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Landlord Law Newsound #323

Hoca

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Another week and another Newsround, let’s see what has been in the news this week.

NRLA back Tory amendments to the Renters Reform Bill​


The National Residential Landlords Association has backed draft amendments to the Bill introduced by Conservative MP Anthony Mangnall in an attempt to make the bill more workable for private landlords. The amendments include:

  • A four month initial tenancy period during which time tenants are unable to give notice to leave
  • Allowing evidence including texts and emails from neighbours to be taken into account by the courts in anti-social behaviour cases
  • Address concerns about the courts not being ready for section 21 removal by requiring the government to publish first a review of te operation of possession proceedings in the courts
  • Ending the use of selective licensing schemes by Local Authorities when the national Property Portal is established
  • Extend the proposals for student HMOs to all student properties not just HMOs

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle said:

We accept that section 21 is going and agree that tenants need to feel empowered to challenge the actions of rogue and criminal landlords. However, amidst a supply crisis in the rental market, it is vital that the Bill has the confidence of responsible landlords.

These pragmatic changes would go a long way towards striking the balance between the needs of renters and the majority of landlords who do right by their tenants.

Rise in late rent payments​


A new survey out from digital mortgage lender Molo has found that 60% of landlords have seen a rise in rent payments being paid late due to the cost of living situation. On average, this amounts to £725 in arrears and 2.9 late payments per year, depending on location.

The survey also found that 44% of landlords are fearful of tenants not being able to pay their rent. Even some 55% of landlords have lowered their rent to help tenants cope.

Mark Michaelides, VP of strategy at Molo said

I’d advise tenants to communicate promptly, explaining reasons for delays and requesting additional time. Open dialogue can lead to collaborative solutions.

Our research found that over half (54%) of landlords have implemented payment plans for tenants facing late rent.

He added that there are also government schemes and organisations that can help with support and advice, landlords can offer flexible payment plans too if they are understanding enough.

Note that Landlord Law has a kit for landlords and letting agents, the Helping Tenants in Arrears Kit, which can help you help your tenants resolve issues with their finances and find financial help to allow them to continue living at the property.

Sub-standard CO alarms could leave tenants unprotected​


Policy Connect has warned landlords of the perils of buying sub-standard carbon monoxide alarms from online marketplaces despite investigations from companies like ‘Which?’ and reputable landlords holding these marketplaces to account.

Landlords need to be aware that buying a non-approved alarm could leave their tenants unprotected from carbon monoxide poisoning, which is dubbed the ‘silent killer’. Sub standard alarms can have dubious functions such as being ‘non-audible’. Alarms need to be to British Standards BS EN 50291.

Barry Sheerman MP, who is co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group says

Awareness of and protective measures against the risks of carbon monoxide are imperative. Through the persistent sale of fraudulent CO alarms online, we urge the public to ensure alarms they purchase are compliant with British Standards – measures designed to ensure the highest level of quality and protection.

Newham Council’s landmark case against rogue landlords​


Newham council has won a Banning Order campaign, which it hails as a landmark case against a rogue landlord who operated in its borough. The rogue landlord breached the council’s licensing scheme by renting out his HMO property without the correct licenses. He was convicted of seven other HMO management regulation offences under the Housing Act 2004 and has been fined £10,000.00 and banned from renting any properties for three years.

A council spokesperson said

This Banning Order is a first for Newham and a landmark case in our campaign against rogue landlord and to protect the rights of Newham residents living in the private rented sector. We’ll track down any landlord who tries to circumvent the rules that are there to protect our residents and their housing rights.

We have very clear guidelines, information and support available for private landlords in Newham so that they can operate their businesses while also supporting the welfare of their tenants.

Let’s hope this sends a warning to rogue landlords out there.

Scottish rents rise despite rent cap​


Rents in Scotland have risen to double digits for the fifth quarter in a row, with rents now averaging £1097.00. The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022 has done little to prevent what it was set out to do, which was to prevent this from happening. Aberdeen saw the highest annual increase of almost 10%.

2024 should bring in changes for Scottish tenants as this temporary legislation is due to expire, and the Scottish private rental sector is about to undergo more changes in 2024.

Snippets​


Do you know how to spot a tenancy fraud?
What will happen to the Renters Reform Bill should Labour come to power?
Council slammed for series of failings as a social landlord
More homeowners turn to lodgers amid cost-of-living crisis
Record rent rise in 2023 according to new government figures

Newsround will be back next week.

The post Landlord Law Newsound #323 appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.
 
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