Jim Parsler

Registered with Property118.com
Tuesday 27th August 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 9

Jim Parsler

9:29 AM, 14th February 2018
About A year ago

Consultation feedback halts Selective Licensing!

We had a similar issue in Milton Keynes though the council finally dropped the SL proposal. There are a lot of council members with very fixed ideas that PRS landlords do nothing to prevent anti social behaviour. Though we tried hard to explain that the only recourse the PRS has is to evict which can take months to occur, whereas the council themselves can enact various actions under environmental health, noise abatement and other legislation and can request the police to attend. Though the council are working more closely with landlords than before we still have the old chestnut of them telling LHA tenants to sit tight until the bailiffs arrive. Whilst I understand that this means they do not have to find accommodation in the short term the long term result is that the tenant gets saddled with a lot of unnecessary debt due to legal fees and the landlord will look to avoid taking a council tenant in future. So even when relations are not directly antagonistic they are still not always smooth... Read More

Jim Parsler

9:16 AM, 19th April 2017
About 2 years ago

My Landlord mate just sent me this concerning Councils

In Milton Keynes we were faced with a similar argument when the council wanted to impose Selective Licensing across the whole borough. There was no justification for it apart from strongly held opinions from a few Councillors with strongly held opinions. What finally seemed to get their attention was the following statements:
Selective Licensing under the Housing Act is effectively a final resort to deal with ASB where all other actions have been exhausted. By implementing it the Council is basically stating that their borough has such endemic ASB issues that they have been unable to address with their wide ranging powers.
The impact on this will be to effectively red line the borough in the eyes of many insurers and mortgage providers. There is plenty of evidence of this in areas where SL has been implemented. It was pointed out to the Councillors that this will not only affect the landlord community but also anyone else in the borough seeking home insurance or a mortgage. Also it is these increased costs, not just the £x per week for the license that will force a rent increase across the PRS.... Read More

Jim Parsler

13:25 PM, 13th November 2014
About 5 years ago

Milton Keynes Landlords Claim Second Victory Over Licensing Proposals

Chris

The research that ORS did showed that despite the widely held perception that HMOs were the root of all ills when it came to ASB, that the reality was rather different. This along with the fact that the authority has quite a lot of power under statutory instruments available to them already to deal with littering, noise etc. meant that they could not pass the test to introduce licensing under the Housing Act s56 /57. As such if they none the less put licensing in they would potentially be open to a legal challenge for acting unlawfully.

At the meeting we also pointed out to the council the potential unforeseen circumstances of implementing licensing in terms of increased insurance premiums and reduced house values for all constituents in the borough as has been seen in other towns where licensing has been introduced... Read More

Jim Parsler

13:27 PM, 2nd October 2014
About 5 years ago

Licensing Consultation in Southwark

Many councils have looked to licensing and seem to think that it is a panacea for all ills in their area. What seems to be overlooked is the often unforeseen impact that licensing has had in other areas. The implmentation of a licensing scheme sends a message to the world in genreal that the area has material problems that cannot been dealt with by existing legislative tools that the council has available. When this status becomes known to the varous banks and insurers the area gets flagged as higher risk, as a consequence insurance premiums go up for everyone not just the landlords, also mortgage lending tends to be restricted and so also goes up in price, as the area becomes "redlined".

Our initial foray into investment property was when we bought my mother in laws flat that she inherited when her mum died. This was in Cliftonville in Thanet and whilst a generic 2 bed it was close to a nice beach and the shops and therefore had fairly good rental propspects. The area was also undergoing some uplift as investors were buying properties there and there was also development funding going into nearby Margate. However Cliftonville fell into the selective licensing area and since then the only tenants we have been able to get are unemployed rather than working, the value of the property has dropped about 20%, and the area has started to stagnate. So the impact of the licensing is almost the exact opposite of what it was hoping to achieve rather than uplift the area it has had a rather negative impact.

What is needed in most cases is the correct enforcement of existing powers by councils rather than licensing, the funds from which cannot be used to fund additional enforcement officers as many councils mistakenly believe. You should also engage with the landlords in the area to get them on side, as mostly you will find tha tthey also want to let to well mannered and respectful tenants.... Read More

Jim Parsler

16:18 PM, 24th January 2014
About 5 years ago

Why are local authorities Paying Housing Benefit directly to tenants?

When we first started with LHA tenants we had similar issues, but it is important to have a clause in the AST stating that the tenant allows you to talk to the council about their claim. You may also have to complete the council's own form as well but this at least means that they are obliged to speak to you. if you cannot get direct payment it is important at the time of the first missed payment to call the council to confirm that payment was indeed made, if payment was made ask for the claim to be suspended immediately until the tenant goes in to explain why they did not use their LHA to pay their rent. The council will NOT treat this as fraud, so tell them that if they continue to make payments to the tenant they will be compounding the existing breach of contract. Councils will not double pay for the same period so by suspending the claim you should only lose 2 weeks of LHA, and if you are willing to sit out the next 6 weeks you can then get a direct payment made.

More recently our local council realising that fewer landlords will deal with LHA have been willing to agree to direct payment as a condition of tenancy up front provided that the rental is in line with LHA, ie do not expect to get a top up. We will also only accept a LHA tenant with a guaarantor who has to pass a credit check. You can get these done through the NLA for £25 and we charge the tenant this as an admin fee, so if they mess you about you are not out of pocket.

At the other end of the tenancy, if the tenat bunks off without giving due notice and the council tries to claim back the LHA overpayment from you because it is the easy option, then you do have to get a bit anal retentive. Failure to give due notice is a breach of contract and also against the housing act, and so a breach of statute. Also the councils own benefit regulations state that the overpayment should be recovered from the party that should have notified the council, which is always the tenant. If you quote this last one at them then tend to go away, though I have never hear of them actually trying to recover the money from the tenant.

We found out that our local council will not even record a bad debt on one of their own tenants unless it is in excess of £2.5k, so my advice is to always get a guarantor even if it means a couple of extra weeks void. Each time we relaxed our selection criteria we have been screwed over.... Read More