Tag Archives: landlords associations

Lights! Camera! Landlord Associations! Guest Articles, Landlord News, Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Nick Tadd and Vanessa warwick of the Property Tribes Forum

Before we became full-time landlords, Nick and I worked in the TV industry … Nick as a cameraman, and myself as a Presenter/Producer/Director.

When we founded Property Tribes in 2009, it seemed good sense to call on our TV production skills to produce video content for landlords.

Our YouTube channel now has over 120 videos on it, and we have over 100 hours of video viewed per month!

We have recently interviewed several landlord associations, so I thought I would compile them here as landlord associations are a great resource and support network for the smaller landlord.

Residential Landlords Association

National Landlords Association

Southern Landlords Association

A bit different to directing Motorhead’s 25th Anniversary Concert at Brixton Academy or interviewing Marilyn Manson …. !!

EDITORS NOTE – just for a bit of fun at Vanessa’s expense 🙂


National Landlords Association Issues IMPORTANT Message to Landlords Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

On 14th June 2013 Lord Justice Lloyd delivered his judgement on an appeal from the Wandsworth County Court in the case of Superstrike Ltd vs Marino Rodrigues. Since its publication there has been a lot of discussion on the online property forums and at local NLA meetings about the potential impact that this judgement may have on landlords.

Unfortunately, much of this commentary has not fully understood the facts of the case or the way in which a judge constructs an appeal judgement. There is a distinct need for calm and greater clarity about this case. To this end, the NLA has been in discussion with legal professionals and the officials responsible for tenancy deposit protection (TDP) legislation within the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

It is important to understand that appeal judges only consider the case presented to them, not a similar set of circumstances, or a variation on a theme. The precedent they set is therefore only applicable to cases subject to the same set of circumstances. This fact is crucial in this instance as the case of Superstrike Ltd vs Rodrigues is not representative of all landlords or private tenancies.

The specifics are as follows:

  • The tenancy (an AST) began in January 2007, before the 6 April introduction of TDP
  • The tenancy persisted, on a statutory period basis, without renewal or changes from January 2008
  • No deposit was ever protected in relation to this tenancy, as it was received prior to this becoming a requirement
  • A Section 21 notice was served in June 2011 to end the periodic tenancy

The Judgement concludes:

  • That a statutory periodic tenancy is a new and distinct tenancy, not a continuation of the tenant’s previous status.
  • The legal position was that the deposit held by the landlord at the end of the fixed term was deemed to have been received in relation to the periodic tenancy in January 2008
  • As it was received in January 2008, after the introduction of TDP, it should have been protected.
  • As the landlord did not comply with Section 213 of the Housing Act 2004, they did not have the right to serve a Section 21. This rules the Section 21 invalid.

What it DOES NOT conclude:

  • The ruling does not apply to any deposits taken after 6 April 2007. i.e. it does not introduce a requirement to re-protect deposits held lawfully in accordance with a TDP scheme’s rules when a tenancy becomes periodic. 
  • The ruling does not look into financial sanctions; this case only focused on whether the landlord’s Section 21 notice was valid.
  • The ruling does not look into the need to provide prescribed information .

What does all of this mean?

  • If you have any tenancies which began pre-6 April 2007 and became periodic after 6 April 2007, for which you hold a deposit which was not protected, you may not be able to issue a Section 21 notice.
  • If you do not have any tenancies which match this description, this judgement should have no impact on you whatsoever. Depending on the TDP scheme used, you may receive correspondence in the near future asking you to confirm the status of tenancies for which the fixed term has ended but a request to unprotect the deposit has not been received.
  • Likewise, in the future you may be asked to let the scheme provider know when tenancies become periodic.

If I have pre-2007 tenancies like this, what should I do?

There is no simple answer to that question. Due to the nature of appeals, only the exact circumstances of the particular case in question are examined. The two ways to mitigate the risk of being caught out by this precedent are:

(1)    Return the deposit. This should remove the risk of a future  Section 21 being deemed invalid and is implied by the judgement. However, Justice Lloyd deliberately reserves judgement on this matter.

(2)    Protect the deposit. Likewise this should show intention to comply with the law and remove the risk. However, given the recent amendment to Section 215 of the Housing Act 2004, this may not be sufficient to avoid sanctions. Only a further legal case could determine this.

There is a third option available to landlords affected, which is not intended to mitigate risk and may not be advisable, but could be a valid course none the less, and that is:

‘wait and see’

It is entirely possible that this case will be taken to the Supreme Court, which could overturn the judgement. The NLA is keen to speak to the landlord in this case and is seeking legal advice to determine what options may be available to challenge the decision.

Furthermore, we are keen to impress upon ministers at DCLG that it has a responsibility to regain control over this legislation and should act swiftly to amend the Housing Act 2004 to remove this uncertainty – in the same way it did in 2011 following the Tiensia case.

We will provide regular updates on this matter as soon as more information is available.

EDITORS NOTES

To join is the discussion about this case please CLICK HERE

NLA logo


Birmingham City Council – “We support good landlords” Latest Articles, The GOOD Landlords Campaign, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Birmingham City Council - “We support good landlords”Birmingham City Council have sent a strong message to landlords who let in the city – “We support good landlords”

Senior officers of the city council have been in discussions with the West Midlands Regional Representative  of the National Landlords Association (NLA)  since 2011 when HMO licences were about to come up for renewal but it was not until the NLA proposed a radical new approach to the fee structure that progress was made. Continue reading Birmingham City Council – “We support good landlords”


R.I.P. Geoffrey Cutting – former NLA President Buy to Let News, Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association, Property News

Geoffrey Cutting - former NLA PresidentR.I.P. Geoffrey Cutting, President of the National Landlords Association.

Property118 readers and landlords throughout the UK will be devastated to hear that Geoffrey Cutting, the NLA president passed away yesterday (13 June 2013) aged 88. He is survived by his wife Barbro, two of his four children and three grandchildren.

Geoffrey Cutting was a modest and pragmatic man, driven by a belief in justice and a desire to give voice to those who might otherwise go unheard. It was this drive which saw him dedicate his working life to a number of professional trade associations.

Geoff’s professional life was distinguished by 28 successful years as director of the Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association (now the Building and Engineering Services Association). His long service and dedication was recognised in 1969 when he was created MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to the industry; an award for which he was rightly proud, although modesty prevented him from using the designation in other areas of his life.

Too active a man to settle quietly into his well-earned retirement in 1989, he focussed his attention on the housing industry in later life, within which he left an indelible mark.

Initially as Press Officer, before serving as Chairman from 1983 to 2001, Geoff brought a wealth of professional experience to the National Landlords Association (formerly Small Landlords Association) helping to drive its development and more importantly elevating the status of private-renting. As Chairman he became the driving force behind numerous campaigns, but will be forever remembered as the focal point of the movement for Rent Act reform throughout the 1980s. By providing a voice for property investment and private landlords Geoff helped create the modern private-rented sector, for which he is owed a great debt.

A keen believer in collective action and association, Geoff founded a number of trade bodies, including the National Federation of Residential Landlords and the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors.

After nearly 30 years of association with the NLA, he retired from the Board on his 83rd birthday assuming the office of President and advisor to the organisation.

Geoff will be remembered fondly by those who had the opportunity to know and work alongside him, particularly those who shared in his passions by way of the journals he dictated with such fervour.

Messages of thanks for the commitment to the Private Rented Sector and messages condolence to his friends and family may be posted in the comment section below.


Stephen Fitzgibbon of Fitzgibbon Property Services Brighton and Hove GOOD Landlords Campaign Sponsors

The GOOD Landlords CampaignStephen Fitzgibbon of Fitzgibbon Property Services Brighton and Hove

Building the trust between landlord and tenant.

With over 15 years experience in the lettings market, I am a landlord with a small portfolio of properties in the Brighton & Hove area who views renting as a long term project.

At Fitzgibbon Property Services it’s our aim to work with tenants in a partnership, building mutual trust and operating openly and fairly.

I’m a member of the Residential Landlords Association and fully endorse the Good Landlords Campaign. Fitzgibbon Property Services is not only a landlord but also acts as letting and managing agent for other clients with small local portfolios.

Continue reading Stephen Fitzgibbon of Fitzgibbon Property Services Brighton and Hove


Harry Oatten – Words of Wisdom from a landlord of 50 years Latest Articles

Harry Oatten on Property Tribes TVThank you to Vanessa from Property Tribes TV for allowing me to share these Words of Wisdom from Harry Oatten, a landlord with 50 years experience. This video was recorded at the Welsh Landlords Day on 20th May where the youngest landlord was 21 years of age and the oldest was 80.

I particularly enjoyed Harry’s idea’s to speed up possession and the fact that after 50 years of being a landlord he still belongs to three landlords associations and attends several events in order to continue learning.

Message to Harry Oatten, if you are reading this take note of this promise, if we ever meet up the beers are on me!


Landlords Guide To Health and Safety Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Health and SafetyA Simple Landlords guide to Health and Safety written by Syd Lewis

When I first started renting properties some 20 years ago, to be legal, all you had to do was have a rent book and if you wanted to ensure you could get possession of your property at the end of the tenancy you drew up an AST. It seems these days Landlords are required to perform more and more tasks, which has not only resulted in having to spend additional time managing their properties but also increased cost. In my work as a professional inventory clerk, I often meet new property owners who apart from perhaps having some vague idea that they need a gas safe certificate and an inventory as part of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme know of little else. This article is for them just to give a few pointers in plain English about some other aspects to consider about health and safety when letting a property.

First the stick, penalties and enforcement, if you for whatever reason, fail to comply with any of the statutory regulations for Landlords and rented property you could be fined up to ÂŁ5000 or even receive a custodial sentence. Further, if you need to make a claim on your insurance and you are in breach of the regulations your insurance is likely to be void.

Now the Carrot, in my years as a Landlord one of my great pleasures it to hear my tenants tell others that I am a good Landlord and how they like living at their rented home. Apart from the obvious ego massage, there are other benefits, they stay longer at the property reducing void periods and the hassle of finding, vetting and establishing a new landlord and tenant relationship, they tend to take greater care of the property and are willing to pay a higher market rent the live there.

First and foremost, it is the landlords responsibility the make sure the property they let is habitable, in health and safety terms, adequate heating and ventilation, lighting, proper sanitation and more recently good insulation. It is also important for Landlords to make sure tenants understand their responsibility too. I have found a great aid to this, is not just to tell tenants what to do but also to provide a “tenant’s pack”. This includes a welcome note, important information, e.g. how to turn off the water in an emergency, what they should do if there is a problem with the boiler, how to properly ventilate and look after the property to avoid excessive condensation and the resultant mould, operation manuals for any appliances at the property. As a matter of thoroughness, I also recommend that you have copies of any certificates for the property in the tenants pack even if you are not required by law to do so.

INSULATION

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC):
EPC, is a document that states the energy efficiency of a property in bands such as A.B,C, D, etc. stating its typical energy use for the year and estimated cost. The certificate is valid for 10 years. You are required to provide a copy of an EPC to any new tenant. If it is in your tenants pack, you have fulfilled your duty.

FIRE

Furniture and Furnishing Fire Safety Regulations (FFL):
Since 1997 all upholstered furnishings must be fire resistance and have the appropriate fixed permanent labels attached: Beds (including headboards, bases and mattresses), sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, children’s furniture, garden furniture that can be used in the dwelling, scatter cushions, seat pads, pillows. This is not normally an issue these days as most modern furniture is already labelled. However, should the label come loose or be taken off then you will be in breach of the regulations. A good inventory will list each item that has a FFL and help identify any such items that may have had their label removed or damaged during a tenancy.

Fire Extinguishers and Blankets:
There is no compulsory requirement to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in single occupation tenanted properties (please note there are special regulations for HMOs and converted building over two stories), but again, this may be a wise precaution, at least in the kitchen area. Having made the decision to provide fire extinguishers, the landlord or agent must then arrange for regular servicing – usually on a 12 monthly basis. You will need to keep up to date records and keep a copy in tenants pack.

Smoke Detectors:
Since 1992 it is required that, all smoke alarms are electrical mains supplied and have a battery backup. There are specific requirements as to which type and where they should be place according the buildings structure and layout. It is the landlord’s duty to make sure the correct devices are fitted at the correct location and to ensure that all devices are working properly when a new tenant takes up occupancy. Thereafter, it is the tenant’s responsibility to regularly check the device by looking for the green light, pressing the self-test button to ensure it is working and when necessary change batteries. Cleaning should be carried out by a competent person and manufactures instructions should be followed. The Landlord needs to make sure that the tenant is aware of their duty and it is a good idea to have this in writing and ensure that there is operation and cleaning advice in the tenants pack.

GAS

Gas Safe:
Landlords are required by law to have an annual gas inspection on all internal gas installations, this must be carried out by a registered Gas Safe Engineer who will upon passing the gas appliances as safe, issue a Gas Safe Certificate. You must ensure that you provide a copy of the certificate to your tenant. If it is in your tenants pack, you have fulfilled your duty.

Carbone Monoxide Detectors:
There is no legal requirement for Landlords to fit Co2 alarms. However, it is a good idea to have them, the principles to follow are those used for a smoke detector. They should be fitted 1m from the boiler and manufactures operating instructions put in the tenants pack.

ELECTRICAL

Periodic Electrical Testing:
If a property is a new build then it should have a “Domestic Electrical Installation Periodic Report” which states the electrical system is safe to use, if not then the property is not habitable. All electrical systems deteriorate over time, the Electrical Safety Council recommend that a periodic electrical test be carried out on rented property every 5 years, a suitability qualified electrician must carry this out. You should keep a copy in your tenant’s pack.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT):
There is no direct statutory obligation on Landlords or agents to have PAT checks carried out on the electrical system or appliances. However, under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, there is an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe. Also by having regular tests carried out it is a landlords best defence against negligence and acts as corroborative proof that an electrical item was working/ undamaged at the beginning of a tenancy or during a deposit dispute. A copy of the PAT report should be kept in the tenancy pack.

BIOLOGICAL

Legionnaires Disease:
Legionella are bacteria common in artificial water systems such as storage tanks, pipework, taps and showers. People can catch the disease if they inhale into their lungs tiny water or vapour droplets carrying the bacteria. Different properties will require differing approaches – a new build property with a combi-boiler presents less risk than a Victorian terrace with an old water system. If you think, you may have an issue you can go to HSE website and read their free booklet on risk assessment. Upon having completed your risk assessment, if there is no need for further action simply keep a record that no action is required.

Damp and Mould:
Is usually caused by excessive condensation and in most cases can be attributed to the tenant, but not always. Landlords need to be aware that under Healthy Housing and Safety Risk Scheme 2006, Local Authorities can serve you with an improvement notice and fine you. The best protection against this is to have conducted an assessment for condensation and ensure that the property has adequate heating and ventilation. You should also provide your tenant with appropriate instructions on how to avoid and control condensation.

Pets:
The issue here are fleas and potential new tenant’s allergic reaction to an active protein in the salver of a cat. The simplest, measure I have found is to have agreed with the pet owning tenant that they will pay for a professional clean at the end of the tenancy. It is also important to establish the level and quality of the clean required.

Vermin and insects:
Regardless of who is at fault, if a property becomes infested with insects and or vermin, it is always in the Landlords best interest to get it sorted out quickly and by a professional. You can sort out who pays afterwards; fact is if the tenant refuses to pay, you would need to get it sorted anyway.

About the author of this Post

Sydney Lewis A+ Inventories

Syd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from ÂŁ56.00 to find out more see:-


NLA report void periods on steady decline Landlord News, Latest Articles, NLA - National Landlords Association, Property News

NLA logoAccording to the latest research from the National Landlords Association (NLA), void periods in private-residential property have fallen to their lowest level in over a year, helped by strong and consistent tenant demand.

According to the NLA Landlords’ Panel (824 online interviews), enduring tenancies are on the rise with only 33 per cent of landlords experiencing vacant periods in the last three months, down 13 per cent year on year.

At a regional level, voids are greatest in the North East of England where 54 per cent of landlords have experienced empty periods in the last three months and lowest in London where only 20 per cent of landlords have experienced voids over the same time frame.

Additionally, the average duration of a void has reduced to 60 days from 63 days in quarter three and 69 days earlier in 2012.

And there’s more positive news for landlords and tenants alike with rental arrears at their lowest level since March 2010.

41 per cent of landlords have experienced instances of rental arrears in the last 12 months, down nine per cent year on year and back to levels previously seen in quarter one 2010.

David Salusbury, Chairman of the NLA, says:

“It is in every landlords’ business interest to maintain good, long lasting tenancies and avoid voids. At a time when demand far outstrips supply, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.

“The private-rented sector affords tenants flexibility, so as tenants’ circumstances change, there are occasions when a property might be empty.

“Our results also show that there is no one property market, with voids representing more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher.

“The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time.”


Oven Cleaning is one of the biggest issues in a rented property Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

ovenOven cleaning is one of the biggest issues and this article is to help Landlords present this particular item in their property in its best condition for an inventory inspection and help tenants bring an oven back to its initial clean state when leaving the accommodation.

Let’s put it into perspective, the cleanliness of a property makes up 51% of tenancy deposit disputes and some of which can be attributed to people forgetting or missing an item to be cleaned, another is that differing people have differing ideas of what is clean. Let me give you an idea how we all think the same but differently.

Picture a cat in your head,
How big is it?
What is it doing?
What colour is it?

While we have all just seen a cat in our minds eye, some cats will be small, medium, large. It might be sleeping, sitting, jumping around and any colour you want. Nevertheless, it is still a cat. The same is true for cleaning, someone might have actually worked very hard to clean a property but yet it is not you to your high standard. Maybe they just don’t know how to do the task correctly and yes some are just simply too lazy to do it. It is a rare situation that we know which of these statements is true for a given household and it might be a combination of all of these factors.

There is a continuum for the level of cleanliness form: never been cleaned, attempted but still dirty, cleaned to an average household standard up to what we call in the inventory profession “cleaned to a high domestic standard” and “cleaned to a professional standard” the best of course being a professional clean.

Here is a list of key phrases I use when describing the cleanliness of an oven from best to worst:
1. As New
2. Cleaned to a professional standard
3. Cleaned to a high domestic standard
4. Clean to a domestic standard
5. Partly cleaned
6. Needs finished clean
7. Not clean.

I must add that fortunately, most inspection I do I only have to decide if the cooker/oven has been cleaned to a domestic or professional standard.

If you look at the picture below, this is an oven an oven cleaned to a high standard but its condition is excluded from our discussion on cleaning. This is a worn oven and unless you have prior information, to this picture, it is not possible to say if this is through damage or due to age and fair wear and tear.

 

This oven is clean but through age and use, it is marked and even rusted at the sides.

Then we have the oven that is clean to a high domestic standard that is to say it is grease free but there are still baked on marks.

 

You should also watch out for chemical residue, many of the excellent oven cleaning products on the market leave residue marks on surfaces if you don’t wash off the product fully, which technically means the oven is still partially dirty, need a finish clean.

There are several very good cleaning products on the market. But there is one that I prefer to use it gets the job done and is fairly easy to use and normally takes a clean to domestic standard to a professional clean level. It is a strong chemical so you have to be careful and follow the manufactures instructions it is “Oven Pride”. Please note that I don’t have shares in the company and I am not getting any benefit for mentioning this product my motivation for mentioning it is to   help anyone who reads this article in particular Landlords and Tenants.

About the author of this Post

Sydney Lewis A+ Inventories

Syd Lewis has been a private landlord for over 20 years, he is an accredited member of the National Landlords Association (NLA), Residential Landlords Association (RLA), Sponsor of the Good Landlords Campaign, a full member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers (APIP) and a Certified Electrical Portable Appliance Tester (NIPIT). He is passionate about what he does which is providing residential inventory services, PAT testing and marketing floor plans for Agents, Landlords and Tenants. Inventories start from ÂŁ56.00 to find out more see:-


Are Private Landlords Soft Targets? Guest Articles, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Are Private Landlords Soft Targets?In this time of austerity, we must all put our shoulder to the wheel, do our bit, and pay our fair share. However, over the last few years with all the new requirements for Landlords and the resulting costs and additional work and some of the more recent developments, I wonder if Landlords are seen as soft targets for income generation?

It is well publicised that in addition to Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) certain Local Authorities (LA) are now requiring private landlords to be licensed before they can rent their property for which they are charge a fee. To add to this Lewisham Council, for example, intends to not only fine any property owners found to be committing an offence under the Housing Health and Safety Regulation System but also charged an administration fee for doing so. The LA sees both of these situations as a new source of revenue. Continue reading Are Private Landlords Soft Targets?


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