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Landlord Law Newsround #321

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Landlord Law Blog Newsround
Welcome to our last Newsround for 2023. We thought we would start the Newsround with some positive housing news.

Newcastle Council launch free training for landlords​


Newcastle Council has announced the launch of their new Accreditation Scheme, which will recognise and reward ‘reputable landlords who offer good quality housing in the private rented sector.’

Their scheme is free to join and offers landlords benefits such as recognition that a landlord is a professional and reputable landlord, free support, training and advice for landlords, update to information on any new legislation and compliance requirements and a dedicated telephone line for them to speak with the council.

A spokesperson for the council says

We are very fortunate to have so many reputable landlords who deliver a high level of service and offer great value for money to tenants occupying their properties. Through the Landlord Accreditation Scheme, we are committed to working with landlords and residents to ensure we maintain high housing standards in the city.

Landlords are, of course, expected to meet certain criteria such as meeting all legal and safety standards with their properties, and landlords must maintain their knowledge and responsibilities.

Government opens new consultation on new energy ratings for EPC’s​


A new consultation has been opened by the government to replace the existing Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) that is the current energy rating system for generating EPC’s. It has many uses within the government it is also used for grant schemes and providing support for improving energy efficiency in homes.

The new energy rating system is called Home Energy Model and it is hoped that it will set the standard to achieve net zero in our houses and future proof for low carbon and high energy efficiency. Long term the government hope that it will be used to generate EPC’s in the future. It has been been designed by the Building Research Establishment and will apply to new homes built from 2025.

It is designed in a modular way to support different levels of applications. Gillian Charlesworth, chief exec of BRE says

The introduction of the Home Energy Model is a significant milestone on the road to achieving net zero across the UK’s housing stock.

As uptake of green technologies increases, an effective assessment methodology which accounts for these changes will be imperative as the Government looks to secure buy-in from homeowners, house builders, and the retrofit industry on the net zero transition and achieve its targets in this area.

The consultation is open until March 6 2024 and you can read the government consultation here.

Will the Renters Reform Bill bring the end to selective licensing?​


The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has raised concerns that the Renters Reform Bill proposals for the new property portal could remove the need for selective licensing schemes.

Selective licensing schemes operate in areas where councils designate certain areas where private rented properties have to have a license. This is usually to improve or maintain housing standards, and can highlight serious hazards and defects that have to be addressed. They also state that there will be an even higher burden of enforcement put onto local authorities.

You can read more here.

Wales updates guidance on occupation contracts​


The Welsh government has updated its occupation template contracts for landlords with new wording that clarifies that landlords can issue an occupation contract prior to occupation. Previously this was not stated as being explicitly the case and had caused debate and arguments over if a contract was still valid if it had been given to a tenant prior to moving into the property. Landlords can now safely issue their contracts before the start of the tenancy.

Existing contracts do not need to be re-issued with a statement of variation as it is only the explanatory information has been updated. Note that the Landlord Law Welsh occupation contracts have already been amended to take account of this change.

Councils need funding to implement the Renters Reform Bill​


The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the private Rented Sector has published a report which states that for in order for the Bill to operate correctly, and be properly enforced, the government needs to provide councils with sufficient funding to make sure that they have the resources to enforce the planned changes. Otherwise they will struggle.

Andrew Lewer, the chair of the APPG says

The Government needs to provide substantial multi-year funding to ensure councils have the resources they need to enforce the planned decent homes standard and ensure all rented homes are safe and secure.

This is also a concern raised by Polly Neate of Shelter, who says the local authorities need ‘help to crack down on criminal behaviour’.

Snippets​


Rogue landlord tried to let out ‘uninhabitable outbuilding’.
Councils charge landlord thousands of pounds for ‘officer time’
Activists say they know rent levels two years from now
London’s most expensive selective licencing scheme revealed
How bad is the rental crisis? Latest figures reveal reality not the hype
Polly Toynbee spends a day in the housing court

Newsround will be back in the New Year.

The post Landlord Law Newsround #321 appeared first on The Landlord Law Blog.
 
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