Tag Archives: Letting property

The Devil is in the Detail Buy to Let News, Guest Columns, HMO's & Student Lets, Lettings & Management, Tenant Eviction

The Localism Act 2011 is another heavy piece of legislation and you might be forgiven for missing a very important detail. It has been overlooked in several articles that I have read this week, but the courts will not forgive you so you’d better read on.

In the Housing Act 2004 it became unlawful to take a deposit from a tenant and not “protect” it through one of the 3 schemes that have Government contracts. The Housing Act 2004 included Tenants Deposit Protection (TDP) because it was perceived that landlords were not treating tenants fairly when it came to stoppages at the end of the tenancy and therefore the tenant needed to be given the opportunity to have independent arbitration in the case of a dispute. The arbitration must be paid for and the landlord was given two options. Continue reading The Devil is in the Detail

Avoiding the Void Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Sales & Sourcing, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Void periods are an occupational hazard of letting property and something that the vast majority of landlords will experience at some point. The key to a successful void is to keep it as short as possible. Currently there is an environment of strong rental demand but this does not mean that landlords should be complacent. There are various ways for you to minimise the dreaded void period and I will illustrate this by going through a typical lifecycle of a tenancy.
Continue reading Avoiding the Void

Landlord Forced Tenants to Share Cramped Rooms Cautionary Tales, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Market News

Landlord Pavlos Chatzinopoulos was fined £2,515 for making tenants share with cramped rooms with tenants they did not know.

Swindon Council swooped on the property after a female renter tipped them off about the state of the house in multiple occupation when a man moved in to her room with her. Continue reading Landlord Forced Tenants to Share Cramped Rooms

Fraudster Letting Agent Faces More Time in Jail Cautionary Tales, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Market News

A jailed letting agent who stole cash from landlords to fund his ailing business risks another 15 months in prison if he fails to pay his victims £44,000 compensation in the next 12 weeks.

Stephen Greenwood, 55, was sent to prison for 12 months in February after admitting four fraud charges at Warwick Crown Court.

He was arrested after his firm, Greenwood Homes, based in Rugby, Warwickshire, collapsed in November 2009 owing £382,000.

Greenwood had asked the court to consider 59 more fraud offences and admitted stealing £69,518 from landlords to finance his business. Continue reading Fraudster Letting Agent Faces More Time in Jail

Spoil-sport Councils Threaten Landlords with Olympic Fines Buy to Let News, HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

Tower bridge and City Hall, London

"London Councils to get tough on Olympics"

Landlords and homeowners hoping to cash in on the London Olympics by renting to sports fans could be breaking the law and face fines of up to £20,000.

While landlords in some neighbourhoods can take in guests on short-term lets, those in adjoining areas can only watch in envy as the capital’s 33 councils apply letting rules differently.

Some councils have announced they will police lettings to make sure no-one breaks the rules, while others are turning a blind eye to landlords who may break the law.

Westminster is leading the crack down on homeowners and landlords by enforcing a strict rule that requires property owners to get planning permission for any lettings shorter than 90 days – and permission is rarely granted.

The penalty is a fine of up to £20,000 and a criminal record on conviction.

Westminster Council told BBC London that the action would keep the rental market for longer term residents and short lets often result in complaints about noise and nuisance, especially in the more prestigious mansion blocks.

Rosemarie MacQueen, Westminster Council’s head of city planning development and design, said: “In Westminster, we have a population of 250,000 and that has to grow with targets from the mayor and ourselves.

“If we have short term lets, we’ll never increase our long term residential population. Secondly, residents who live in blocks of flats with short term lets actually feel their quality of life has gone down.

“There’s a fear of crime, they don’t know the faces of the people who are coming in and a lot of short term residents don’t treat the place like home. They leave litter in the corridors, come and go and have parties.”

Letting agents have approached many homeowners and landlords in London with huge financial incentives to rent their properties to visitors to the Olympics next summer.

Some properties can fetch rents of up to £20,000 in the four weeks of the games.

The New Kids on the Block Don't Shoot The Messenger, Guest Articles, Guest Columns

What do you think of the way councils operate in relation to housing in your area? Do you think they are on the ball? – Helpful? – Proactive? – A blessing or a curse?

Not only can I guess your response but also the look on your face as you read those words.

But soft………what is that delicate fragrance I can smell wafting in on the chill breeze of the current housing crisis? The aroma of the Social Letting Agency. This may not only change your attitudes to your local council but also the way that you do your business. Continue reading The New Kids on the Block

Letting Agent Disputes at a 20 year High, say AIIC Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Market News

Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) logo

"AIIC have offered advice to reduce the risk of disputes"

After receiving the highest number of complaints against letting agents for 20 years, the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks have issued advice for landlords, tenants and letting agents to combat problems.

The AIIC say letting agents are often stuck in the middle of tenant and landlord disputes, but admit a tenant’s life could be made easier. Poorly maintained houses as well as contracts with unfair clauses often lead to disputes, for example. Poor communication and lack of inventory also create problems.

Pat Barber, Chair of the AIIC, said: “It is vital for landlords and agents to ensure they have ongoing dialogue with tenants and that they get all the paperwork right at the start and at the end of a new tenancy agreement. “

“Aside from ensuring there is a fair contract in place at the start of a tenancy agreement, landlords should have a professional and detailed inventory which will enable both parties to be treated fairly and reasonably. By opening a dialogue and using an independent inventory clerk, disputes can be resolved quicker and without the hassle that is often experienced at the end of a tenancy period.”

SAFEagent closes on 1,000 member mark Latest Articles

SAFEagent logo

SAFEagent are near 1000 members

Around 1,000 letting agents have pledged to offer better protection to landlord and tenant monies by signing up to the SAFEagent scheme.

Letting agents can only join the scheme if the can demonstrate they take special precautions to safeguard client monies.

In return, SAFEagent lets them display the exclusive logo on shop fronts and marketing materials. Continue reading SAFEagent closes on 1,000 member mark

Gamekeeper turned poacher helps landlords in deposit protection disputes Cautionary Tales, Guest Articles, Latest Articles

Tenant Deposit ProblemsHelp is at hand for landlords struggling to claim money through the deposit protection schemes. A deposit protection adjudicator has set up an online service to help landlords avoid the common pitfalls and successfully claim the money they are owed. Continue reading Gamekeeper turned poacher helps landlords in deposit protection disputes

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