On Thursday 22nd March, SWLA held a meeting at our Dale Road office with Councillor Ricketts (Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery) and Matt Garrett (Head of Community Connections PCC). Items on the agenda included Universal Credit, HMO regulations, Homes (Fitness for Habitation) and Banning Orders.
Iain Maitland (SWLA Chair) and Steve Lees (SWLA Vice Chair) attended the Cornwall Housing Summit ‘Home Truths’ on Friday 23rd March hosted by the National Housing Federation. Many housing topics were discussed including social housing for Cornwall and new affordable housing projects in Cornwall.
Tuesday 10th April 2018 – 9:30 – 4:30pm
Venue – The Future Inn Plymouth, 1 William Prance Road, Plymouth International Business Park, Plymouth PL6 5ZD
Price – £80 for one day course to include refreshments and light lunch.
Due to the volume and importance of the legislation and regulation coming into force, SWLA in partnership with Plymouth City Council will be hosting a full day course which will include Legal Updates for 2018. Presented by Training for Professionals.
Legal Update 2018
Data Protection (GDPR)
– When can you lawfully give tenant details to a contractor and when will you need consent after 25 May 2018?
– Understand the only basis you will be permitted to contact your database of historic landlords.
– Understand when not backing up your data could cost you up to 20 million euros or 4% of turnover.
– What information will be required in your privacy notice?
– The new legislation will restrict when you can contact your landlord despite having signed Terms of Business.
– What is your plan to ensure your contractors are GDPR compliant?
Draft Tenant Fee Ban Bill
– Do you know that under the draft proposal you can still charge tenant fees for some tenancies?
– Were you aware the draft bill includes the power to ban deposits?
– Do you understand that by taking a tenant fee or making an error with a holding deposit you could be penalised or even banned as a letting agent?
– Do you understand under what circumstances a resident landlord may still charge tenant fees?
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
– How can you delay the impact of MEES for F or G rated properties for up to 2 years?
– What actions do you need to take before 1 April 2018 concerning properties not meeting the minimum standard?
– In what circumstances can you still market an F or G rated property after April 2018?
– Understand which tenancies MEES does not apply to.
– Learn when a listed building does need an EPC.
– When does a building in a conservation area have to comply with MEES?
Other issues which have arisen over the last year:
– The new legislation will restrict when you can contact your landlord despite having signed Terms of Business.
– One simple mistake that could prevent you ever serving a section 21 notice.
– Can you identify what may be deemed as a‘Secret Profit’ and what are the consequences of not declaring them?
Compulsory Client Money Protection and Regulation of Letting & Management Agents – What we know!
Tenants’ Compensation Rights
On completion of the course you will be armed with the information required to help you and your business remain on the right side of the law.
Places secured upon receipt of payment, book your place through the office 01752 510913.
Thursday 12th April 2018 – 9:30 – 4:30pm
Venue – Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter EX1 1RQ
Price – £65 for members of SWLA, £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.
Places still available. Contact the office on 01752 510913 or via the website to book your place, places secured on receipt of payment.
Over 650 landlords have already completed this course since September 2011.
Course can lead to Accreditation, if required.
We are proud to announce Landlord Accreditation South West (LASW) are founder members of the West of England Rental Standard
On Wednesday 24th January, we held our Annual General Meeting at the Future Inn, Plymouth.
On completion of the agenda and formal meeting, drinks and a finger buffet were enjoyed by all members who attended. This gave us and members the opportunity to network and catch up.
Christmas Open Office Afternoon-
Wednesday 13th December 2017
3pm – 6pm
Come and enjoy a mince pie and a drink with committee members, office staff and other SWLA members.
SWLA General Meeting –
Wednesday 18th October 2017 at Future Inn, Plymouth –
7pm for a 7.30pm start –
Guest speakers to cover the topics of Managing Properties, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards and Tax Planning, all members welcome.
On Thursday 10th August the Chairman and V/Chairman had a meeting with Joe Roberts, Private Sector Housing Manager, Economic Growth and Development, Cornwall Council at SWLA offices to discuss the private rented sector strategy in Cornwall.
The Think CO workshop was attended by Chairman and V/Chairman, it was a Gas Safe Charity presentation raising the awareness of symptoms and actions to be taken. Further details can be obtained from the office if required.
The new Trago Build Centre is now open at Trago Newton Abbot!
● PURPOSE-BUILT FACILITY (2,088m²/ 22,475ft² PLUS EXTERNAL STOCK YARD)
● TOP BRANDS
● TRAGO EVERYDAY LOWEST PRICES
● USE YOUR T2B CARD FOR ALL PURCHASES (SOME ITEMS EXCLUDED FROM DISCOUNT)
● DEDICATED PARKING AREA FOR LOADING
● EXTENDED OPENING HOURS
● STAFF ON SITE TO ASSIST WITH QUERIES/SORTING ORDERS
If you are a SWLA member and have not yet applied for your ‘Trago 2 Business’ discount card, please contact the SWLA office and we will send you the instructions on how to apply.
Some funding is available to upgrade Oil/LPG boilers or electric storage heaters through the Government backed, energy company funded ECO scheme.
All of the following may be eligible for funding. Electric storage heaters/loft insulation/oil and LPG boilers/cavity wall insulation/attic room insulation.
Funding is means tested/tenants on benefits.
For further information call 0800 644 5000 or visit www.energy-alliance.co.uk quoting SWLA.
A FEW PLACES REMAINING – Don’t Miss Out
Thursday 6th July 2017 – 9:30 – 4:30pm
Venue – Astor Room, Plymouth Guildhall, Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 1HA
Price – £65 for members of SWLA, £75 for non-members for one day course.
For further details see the Landlord Training area of the website or call the office on 01752 510913.
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 has given councils new powers to deal with rogue landlords. These include Rent Repayment Orders and Civil Penalty Notices. The Government has defined a ‘rogue landlord’ as ‘a landlord who knowingly flouts their obligations by renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation to tenants’.
The Department for Communities and Local Government have issued statutory guidance that the Council must take into account before using these powers. Bristol Council have considered this guidance and, as a result, they are going to change the way they do some things in order to use the new powers as effectively as possible. Before they make the changes they want to seek the views from all interested parties, including landlords, agents and tenants.
You can complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BristolCPNsRROs. The survey will remain open until midnight on 7th July 2017.
The Council are reviewing the Additional HMO Licensing scheme in Bath and want to know what landlords think.
Please take 5 minutes to complete the short survey and help influence future Council decisions on HMO licensing.
Visit – www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/baneslandlord
Following SWLAs day at Bristol Landlords EXPO, we have received a request from Ashley Community Housing for landlords in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset to contact them should they have empty property they wished to lease.
Further details of the scheme can be viewed on www.ashleyhousing.com or email them – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Office – Wednesday 12th July 2017 3.00pm – 6.00pm
Come along and catch up with the office staff, committee members and other SWLA members.
SWLA would like to encourage our members to seek out a quote from either Excaliber (tel;01752 340183) or Bateman Insurance (tel; 0800 731 6689) at renewal time. Not only do SWLA members benefit from a discount on the services offered, but they can be assured that the level of cover and quality of the policy has been thoroughly reviewed by SWLA Directors. SWLA believes that a policy from either of these two independent companies represents the very best value available for the quality of cover provided. Bateman & Excaliber are long-standing supporters of SWLA, who work with us to ensure that members are provided with a personal service which is tailored to their individual needs.
Quotes are free, with no obligation and take just a few minutes of your time!
The next meeting of the Association will be held on Wednesday 26th April 2017 at the Future Inn Hotel, William Prance Road, Plymouth at 7:30pm
Speakers will include:-
The Waste & Recycling Team from Plymouth City Council
Recycling and alternate weekly collections.
Tax Manager Annette Stone from Parkhurst Hill and Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants
Discussing changes in Tax liabilities for Landlords,
quarterly reporting, inheritance tax and other topics of Landlord interest.
Introducing ‘The Private & Rented Housing People’
An environmental health practitioner of 24 years, Scott Carpenter has vast experience in local government. Now working in the private sector, offering advice, HMO inspections, reports, HMO Fire Risk Assessments and more.
Wine or orange juice will be served during the evening.
We hope to see you there, guests are very welcome.
Please remember to register your car at the hotel reception upon arrival.
There is a temporary alternative route due to the road works on Tavistock Road;
HMRC’s updated e-learning guide, Letting out property, is clear, flexible and easy to use. This comprehensive guide will benefit both new and experienced landlords, click the link to visit the website:
To keep you up to date, they have also introduced a ‘News’ section with the latest information from HMRC on property letting:
The guide covers a wide range of topics including;
The Government has announced measures to make Client Money Protection (CMP) mandatory for all letting agents across England. The announcement comes in response to long running campaigns to ensure that tenants and landlords receive greater protection. The move follows steps towards regulation taken in Scotland and Wales. No commencement date set as yet,.
The Chairman Steve Lees attended a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Private Rented Sector at the House of Commons.
The meeting was chaired by Oliver Colvile MP for Plymouth Sutton and addressed by representative speakers from ARLA and Shelter.
The subject of the meeting was agent fees.
Minutes of the meeting can be forwarded upon request from the SWLA Office.
From 6th April 2017, Landlords can be issued with civil penalty notices for housing breaches.
Local authorities can fine up to £30,000.00 for a range of offences. These offences include;
– Failing to comply with improvement notices served by the council
– Breaches of HMO Licencing
– HMO management
– Selective licencing
Landlords will be given notice of intent to serve a penalty and 28 days to make representation. The council then decide on whether a penalty will be imposed. The Landlord is given a further 28 days to either appeal to the first tier tribunal or pay.
Rent Repayment Orders have also been extended from 6th April 2017. These allow a tenant or a Local Authority to reclaim rent or housing benefit where a Landlord has rented out an unlicensed property such as a HMO.
All of the steps above are designed to tackle criminal Landlords.
In October 2017, banning orders will be introduced which could bar Landlords from letting or managing properties.
Gillian Kerr (Office Manager) attended the West of England meeting on 22nd March in Bristol.
Points of discussion were, The Rent with Confidence Scheme – the Rental Standard, the Housing & Planning Act, Prosecutions & other enforcement actions and the State of the market.
All parties consulted seeming to agree with the Rental Scheme Standards, hoping to re-launch the Rent with Confidence at Bristol’s EXPO on 24th May 2017.
On Tuesday 14th March, SWLA Chairman Steve Lees attended a Modern Slavery event at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth. The event was organised by Devon and Cornwall Police and Plymouth City Council. The aim was to improve awareness of slavery and trafficking within both our local area and nationally.
Attendees included representatives from the NCA (National Crime Agency), the Gangmasters Licencing Authority and the charity Restore. Also in attendance was Superintendent J Capey of D&C Police.
The term ‘Modern Slavery’ describes situations where people are forced to work through the threat of physical or mental abuse, treated as a commodity, bought or sold as property, or physically constrained with restrictions on their freedom. It also includes labour exploitation where long hours are worked for little or no money and human trafficking.
If you have any concerns for the safety of anyone with regards to slavery/trafficking, you can report any findings to the police on 101 or by calling the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 012 1700
For further reading and information, please visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website;