Terry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Cambridge and Peterborough
I have been trading in lettings since 1999 with our offices in Cambridge and Peterborough managing just over 1000 properties.
The offices have 16 trained and qualified staff, are ARLA licensed with fully audited and bonded client accounts. We are members of Safe Agent, NALS and The Property Ombudsman.
I sit on various council housing steering groups representing the PRS (most recently housing strategy 2011-2014 – next expected to be consultation over selective licensing and article 4 directions). I developed the property accreditation standards for University Centre Peterborough and also the Chair of the Peterborough National Landlord Association (NLA) branch (voluntary role) introducing NLA accreditation for landlords in Peterborough February 2013.
Continue reading Terry Lucking of Belvoir Lettings Cambridge and Peterborough
Further to my rant about HMO Licensing Fees on 16th October one of my readers decided to submit a Freedom of Information request to Oxford Council based on the questions I raised and has forwarded the response to me.
As you may be aware, Oxford were one of the first Councils to implement both Article 4 planning and Selective Licensing. They now require all landlords to pay a fee to licence each property they own which is let to three or more tenants.
The response to the Freedom of Information Request from Oxford Council makes very interesting reading and I’ve copied it below for you. The questions are written in this colour, the Councils answers are written in this colour and my analysis (or should I say continued rant) is written in this colour – not that I’m seeing red or anything !!! Continue reading HMO Licensing Fees – Oxford Council Humiliated
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
A council hit-team is readying to prosecute rogue landlords who have dodged signing up to a selective licensing scheme.
The team is tracking down a group of landlords in Sunderland who have ignored calls to license their buy to let and HMO properties in the city.
Investigators are planning to interview them under caution with a view of sending them to court if they still fail to join the scheme. Continue reading Council hit-team takes on hardcore rogue landlords
In the last year it has become very clear that many Local Authorities are looking very carefully at Private Sector Landlords and the various aspects of licensing.
Some Councils have considered Selective Licensing, a discretionary scheme that allows local authorities to introduce licensing for all privately rented properties, with a charge, in a given area. Others have examined Additional Licensing, which is basically extending Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licensing to smaller properties. Continue reading HMO licence fees up 650 percent
I am writing this after reading an article with the opening line “A Labour MP says that every MP he knows “is desperate for help in dealing with rogue landlords”.”
Here is a radical idea – penalise local authorities who do not use their legal powers to enforce the law!
This is what happens to good landlords: Continue reading Here’s a radical idea – Stop Shooting Fish in a Barrel
A landlord was fined £4,000 for failing to carry out fire safety work at a rental property after a tenant had to flee to safety from a blaze.
Islington Council had already served Nadia Boujema an improvement notice ordering the fitting of fire detection equipment at the home near The Angel, North London. Continue reading Landlord Fined £4,000 after Tenant Flees Buy to Let Blaze
Planning and licensing rules for shared houses could be an expensive trap for landlords as some councils take on new powers.
Property investors can face fines of up to £50,000 for making mistakes – and the rules vary depending on where the letting property is located.
Three sets of rules apply to small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), which are homes shared by between three and five tenants.
The problem is not all the rules apply nationwide – and in some cities, they only apply to certain streets or neighbourhoods. Continue reading HMO Confusion Could Costs Landlords Fines of £50,000
An article in the Telegraph last week really offended my sense of justice. I am well aware that only landlords can really understand our business but “well informed” people seem to have very short memories. I want to remind them about some recent history of why housing is now costing the public purse so much more, while I don’t hope to convince our critics that the PRS is a solution, rather than a problem, I will fight our corner with the facts. I hope that other landlords will be inspired to bring some balance to the discussion too. Continue reading I Will Not Say Sorry for Being a Good Landlord
My last article on Property 118 brought forth a host of questions from landlords wondering whether their property was in or out of the HMO grip.
I got questions saying “Help! is my house an HMO?” and comments that they weren’t getting any sense or consistency out of their Environmental Health Officers. This seemed to beg an article clarifying things once and for all in a user’s guide format that would help real people in real situations.
As well as being a working Tenancy Relations Officer I have been, since 1998, a freelance trainer of housing law for the Chartered Institute of Housing, Sitra, Shelter etc and I long ago learnt that my job in many ways was really more of a translator than an educator. Continue reading The HMO Debate – an admission of defeat.