Friday again so let’s see what news items we can find for you.
A charter for rent cheats
I have received a press release from the Residential Landlords Association who are warning that the proposed maximum of six weeks for a tenancy deposit will just help tenants get away with paying less rent.
Their survey has shown that some 40% of private landlords have faced tenants not paying their final month’s rent in the past three years. So landlords, having less deposit money to cover this after the new law comes into force, could lose out big time.
They also say that the Government has missed a chance to bring deposit law up to date by:
- allowing tenants to transfer deposits from one home to another rather than having to raise fresh funds each time they move as they wait for their last deposit to be paid back, and
- allowing papers confirming that deposits have been protected to be sent to tenants electronically
David Smith, their Policy Director said
“Ministers need to address the problem of tenants failing to pay rent every bit as strongly as rogue landlords. It is not unreasonable that landlords should have the security to know that funds are available to cover the unacceptable practice of those tenants who do not pay their rent at the end of the tenancy and, in some case, leave the property in an unacceptable state.
“In a quest for quick popularity, the Government’s plans risk becoming a missed opportunity for fundamental reforms to improve tenants’ ability to access rented housing.”
The RLA also have a snazzy new website.
More Money for Houses
Plans have been unveiled for a £300m investment package to support the development of homes in Greater Manchester, the west of England and Oxfordshire.
Sajid Javid, housing secretary, said:
“This Government is determined to build the homes this country needs. That’s why we’re working with ambitious areas across England and backing them with investment and support.
“This new housing investment in Greater Manchester, the west of England and Oxfordshire will help build much-needed homes, giving more people the opportunity to get on the property ladder.
“We’re also investing in local infrastructure like schools, roads and hospitals, so that we can help unlock even more new homes in the areas where they’re needed most and build a Britain fit for the future.”
So that’s nice, isn’t it? Let’s hope we have enough brickies and indeed bricks to get the work done.
New Powers against Rogue Landlords
These are found in regulations laid before Parliament recently, announced here. This will allow Councils to set new minimum room sizes for HMO licensed properties and limit the number of people who can live in them.
They will be able to fine rogue landlords who rent out overcrowded properties up to £30,000.
The new rules will apply to all new licensed properties from the time the rules come into force and landlords of existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for a licence when it expires.
New rules will also require landlords to provide adequate waste storage facilities in line with their local authority’s rules, again or risk a fine.
These new rules will apply to many more landlords than before as new legislation has already been made extending the licensing rules to landlords of 1 and 2-storey multiple occupancy properties. Which it is believed with affect roughly 160,000 additional properties.
Grenfell stories are always with us. This week we learn that Sajid Javid has finally realised that the promise to re-house all the survivors within one year will probably not be met. Ben and I could have told him that last June. He reported to MPs recently that:
of the 209 households needing rehousing only 62 had so far moved into permanent new accommodation, Javid said. In total, 188 had accepted offers of temporary or permanent homes and 128 had moved in.
There were still 82 households in emergency accommodation, mainly hotels, including 25 families and 39 children
They blame the Council.
In another Guardian report Seraphima Kennedy, a former neighbourhood officer at Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, claims that the Grenfell disaster is just being treated as a PR problem.
So whats new?
We also learn that in Manchester 3/4 of tower blocks have failed to meet fire safety standards in inspections carried out after the Grenfell Tower fire. And of course, there are many, many more across the country.
Section 21 Confusion
A report on Nearly Legal looks at the section 21 rules coming into force in October and concludes that some landlords will have to comply with prescribed legal requirements that don’t exist, at least for their tenancies.
I have had a quick look at it but it is early in the morning as I write this and I’m not sure I follow it. Maybe later after a cup of tea, it will make more sense.
See what you make of it.
- Client money protection regs could be coming into force sooner than you think
- The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found against Rother District Council who placed an elderly woman miles away from vital support in ‘squalid temporary accommodation’
- The Government has confirmed that a new UK registry of foreign property owners will be created which will probably be operational in 2021.
- The Lib Dems have warned that Universal Credit could cause up to 1.3 million evictions from privately rented homes
And finally, a great post referred to me by Ben, about printed concrete houses which can be built for $10,000 in under a day to house the rural homeless.
There is also a video of the house being printed.
Newsround will be back next week.