Rogue landlords who harass or illegally evict tenants are the subject of a new crackdown in Plymouth. Plymouth City Council is working in partnership with PATH (Plymouth Access to Housing) who have appointed a dedicated Tenancy Relations Officer to tackle these issues. The project involves the investigation of allegations of illegal eviction and harassment by landlords, and will see thorough enforcement action being taken against any landlord found to be flouting the law.
South West Landlords Association (SWLA) and Devon and Cornwall Police are partners in this initiative.
Illegal eviction, including a landlord or their agent physically denying a tenant access to their accommodation or taking a tenant’s key from them, is a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Harassment of a tenant, including withdrawal of utilities, entering accommodation without informing the tenant and constantly contacting a tenant is a criminal offence under the same Act. Both offences carry the posibility of a custodial sentence. Councillor, Chris Penberthy Cabinet Minister for Coperatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council said “We are pleased to work with PATH on this important project and the officer is making great inroads into this sensitive area so far. The initiative forms part of our Plan for Private Rented Housing and our aim to drive up standards in the private rented sector. There are many excellent landlords in the private rented sector but we want to send a clear message that we will not tolerate the harassment or illegal eviction of tenants here in Plymouth. Tenants deserve to live happily and safely in their chosen home just as much as anyone else and we are working with our partners to ensure this happens”.
Section 8 (Notice seeing Possession of a Property Let on an Assured Tenancy) and Section 13(2) (Notice for proposing a new rent under an Assured Tenancy) have been amended by regulation on 6th April 2016.
SWLA are in the process of checking that our Section 8 and Section 13(2) are correct and if necessary we will amend the forms for members to download from our stationery page.
In the meantime, please see the web page below for the Government Section 8 (Form 3) and Section 13(2) (Form 4)
Remember to attach the grounds to Form 3
As of 21st March 2016, the court fees for possession claims have increased by £75.00 as follows:
Accelerated possession claim (Section 21 only) from £280.00 tom £355.00
Standard possession claim (commOnly used for Section 8 Claims) from £280.00 to £355.00
Possession claim on-line (PCOL) (Section 8 rent arrears only) from £250.00 to £325.00
SWLA Office on 30 Dale Road, Plymouth PL4 6PD, opens between 10am and 3pm – Monday-Friday. Messages can be left on an answer phone outside these hours or by e-mail – email@example.com
Landlords will no longer be immediately criminalised for failing to pick up an illegal tenant following a campaign which demanded changes to the Governments Right to Rent legislation. Changes to the Immigration Bill will provide some protection for landlords who have taken reasonable steps in an appropriate time span to teminate tenancies of those living in the country illegally. Previously, landlords would have faced immediate criminal sanctions, upon officials discovering that they failed to ensure their tenants had the right to rent their property.
With effect from 1st April 2016 tenants will be able to request consent from their landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements to privately rented properties. The landlord will not be able to unreasonably refuse consent. It will, however, be the responsibility of tenants to ensure that the works are funded and the intention is that no upfront costs should fall on the landlord, unless the landlord agrees to contribute.
There are separate regulations requiring properties to be brought up to an E rating on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which are effective from 1st April 2018.
DON’T MISS OUT – FEW PLACES LEFT
Friday 18th March 2016 – 9:15 – 4:30pm
Venue – The long Room, Old Forde House, Teignbridge District Council, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 4XX.
Price – £65 for members, £75 for non-members for one day course.
Course covers ASTs, Deposits, Section 21s, Section 8s, HMOs, Gas and Electrical Safety, Inventories and much more.
The course will provide you with all the skills to start, manage and finish a tenancy.
Contact the office on 01752 510913 or via the website to book your place.
Trago2Business is offering a trade discount card to the South West Landlords Association membership, providing a 15% discount on purchases (with some exemptions) made within store and free delivery on most bulky items and purchases over £1000 within Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.
To obtain a Business Account Card, please e-mail the address below giving your name, SWLA membership number, contact address, phone number and e-mail address :
firstname.lastname@example.org or apply by post to Trago2Business, Twowatersfoot, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 6HY.
Trago will then confirm with SWLA to ensure that the person contacting them is actually a SWLA member. If you are an existing Trago2Business card holder you can upgrade to a SWLA card if it provides a better discount than you are already achieving.
Do you have a 1,2 or 3 bed property in Newton Abbot, Teignmouth or Dawlish that is available to let in the next few months.
Teignbridge District Council is looking for a number of properties to lease on a 2 year agreement.
They will offer landlords –
Guaranteed rent paid quarterly in advance, full management service, no contract with the tenants, free initial assessment of property.
They are looking for properties that are in a safe rentable condition.
For further information please contact email@example.com or telephone 01626 215202
Act Now, offer ends 29th February 2016
Very limited free central heating offer for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Applies to owners/landlords and private tenants. Conditions apply. To find out more and apply, call Bev at Inclusion Cornwall, tel: 01872 355008, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.cornwall.gov.uk, www.inclusioncornwall.co.uk.
The presentation slides from the Universal Credit Meeting on Thursday 4th February 2016 have now been sent to the office.
If you would like a copy, please cont10act us on 01752 510913 or e-mail email@example.com
Universal Credit is being introduced across the country and is expected to be fully implemented by 2017.
The first step of introducing it in Plymouth is being taken today, 25th January 2016. All new claims for single claimants will now be through Universal Credit.
It is intended to replace six other benefits including Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance.
Find out how this will effect you and your tenants – come to the FREE briefing provided by Plymouth City Council and South West Landlords Association. It is open to all and is completely free.
Where : Mendel Room, Future Inn Hotel, 1 William Prance Road, Plymouth PL6 5ZD
Date : Thursday 4th February 2016
Time : 7pm
Free parking but do register your car at reception when you arrive
From 1st February 2016, in England it will be an offence to let private rented accommodation to someone who has no legal right to be in the UK or no “right to rent”.
This applies to new tenancies starting on or after 1st February 2016 and requires landlords to inspect and copy certain documents (for example a passport or biometric residence permit) in order to confirm prospective tenants’ right to rent. If a prospective tenant has an outstanding immigration application or an appeal with the Home Office, landlords can request a Home Office Right to Rent check. A yes or no answer will be provided within 2 working days.
Landlords who don’t make the checks could face a civil panalty up to £3,000 per tenant if they are found to be renting out a property to someone who is in the UK illegally.
For further information- go to GOV.UK
Most rented flats and houses in Weston Town Centre will need to be licensed with the council and pay a fee if proposals go ahead.
Have your say at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/rented27