Housing minister Grant Shapps has accused Newham Council, East London, of ‘playing politics with peoples’ lives’ over a radical plan to shunt homeless families out of the capital because benefit caps do not allow them to move in to local buy to let properties.
The council has a housing waiting list of 32,000 people and claims cuts to housing benefits mean tenants can claim a monthly allowance of between £250 for a one-bedroom flat and £400 for a four-bedroom property. Continue reading Newham council wants to traffic tenants out of London
Tenants on housing benefits are struggling to rent buy to let homes as landlords withdraw from the market.
The market is set to deteriorate further over the next three years as huge numbers of landlords say they will stop letting to tenants on benefits. Continue reading Landlords drop housing benefit tenants as cuts bite
As has been outlined in previous communications, the deposit rules change from 6 April 2012. The most important change is that from that date where a deposit is taken, it must be protected in one of the three Government approved schemes, and the Prescribed Information provided within 30 DAYS. This is an absolute time limit, and failure will mean that no Section 21 Notice can be served. We have heard that there are some unscrupulous agents that have been advising that the legislation is retrospective, and offering, at a fee to help landlords. This is not the case. If anyone comes across such tactics, please advise the office. Landlords need not worry, but please be very much aware of the new rules. Continue reading Eastern Landlords Association April 2012 NEWSLETTER
*Property118 is not in any way aligned with Kazuri nor Farah Damji, but we believe questions should be raised about the funding being poured into Shelter and Crisis to work with private landlords when they have done and continue to do so much to damage the reputation of the Private Rented Sector. We believe this matter is of interest to all landlords and we thought it was worth bringing to your attention the actions which Ms. Damji is taking to block this allocation of public funds.*
*A response from Crisis to the content of this open letter has been published in full in the comments below.*
Dear Mr Shapps,
I write in dismay about the additional funding being given to charities such as Crisis and Shelter next month to “help end homelessness” in the private rented sector (PRS). This is referred hereto on the Crisis PRS website:
The Crisis PRS Access Development Programme funds new community based services that help single homeless people find and sustain good quality accommodation in the private rented sector (PRS). It builds on Crisis’ history and expertise in PRS solutions to homelessness and represents an investment of over £10m of DCLG funding over a three year period. Continue reading Open Letter to Grant Shapps from Farah Damji
On the 12th January, Councillor Jeremy Moulton set out the Southampton perspective in relation to Article 4 Directions taking away permitted development rights to change the use of single dwellings to small HMOs such as shared houses. The Residential Landlords Association, of which I am the Policy Director, has campaigned vigorously against the use of Article 4 Directions in this way and has called for a return to the old definition of a Class C3 dwelling which includes shared houses such as those occupied by groups of students, young professionals etc. Over 30 authorities have now made such directions, including Southampton City Council. Where these directions are in force a property owner has to apply for planning permission because they can no longer rely on permitted development rights. Often this will be refused. In our view 19 of these directions, including that made by Southampton, are far too wide and contravene Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Guidelines. Continue reading Article 4 Directions – Different Perspective
LHA Top Tips for landlords. Article 2 in a series of 8
Inform yourself. If you don’t know all the rules about being a landlord for Local Housing Allowance tenants, at the very least be sure you know where to look when you need information fast. Continue reading Vital Contacts for LHA Landlords
-By Guest Columnist John Paul- Part 1 of an 8 part series
Welcome to the first in a series of eight articles giving you top tips for renting your property to tenants in receipt of Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
I have personally built a successful portfolio by letting to LHA Tenants and the profits and cash flow exceed those I could have achieved with working tenants. In some areas rents are as much as 30% higher than market rents in the private rented sector. I think you’ll agree that’s a premium that makes some additional administration worth the effort. Continue reading Introducing The LHA Expert for Landlords – @TheLHAexpert
Three cheers for competition. A few weeks ago TDS, The Dispute Service, announced Deposit Guard, which at launch undercut the costs charged by My Deposits, and made a push for self-managing landlords, rather than agents. My Deposits have retaliated, by reducing their fees for agents, but not landlords. This may follow, and we shall keep members informed. The third, custodial scheme, used by many, as a free scheme is not affected.
Continue reading Eastern Landlords Association MARCH 2012 NEWSLETTER
The National Landlords Association announced Friday – “We have just learned from the Department for Work and Pensions that LHA rates are to be frozen from April this year.”
If you are thinking “Thank goodness my tenants are not on benefits” don’t stop reading because one P45 can change all of that. I didn’t take tenants on benefits but I now have two tenants on LHA because of unavoidable changes in their circumstances. This means no rent increases for at least another year and that is on top of reductions due to recent changes in LHA.
Continue reading Rents to be frozen from April 2012
I’ve just come off the phone to our local housing benefit “help” line, scraped myself off the ceiling and stopped terrifying the handyman (who is putting up shelves) with my expletives. Based on previous experience, I don’t know why I thought this call could ever be a productive use of time. Continue reading The Pointless Housing Benefit Helpline