Tag Archives: Newham

Enforcement not legislation – PRS Hit Squads Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

There is already more than enough funding and legislation to police the Private Rented Sector.

The last thing we need is more legislation, what everybody wants is enforcement and word on the street is that we could begin to see it before the end of 2013. Ben-Reeve-Lewis

PRS Hit Squads

The authorities all know who the real criminals are and the only reason the criminals are still in business is because those holding power don’t combine resources, in fact they rarely talk to each other. Until now they have all run scared of “data sharing protocols” but when that’s put to one side expect to see some very big cases of criminal landlords being taken to task.

I have heard that PRS Hit Squads will target known criminal landlords between now and Christmas and are supported “in principle” by the likes of Mark Prisk, Boris Johnson and others who openly admit to not being fans of the licensing model being operated in Newham. I’ve also heard that six figure funding for a trial has been agreed at ministerial level.

These “PRS Hit Squads” as I’ve labelled them will comprise of:-

  • Environmental heath
  • HMO licensing
  • Planning
  • Anti social behaviour teams
  • EDF revenue
  • Building contol
  • UKBA
  • Police

The plan is that they will share intelligence and converge on criminal landlords in a military style operation, focussing on the worst operators first of course. With their combined resources the criminals will not stand a chance. It will be like a man with a pea shooter trying to fend off the SAS ūüôā

Beware the Spin Doctors!

My hope is that the PR outcome of the PRS Hit Squad successes will be positive and support the need for the model to be extended nationally. It is a very low cost model and the results should save the tax payer money as well as improving peoples lives (unless you are one of the targeted criminals of course!). The last thing the PRS needs is for the successes to be used as justification for more regulation. The spin doctors will see this as an opportunity to justify schemes such as Newham but this must not be allowed to happen.

Landlords can be victims too

Landlords are also the victims of criminals and I have seen some very sad examples of that. A recent case in the Fens involved a landlord who let his former home to a Gang-master. Unbeknown to him the unregulated Gang-master then allowed 20 immigrant farm workers to live in the property, all sleeping on mattresses on the floor. When the landlord found out he obviously wanted them out ASAP, as did the neighbours of pretty culdesac in which the landlords 4 bad detached property was located but the law stood in the way. Had the landlord been able to go to the authorities, secure in the knowledge they would fight for him, it would have been a Godsend to him. Instead, the authorities are threatening the landlord and not the Gangmaster! Clearly common sense isn’t that common.

Let’s hope the PRS Hit Squads are successful in taking down criminals and then lend a much needed helping hand to landlords who are also targeted by criminals. If common sense prevails we might just see more action and less talk. When all is said and done, more is said than done, but fingers crossed let’s hope that not the case here.

The Highland Fling

Earlier this year the Scottish Association of Landlords reported that landlord registration in Scotland has cost landlords¬†¬£11.2 million in fees while the start-up Scottish Government grant for the scheme was ¬£5.2 million.¬†According to the results, since 2006 there have only been 40 rogue landlords identified as operating in Scotland, that’s the number of rejected applications. The cost equates to ¬£400,000 per rogue identified!

Summary

The schemes in Newham and its copycats also show signs of being similar “White Elephants”, therefore I’m pinning my hopes on the PRS Hit Squads taking down as many criminals as possible, proving once and for all that it’s more enforcement not legislation we need.¬†Enforcement not legislation - PRS Hit Squads


Newham Council new Landlord Licensing – advice needed Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Newham Council new Landlord Licensing - advice neededIf anyone is a current landlord in the borough of Newham please can you share your experience of council expectations of standard let properties?

I have reviewed their guide, however, today a letting agent commented that a buy to let property I was considering was very, very small and wouldn’t pass the council’s requirements.

I was surprised as the house was not small!

I checked the minimum square metre requirements for the bedrooms, kitchen and living/lounge/reception which seem to be pretty reasonable, i.e. not exceptionally large, e.g. 1 adult occupant in a bedroom, size must be minimum of 6.5 square metres.

Given the comment from the letting agent, I am now wondering if there is more to the story that is not being outlined/highlighted in the documentation that the council provide?

There is also a massive 30,000 application backlog in their system at the moment!

From what I have read, it appears at first pass that a landlord can’t legally let tenants move in until the license has been granted for new properties. The advice at the moment is that it takes 8 weeks to process the application (not sure if that takes current backlog into consideration), which is two months of mortgage payments without income from the property.

Is my understanding correct?

Has anyone bought and tried to license a property in Newham in 2013?

Any advice, warnings or tips you can offer will be appreciated.

Cheers

Sondra


Homelessness suitability order and PRS landlords by Ben Reeve-Lewis Guest Articles, Guest Columns, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, Property118 News

A bombshell was dropped recently. Admittedly an expected Bombshell, but it took all us people working in the public sector by surprise in the speed of introducing the Homelessness Suitability Order, having hung around in the wings for over a year.

Since the advent of the Housing Act 1996 councils have been able to make offers of private rented accommodation to homeless applicants as a discharge of duty but the offer was always a voluntary take-up, called the ‚ÄúQualifying Offer‚ÄĚ. The new suitability order abolishes the qualifying offer, so, in short, a council can prevent homelessness by offering someone walking through the door, a 12 month AST. Continue reading Homelessness suitability order and PRS landlords by Ben Reeve-Lewis


Spotlight on Peter Lewis of Devon Landlords Association Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, PRS Centres of Influence

Peter Lewis

Peter Lewis of Devon Landlords Association

Peter Lewis of Devon Landlords Association  and his wife have been landlords for about fifteen years as a result of a daughter going to University and deciding to become a landlord rather than paying one.

Peter’s career is quite eclectic, but always associated with education in one form or another. He taught in the south of England and then joined Army in the RAEC for twenty years where he served with a variety of organisations including the Canadian forces as a training advisor. Peter returned to teaching and finished his career at a prison in Devon responsible for outreach education. He is now a company director of his own property business as well as SURVIVA, which specialises in ultra-light-weight heat reflective clothing for a variety of outdoor activities and emergency situations. Continue reading Spotlight on Peter Lewis of Devon Landlords Association


Some say Buy to Let is NOT Regulated – WRONG! Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Buy to Let IS RegulatedHave you ever heard people say that buy to let is NOT regulated?

Well I think they are wrong, VERY wrong, and in this article I will explain why.

Before I start my list though, I should mention the laws affecting us are imposed by a multitude of different organisations which can impose their authority.  Continue reading Some say Buy to Let is NOT Regulated РWRONG!


Private Rented Sector Licencing Debate Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Richard Cubitt, a reader of Property118 has submitted the following summary of Private Rented Sector Licencing. In an email to the Editor or Property118 Richard said “All of this information¬†is all in the public domain but I think that the wider implications are worth bringing to general attention. Thin edge of the wedge!! The application form is something else. 11 pages of detailed information.” Continue reading Private Rented Sector Licencing Debate


Landlord licencing scheme boundaries released by Newham Council Buy to Let News, HMO's & Student Lets, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News

Details of the highly controversial Landlord Licencing Scheme boundaries have been released by Newham Council. As of January 2013 it seems likely that landlords within the catchment area could have to pay landlord licencing scheme fees of as much as £500 a year for each property they wish to let or risk fines of up to £20,000. Do not be fooled into thinking this only affects landlords with property in Newham. If this scheme is deemed to be a success how long do you think it will be until it is rolled out Nationally? Continue reading Landlord licencing scheme boundaries released by Newham Council


HMO outrage for landlords & tenants – this time it’s Council Tax! Buy to Let News, HMO's & Student Lets, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News, Property118 News

We have received an anonymous tip off that could cause yet another HMO outrage and could be a disaster for both landlords and tenant groups if the rumours are indeed true and are implemented.

Allegedly, Torbay Council collated data of all HMOs in their area two weeks ago and are intending to charge Council Tax based on each room being a Band A property (¬£996.55 a year currently). By way of comparison, a six bed HMO now in Band E would incur a council Tax bill of ¬£1827.01 per annum. The new plans will¬†yield¬†¬£5,979.30 a year. That’s a whopping 227% increase!

Continue reading HMO outrage for landlords & tenants – this time it’s Council Tax!


HMO landlord fined £5,500 for letting filthy home Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Maintenance, Property News

The landlord of a filthy and overcrowded shared house was fined £5,500 after admitting 23 licensing and management offences to magistrates.

Jan Assakzai 42, of Friars Road, East Ham, London, picked up the fine at Thames Magistrates Court and was also ordered to pay £300 legal costs and a £15 victim surcharge. Continue reading HMO landlord fined £5,500 for letting filthy home


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