A sunny Friday as I look out of my window. But is the news equally sunny?
Huge sigh of relief on Right to Rent checks
In-person right to rent checks will become mandatory again from 17 May but – landlords and agents won’t have to re-do the checks which were done under the covid rules where in-person checks were not required.
A spokesperson for the Home Office said:
You do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a Covid-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021 [inclusive]. This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports landlords during this difficult time.
“You will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was done in the prescribed manner or as set out in the Covid-19 adjusted checks guidance.
Well, thank goodness for that. As ARLA said a while back, it would have been an impossible task rechecking all the checks done under the emergency rules. Nice to see the government listening to advice.
New scheme to reduce property crime
The government is piloting a new Document Checking Scheme with Property Lawyers COnvey Law where they are able to check information provided by their clients against the information held by the government.
Managing Director of Convey Law Lloyd Davies, who is also the Operations Director for the Conveyancing Association and Deputy Chairman of the Society of Licensed Conveyancers commented:
This is a significant move forward for our industry in looking at solutions to keep our clients and their properties safe from criminals.
For the first time we are able to validate passport information against Her Majesty’s Passport Office; our IT system can now use the verification of passport data to identify our clients effectively. Many property lawyers do not see their clients in person and hence robust identity verification procedures are critical in ensuring that our clients are who they say they are.
The minister for digital infrastructure, Matt Warman,said:
The UK has a thriving digital economy and we are committed to making it easier for people to prove their identity online without compromising personal information and for businesses to conduct checks in a safe and secure way. This pilot is a significant step forward in our work and will help speed up access to financial services and make sure more people can benefit from the huge potential of technology.
This pilot is a significant step forward in our work and will help speed up access to financial services and make sure more people can benefit from the huge potential of technology.
The scheme is currently being used in a conveyancing context but will this technology be used in future for private renting I wonder? To assist right to rent checks and maybe also to flag up dodgy landlords.
The green homes disaster
MPs are urging the government to set up an alternative scheme to the disastrous Green Homes Grant which was pulled recently. If we are to reach net-zero at any stage homes have to be tackled as they account for some 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions.
The Environmental Audit Committee chair Philip Dunne MP said:
We have been clear all along: the Green Homes Grant was a good initiative but was poorly implemented. This government has shown its willingness to be an environmental world leader, but I fear its green credentials risk being undermined by poor policy decisions.
Actions speak louder than words, and simply abandoning a critically important decarbonisation scheme when cracks appeared sets a poor example in the year we aim to show climate leadership.
Cutting emissions starts at home. The homes we live in contribute a huge amount of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so undertaking effective retrofits and stemming those emissions is key to reaching net zero by 2050.
Businesses need to get behind low-carbon housing and have the confidence to upskill employees. Householders need to get behind low-carbon housing and understand how energy efficiency can be enhanced and heating costs cut.
Above all, the government must get behind low-carbon housing and comprehend the complexity of decarbonising our housing stock, committing to initiatives essential to make net-zero Britain a reality.
The word on the street is that at some stage landlords are going to have to upgrade their properties to EPC band C. They are going to need some help to do this.
The government wants home-owners not buyers
This is the conclusion reached in this article following on from a blog by housing Minister Chris Pincher. But I think we all knew that!
The problem is that few people who need their own home can afford to buy one. Unless the Tories perform a miracle and are able to reduce the price of homes to something people on an average salary can afford, that is not going to happen. And if the price of property does fall – that will annoy all the people who are homeowners!
A bit of a conundrum for our government.
Property used to be affordable way back in the day. In the 1980’s I was able to buy a (very small) flat in Blackheath London on a salary of £6K pa. It just shows how the value of money has changed! The flat cost £20,000. I wish I still had it!
- Blow for rent controls as Berlin scheme ruled ‘unconstitutional’
- Kent council fined after mother and son left to live in tent in pandemic
- Landlord celebrates bittersweet eviction victory after tenant costs her £85,000
- ITV’s ‘mouldy homes’ probe prompts calls for compulsory landlord redress scheme
- Section 21 ‘homelessness threat’ has fallen 50% says government
- Landlord, 86, fined after rat droppings found at unsafe HMO
- Vets want pets in lets – and they want them now
Newsround will be back next week.