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In Theresa May’s interview on the Andrew Marr show (1st October 2017) she said that she wanted all private landlords to belong to a Redress Scheme like agents currently do, and that landlords should be incentivised to offer longer tenancies.
Three Ombudsman schemes already exist for agents but to date there has been no Landlords Ombudsman.
There were no details offered on these plans other than indicating more will be included in the Autumn Budget Statement on the 22nd November 2017. This is especially critical to understand how landlords will be incentivised to offer longer tenancies as the majority of Buy to Let mortgages preclude in their terms and conditions tenancies of longer than 12 months.
Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said at the Tory party 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.”
On incentives for longer tenancies Javid said: “Working with the Treasury we will announce at the Autumn Budget a new set of incentives for landlords who offer tenancies of at least 12 months”
However, 12 month ASTs are already fairly common practice in the PRS and allowed under most Buy to Let mortgage T&C’s so it is unclear how much further the government is intending to go.
Javid also indicated there could be plans for a ‘Housing Court’ saying: “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.”
Mark Alexander, founder of Property118 said:
“If you have the right type of properties to attract long term, good quality tenants, don’t stitch yourself or your tenant up with a long term AST. Consider the benefits to all concerned of offering a Deed of Assurance instead. Give your tenants the peace of mind they want and an incentive for them to perform impeccably. It’s then a true win/win situation. Tenants know that if they perform you will have to pay up if you take possession of your property. On the flip side, you may well stand a far better chance of being able to attract the tenants you really want, a premium rent and less voids periods too. It will be interesting to see the detail in the Budget proposals and whether a 12 month AST with a six month break clause coupled with an Deed of Assurance will attract the “incentives”, which are scant on detail at this stage”
“Property118 and Cotswold Barristers are also in discussion with other organisations about the formation of The Landlords Ombudsman, details of which will be announced in due course”
More details about Deed of Assurance here >>> https://www.property118.com/deed-of-assurance-document-template-download/
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