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Landlord Law Newsround #283 » The Landlord Law Blog

Welcome to our weekly Newsround, where this week we have a new rent guide out and the long awaited budget.

But was there much in there for landlords? We take a look.

Budget squeezes out Landlords & housing

It was a budget to give economic growth, or was it? The consensus is that the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has

  • completely overlooked the housing sector with no mention or support for first-time buyers,
  • no help for buy-to-let landlords to help the declining PRS sector and
  • no solutions for the increasing lack of rented housing with added security.

It fact, it still looks quite grim for landlords. You can read the reactions from some industry leaders here, but here are some comments:-

Ben Woolman, Director for Woolbro Group said

The bewildering absence of support for first-time buyers and the property sector is a catastrophic misstep for the Tories which could cost them in the next general election.

Chris Norris, policy director for the NRLA said

The Chancellor spoke of growth yet did nothing to introduce the pro-growth measures that are necessary if the private rented sector’s supply crisis is to be addressed.

The current system, under which landlords are penalised for providing new homes to rent, only makes it tougher for many renters to access good quality rental properties. Without a comprehensive review of how the sector is taxed, supply and demand issues will only become more acute as time goes on.

The Budget also does nothing for those who are in receipt of housing benefit payments, who will continue to face an unjust freeze on the support they need.

Some have said that the bewildering lack of support in the budget for this industry could cost this government dearly with an election coming up.

New ‘How to Rent’ guide out today

It has been over two years since the last update of the ‘How to Rent’ guide was issued by the government, and a new guide is out today.

Landlords must serve this new guide with all new tenancies and at renewals, too, as it is part of the prescribed information that all landlords must issue.  Failure to do so will impact their right to repossess under the Section 21 notice.

NRLA has said that the guide now reflects recent legal changes for the use of carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in every room with a fixed fuel appliance, along with providing the tenant with a copy of the electrical certificate.

It further gives information on smart meters and a guide on ensuring a property is suitable for a disability.

The guide is available for free on the website here.

Open-ended tenancies for students won’t work

The NRLA continue to lobby the government over the proposed open-ended tenancies and how they will not work within the student letting industry.

In a letter signed by the NRLA and education groups, they are stating that open-ended tenancies will seriously affect students entering into higher education and make finding accommodation a lot harder at the beginning of each academic year, unless previous students have handed in their notice to leave.

Many UK universities and the British Property Federation have signed the letter warning that without having fixed tenancies in place, the availability for student housing will be severely reduced. They warn

A shortage of this accommodation has already led some academic institutions to call for a limit to be placed on student intakes for as long as the next five years. The proposed introduction of open-ended tenancies and inevitable reduction in housing supply is therefore likely to further constrain the expansion of the education sector, to the detriment of prospective students and wider society.

They are calling on the government to extend an exemption on open-ended tenancies for Purpose Built Student Accommodation to cover all student housing.

This should also allow for a landlord to be able to give two months’ notice to repossess a property when it is needed for incoming students.

Landmark Rakusen vs Jepson case was no defence for landlord

A landlord in a RRO court case has failed in an attempt to use the Rakusen vs Jepson case as a defence.

He was ordered to pay £1308.62, £4756.60 plus £300 costs as the tribunal concluded that he was the immediate landlord despite a property management company receiving the rent. The tenants claimed the rent repayment orders as no HMO license had been secured from Tower Hamlets Council.

The tribunal said

Taking the evidence together it was clear to the tribunal that, regardless of who received the rent, the applicants’ immediate landlord was clearly the respondent Mr Mansour. Taking this poor conduct into account the tribunal concluded that it was necessary to increase the amount of the order to be made to 70% of the possible maximum rather than 60%.

You can read the full article and judgement here.


Another council to introduce £1000 city-wide HMO licensing
Letting agent ordered to pay over £25,000 for serious fire safety breaches
Labour candidate on the warpath over the ‘landlord loophole’
Energy Efficiency – heat pumps ‘make little difference’ claims survey
Landlord reveal their ‘go to’ energy efficiency upgrade
Rental Mediation Scheme flops with almost no users
Renters ditch cities and flee to suburbia seeking cheaper properties

Newsround will be back next week.

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