Landlords Ombudsman Coming Soon

Landlords Ombudsman Coming Soon

10:50 AM, 2nd October 2017, About 5 years ago 41

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Landlords Ombudsman membership is to become compulsory it seems.

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 >>>


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

13:35 PM, 3rd October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 03/10/2017 - 13:34
I completely agree with all of your points Mandy

Alan Loughlin

19:15 PM, 3rd October 2017, About 5 years ago

Don't see much about redress for landlords from bad tenants. There are far more bad tenants than bad landlords. How about a level playing field.

Alan Loughlin

19:16 PM, 3rd October 2017, About 5 years ago

Hear talk about longer contracts, but many lease agreements prohibit this.

Mandy Thomson

19:37 PM, 3rd October 2017, About 5 years ago

What would be good is if the authorities would prosecute tenants who cause criminal damage to rental properties.

Romain Garcin

19:41 PM, 3rd October 2017, About 5 years ago

At this rate we'll soon need redress schemes to arbitrate disputes between redress schemes...
I don't see the point of housing courts either. If they intend to send money they should spending on making existing courts work, and on streamlining current processes to save time and money.
Lastly, it seems that many commentators and the government miss the fact that letting agents cannot charge tenants now.
What the government effectively proposes is to prevent landlords from charging tenants. Charging upfront fees is common in many industries.

They are picking on landlords because they are desperate and landlords are easy targets (they're no very well-liked and they can't do much to defend themselves).


13:55 PM, 4th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Perhaps we could get a redress system for MP's too ?

Now wouldn't that be nice !

J lied03

19:11 PM, 4th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 03/10/2017 - 13:26
Mandy if I am left with sitting tenants that were not on the AST and the legal tenant has left them in after the vacation date (he has given me one months notice) can I use Section 8? He has not missed any rent payments.

Mandy Thomson

15:36 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by J lied03 at 04/10/2017 - 19:11Hi Janet
Firstly, unless your real tenant has surrendered and you have accepted, that tenancy is still ongoing and you need to evict the real tenant, not the people currently occupying.
What follows assumes these subtenants are not there with your consent.
It is imperative that you don't treat the subtenants as your tenants in any way. As the tenant broke the terms of your AST by letting to them, the sub tenancy will not be binding on you UNLESS you create a tenancy with the subtenants by accepting rent from them or pursuing rent, or treating them in any other way as your tenants.
If you accept any money from them, make sure you write to them officially and inform that any money you take is for occupation charges, not rent, and no tenancy agreement exists between yourself and the occupiers.
As the tenancy is still in place because your tenant hasn't given you vacant possession, you need to evict the real tenant in the same way you would if he was still living in the property.
Now, in theory you could do this via the breach of tenancy grounds under section 8, but in practice this is a difficult, expensive and lengthy process for a private landlord. Therefore, I would advise you to use grounds 8, 10 and 11 (the rent arrears grounds) under section 8, BUT you need at least 2 months (assuming rent paid monthly) of arrears AND you need to send the tenant a rent demand, giving a reasonable time for the arrears to be made up, first.
If you don't have 2 months rent arrears, and this isn't likely to accrue within a month, use section 21 (no fault eviction). However, s.21 can only be used once a fixed term is finished or, for a tenancy that began on 1 October 2015 or later, 2 months before end of the fixed term (for older tenancies, until October next year, you can still serve s.21 at any point in the tenancy). However, either way, section 21 cannot expire before the end of the fixed term.
The notice period for section 8 just over 2 weeks, whereas it's just over 2 months for s.21. You can and should issue both if the conditions apply, but you can only make a possession claim against one.
You would normally be advised to enforce against s.21 rather than s.8, but in this case there's a good chance the tenant won't defend as he may not be getting his mail from the property (where you will be serving the notice unless the tenant has written to you with another service address). You need to get proof of service - either serve in person and take a witness with you, or send 2 copies of the notice in separate envelopes from separate post offices and get postage certificates. Allow at least 4 days for service when setting the notice expiry date.
Please come back to me for advice about completing one or both s.8 and s.21. Ask Mark or Neil if they will forward your email to me. In any event, I strongly advise you to join a landlord association where you can get detailed advice and guidance.

Romain Garcin

15:56 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Janet wrote that her tenant had served notice to quit. If so and the notice was valid then the tenancy has ended.

Mandy Thomson

16:03 PM, 5th October 2017, About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by J lied03 at 04/10/2017 - 19:11Sorry, I had not read your post thoroughly before replying. Obviously you have no rent arrears so that means you must rely on s.21.
While the tenant may have given valid notice that you accepted, he still hasn't given vacant possession. Therefore, everything I said about not treating the occupiers as your tenants still stands.
We have had a recent discussion on here about getting double rent under the Distress for Rent Act if tenant gives valid notice but doesn't give vacant possession, and also about your right to start possession proceedings on the strength of the tenant's notice without issuing your own notice.
I can find plenty of precedents for successful claims for double rent under the Distress for Rent Act - though it's imperative that you don't treat either the tenant who has moved out (who is now technically a trespasser) OR the current occupiers as your tenant or you will be deemed to have started a new tenancy and will not get the compensation.
However, I would not advise trying to evict on the strength of the tenant's notice as no one can find any legal precedent for that. I would therefore use s.21, which is likely to be quicker and easier in any event.

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