Another Friday, another Newsround. What have we to report?
It looks like Banning Orders along with the Rogue Landlords database are set to come into force in April which is a Good Thing for law enforcement.
Although as Ben reports here, perhaps not as good as we originally thought.
Client Money Protection
ARLA Propertymark’s response to the government, reported here, on the CMP consultation recommends that the scheme comes into force at the same time as the tenant fee ban to stop agents dipping into clients funds to keep themselves approach and that claims under the scheme should be reported as a crime.
This shows a certain lack of trust in their own but is probably justified.
Periodic tenancies legal point
The answer is that it isn’t – a periodic tenancy is a single, ongoing tenancy, from period to period. Which is sort of what we all thought.
Gas safety changes
A useful post from PainSmith blog warns us that there may be changes to the Gas Safety regs coming.
However, this will be a benign change which will give more flexibility to landlords as to when they carry out the check which will be particularly helpful for landlords whose tenants cause problems about allowing access.
Still many articles about the problems with Universal Credit. In Scotland, the Children’s Commissioner is even considering legal action.
The Mirror reports that the rollout is being delayed in Theresa May’s constituency and the constituencies of other senior Tory politicians. Which if true, is a bit sneaky of them.
Property Redress Schemes
Property Industry Eye reports that the Government is considering scrapping the current three PRS schemes and replacing them with a single ombudsman.
Something which I suspect will be unwelcome news to the schemes, having taken considerable time and effort (not to mention expense) to develop their service, having been encouraged by the government to do so.
The idea is that there will be a single source of redress across the housing sector as per the press release here.
There is set to be a consultation (another one!) next year.
This all goes to support my general view that it is unwise to trust the government too much when considering the development of your business – ask all those who paid out to qualify as HIPs assessors …
Newham Licensing Scheme
Newham has finally been told that their licensing scheme has been renewed, with the exception of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park area. They are, with some justification, annoyed at the two months delay.
Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales said:
“Newham prosecutes more criminal landlords than the rest of London put together and has demonstrated that private rented sector licensing is the most effective way of protecting tenants and driving up standards across the sector.
“The Government has finally recognised the success of Newham’s scheme, but it is ridiculous that ministers took so long.”
I have to say that Newham are to be congratulated in the success of their scheme which has seen 1,225 prosecutions, 2,834 notices requiring properties to be made safe, and the banning of 28 landlords, not to mention the recovery of £3.1m a year in unpaid council tax.
They are also one of the few councils to take action on the various rules re agents and their charges.
Right to Buy
An article by Patrick Collinson published in the Guardian today reports that on average four in ten right to buy homes have ended up in the hands of private landlords. In seven Councils this the figure is over 50% and it is possible that the figure could be even higher.
Seb Klier of the campaign group Generation Rent said:
The growth of the private rented sector in former council homes has come at huge cost to the state and society, with a higher housing benefit bill, renters in much less secure homes, and a loss of housing stock for tenants and leaseholders.
“An end to right to buy will allow us to once again produce a housing stock that is genuinely affordable for most people.”
Right to buy has ended in Scotland and is due to end in Wales. Only in England is it being extended. It may be good news for landlords and the lucky tenants buying a property at a massive discount, but I can’t see that it helps the rest of us.
The end of the amateur landlord?
A piece in Property Industry Eye today suggests that the end of the amateur landlord is nigh, driven out by tax issues and ever increasing regulation.
However, it is clearly not the end of the property investor as we have this article in Landlord Today telling us that buy to let investment is outperforming all other asset classes.
Which just goes to show that if you know what you are doing returns on being a landlord can be pretty good.
This is probably the last Newsround for a while as I will be closing the blog down for a few weeks next week for our usual Christmas break. So have a good one everybody and Newsround will be back next year.