rent Acts (Maximum Fair Rent) Order 1999
133. Rent (Scotland) Act 1984
134. Rent Officer (Housing Benefit Functions) Amendment Order 2007
135. Rent Repayment Orders (Supplementary Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
136. Rent Repayment Orders (Supplementary Provisions) (Wales) Regulations 2008
137. Residential Property Tribunal Procedures and Fees (England) Regulations) 2011
138. Residential Property Tribunal Procedure (England) Regulations 2006
139. Residential Property Tribunal (Fees) (England) Regulations 2006
140. Residential Property Tribunal Procedure (Wales) Regulations 2006
141. Residential Property Tribunal Procedures and Fees (Wales) Regulations 2012
142. Residential Property Tribunal (Fees) (Wales) Regulations 2006
143. Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977
144. Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006
145. Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (Wales) Order 2006
146. Selective Licensing of Houses (Additional Conditions) (Wales) Order 2006
147. Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005
148. Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968
149. Sex Discrimination Act 1975
150. Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992
151. Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011
152. Terrorism Act 2000
153. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
Phew, I need a cuppa after that lot !
Until next time …
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I noticed an advert for a property available to let on Facebook and recognised it as one that I'd been to see a couple of days before. (By the way, I spent two hours going through the current legislation, potential pitfalls of renting with the landlord of this property) I gave the Landlord a call to see if we could help find a Tenant and he was adamant that he wanted to do it all by himself. I left it at that and carried on with my day ( slightly bemused and feeling a little bit used that two hours of my life had been wasted)
to cut a long story short, the landlord, (I'm going to call him Mr T, short for Timewaster), called me after four months in a state of panic, the call went like this. " Sally, the Tenant hasn't paid rent for three months and he is suing me for not registering his deposit...what should I do?" I really wanted to say, "get lost and sort out your own mess Mr T" but I resisted the temptation. What I actually did was guide him through the process of serving notice, assist him with completing the Court papers, attended the possession court hearing with him & I negotiated with his Tenant to accept a lower compensation for the non -registration of the damage deposit.. What did I charge Mr T for all of this? ...Not one single penny! He has lost enough already in rent arrears, court fees and compensation payments!
Why didn't I charge Mr T for all of the above? Because we now have his property under our management with decent & fully referenced tenants plus he has recommend us to some of his other Landlord friends. Mr T can now relax, safe in the knowledge that his property is being looked after by somebody who knows what they are doing with the expertise and knowledge to deal with over 150 pieces of legislation ( I kid you not)
Imagine having a £200,000 supercar and letting somebody with zero experience drive it, or imagine taking it to a back street mechanic who cut corners.. you just wouldn't do it. Don't do it with your property! as the real Mr T would say "Don't be a fool"
If you have any issues with your Tenants, or your worried that you may have missed something, give me a call and I will try and point you in the right direction. I'm not a Solicitor and can't give legal advice but my extensive knowledge can set you on the right path to a painless tenancy.
All the best, until next time
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As temperatures soar, the burning question is (no pun intended) is the property market in Northampton as hot as the weather or is it set to cool down?
The housing market is always a hot topic, its something that all property owners are interested in.... "is the market up, is it down, is Brexit (sorry to mention the B word) or Boris (there's the other B word) going to have an affect on the value of my property?" There's absolutely no doubt that the decision of the 52% to leave the UK has sown seeds of caution into the house buying British Public. Property prices grew at a rapid rate from 2012 to mid 2018, and as the confusion of Brexit set in, so did a flatline in house prices leading to a pretty stagnant Northampton housing market.
There has been a noticeable slow down in house sales since Mach of this year, compared to the same time in 2018. I think this is much to do with Vendors holding out for near asking prices or being mislead by over-valuing Agents that their property is worth a lot more than it actually is! This is the oldest trick in the book for Agents targeted for the number of properties they list each week by the way, be careful not to be fooled by them. I used to work for a Company who adopted that very approach to converting valuations... "Value high and get them signed up for 24 weeks, we will reduce after 6 weeks!" my Sales Manager roared in the morning meetings, I never got on particularly well working for that company... surprisingly !
The encouraging news is, over the last month or so we have started to see more activity, buyers are out in numbers viewing properties, and they are offering, but not necessarily offering what the vendor is expecting. The industry press have been shouting from the rooftops that its a buyers market, and boy have they listened. Slowly Vendors are realising that if they want to move, they've got to be willing to negotiate with buyers. thinking outside the box is key, if you have to accept a slightly lower offer on your property, who's to say you can't make a slightly lower offer on the one you want to buy?
Being the type of person who's always looking for a solution with a positive outcome, I would advise if your property hasn't sold and your agents feedback is that its a great property, but too expensive, or you're getting a few offers slightly under what you originally were willing to accept ( if you're not getting any feedback....change Agents pronto) then give consideration to agreeing the sale at a slightly lower price. Your Agent should be the expert, they should know how much your property will sell for, listen to them and listen to the feedback they're giving you.
Its rather like seeing an amazing handbag ( in my world) that's just that wee bit too pricey but you've been looking at it and longing to have to slung over your shoulder for weeks, and then, just as you were about to give up hope...it goes into the sale!
As an Agent, there is noting worse than having a property on your books knowing that you have done everything possible to try and find a buyer for your lovely vendor, who's home is lovely and you've had offers on it, but they won't budge on their bottom line. If the property doesn't sell and proceed to exchange of contracts, the Agent doesn't get paid one single penny, if you've paid an Agent upfront fees, you should question their motivation for actually finding you a buyer.
Property prices have been artificially inflated in recent years and in my opinion as a local property expert, I think this period of price correction is just what the Doctor ordered.
As for the Boris effect on the housing market, ask me in a few months...
If you need me, I'll be in the freezer
All the best ….. Sally