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  • Property-a-holics

    New Conservative controls for the PRS



    The Conservatives used their party Conference in Manchester to unveil a whole new approach to the private rented sector.

    Details are sketchy at the moment, but will likely be fleshed on in the Budget on 22nd November.

    This is what we know so far:

    All private landlords, as well as agents, having to become members of an official redress organisation. Javid told his party’s conference: “We will make it mandatory for every landlord to be part of an ombudsman scheme, either directly, or through a letting agent. At the moment landlords, unlike letting agents, are not required to sign up to ombudsman schemes. We will change the law so that this becomes a requirement, giving all tenants access to quick and easy dispute resolution over issues like repairs and maintenance;

    All letting agents will be regulated in order to practice. Delegates heard Javid say: "Currently, anyone can operate as a letting agent without any qualifications or professional oversight. We will change the law so that all letting agents must register with an appropriate organisation. This will mean that letting agents would be required to satisfy minimum training requirements and comply with an industry code of conduct";

    Incentives for longer term tenancies. “Working with the Treasury we will announce at the Autumn Budget [on November 22] a new set of incentives for landlords who offer tenancies of at least 12 months;

    A possible housing court. “We will consult with the judiciary on the case for a new housing court to streamline the current system. We will explore whether a new housing court could improve existing court processes, reduce dependence on legal representation and encourage arbitration, with benefits for both tenants and landlords. We will consult with the judiciary on whether the introduction of a new housing court can meet the aim of saving time and money in dealing with disputes.

    Source article - Letting Agent Today

    The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has welcomed the plans which were in its manifesto for the general election.

    RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said:

    “We called for Housing Courts to speed up and improve access to justice for good tenants and landlords as well as for tax incentives to support good landlords. This is a welcome sign that the Government is ready to listen to practical proposals from the RLA to improve the working of the sector and encourage the majority of responsible landlords and tenants who want to and are doing the right thing.”

    National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) CEO Isobel Thomson told Property Industry Eye

    “The measures in the minister’s speech are very welcome news giving clear confirmation that the Government is adopting a coherent, strategic approach to the Private Rented Sector for the benefit of consumers.

    “NALS and the Fair Fees Forum called earlier this year for both the fee ban and introduction of mandatory Client Money Protection to be framed within wider regulation as the only way to ensure that all agents meet the same requirements and consumers are protected.

    “We are delighted that Government has listened. We look forward to engaging with Government to take forward all of the measures they have announced.”

    Property Tribes members were quick off the mark to start discussing these proposals ... see the two discussions below.

    SEE ALSO  -          New Tenant Rights under Theresa May

    UP NEXT -              Is our PM on another planet?

    DON'T MISS -         The Rentier Economy - the PRS under Labour

    NOW WATCH:

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    Well I am happy to move forward with the plans

    Its good to know they are talking to us and not attacking us

    Lets hope we can work together not against each other for a change

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    Incentives for longer term tenancies - whatever these are they would need to work for mortgaged and unmortgaged landlords, any ideas?

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    I don't suppose they'll do anything with interest relief this time but its interesting that this news is to coincide with the budget... dare we dream?! Maybe it'll be free green giveaways with a one-year tenancy, cheaper licensing fees with 2-yr and interest relief frozen at 75% for 3 yr... nothing massively helpful would be my guess right now.

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    "official redress organisation"   And how much is that going to cost then?

    "incentives for landlords who offer tenancies of at least 12 months"   Does that mean that so long as we 'offer' it we get the deal?  We have 'offered' all our tenants longer terms of 2 years (can't go longer due to mortgage) and in EVERY case they came back and asked for 6 months to give them FLEXIBILITY. 

    housing court Yet another expensive waste of time.  They will be even more amateur than the current FTT panels. Do you know, there was a case very recently where the FTT granted a S.20 Dispensation without even seeing/demanding any of the Costs of Works, or the quotations from Contractors, or the NHBC Certificate papers (only a few years in).

    More rules; fewer properties.  More costs; higher fees.  Most landlords penalised unfairly; most unsuspecting tenants paying more.

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    Interesting research in light of this announcement:

    ​A new survey by an insurance company has revealed that half of tenants have stayed 5 years or longer in a rental property.

    The latest findings suggest:

    - 55 per cent of renters have stayed for five or more years in the same property (up eight per cent from six months ago);

    - 42 per cent of renters have lived in two or three rented properties in the last 5 years (down six per cent from six months ago);

    - some 18 per cent plan to buy their own home within the next six months (down eight per cent in the last six months) while 40 per cent hope to buy in a few years’ time;

    - just three per cent have lived in four or more properties in the last five years (down two per cent in the last six months).

    Full/source article

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    Brilliant News!

    - All private landlords, as well as agents, having to become members of an official redress organisation.

    Excellent, I'm happy to do this.

    - Incentives for longer term tenancies. “Working with the Treasury we will announce at the Autumn Budget [on November 22] a new set of incentives for landlords who offer tenancies of at least 12 months";

    Could be a reversal of S24. 

    - A possible housing court. “We will consult with the judiciary on the case for a new housing court to streamline the current system.

    Genius. When the AST was introduced it was envisaged that accelerated possession would take 30 Days. If you use the London Courts it's 5 months to actually possession - I had one case that took 12 months.

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    Will there be a definition of which LL  will be allowed to join this redress scheme!?

    Will LL who don't have CTL from their lender or breach lender conditions by letting to HB tenants be allowed or required to join this redress scheme?

    That would be akin to making the criminals the policeman.

    Surely only LL  that are fully compliant would be allowed to join a redress scheme?

    Will LL who breach some of the new stupid HMO licensing as in Southwark be allowed to join?

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    Surely only LL  that are fully compliant would be allowed to join a redress scheme? In fairness, this proposal is specifically targeted at the landlords who are not compliant to ensure tenants can get redress. Further its not about being allowed to join, rather being compelled to join. We in the Lettings Industry Council, Fair Fees Forum and SAFEagent have long campaigned for regulation in the industry, but it was clear regulation could only work if extended to landlords as well. Voluntary regulation does not work and hopefully these plans may negate the requirement for local councils licencing schemes. Every cloud.... Smile

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    All very interesting. All my tenancies are at least 12 months (will this still apply though if tenants sign up for 12 months but ask for a six-month break clause, for example?) and many of my tenants have stayed between 2-4 years each. I would happily offer longer tenancies, if people wanted them. However, in the past, where tenants have asked for two-year deals, I've had to say no as ALL my mortgage agreements state that my ASTs can only be of a maximum of 12 months. So I welcome this idea, in theory, but in practice the government would also have to work closely on this with BTL lenders to change their ts and cs to make this workable.

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    I'd be surprised if this government even realises that BTL lenders place restrictions on lengths of tenancies, such is their complete lack of knowledge or understanding of our industry.  Isn't it time they did some homework BEFORE announcing all these 'initiatives'.

    On another point, I'm just listening to Chris Grayling telling the Tory Party conference that if businesses are taxed 'until the pips squeak' they will simply go elsewhere.  Are landlords a completely different species then?? The sheer hypocrisy is flabbergasting.

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