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;
Vice Chairman Iain Maitland (SWLA) and LASW Coordinator Gillian Kerr met with Plymouth City Council. Hosted By Matt Garrett, Head of Housing, also in attendance were representatives from Plymouth University, PATH and local agents.
Subjects discussed included landlord accreditation, HMO licensing (current and future) West of England Rental Standard, student accommodation, and delivering the plan for Private Rented Housing.
From 1st April 2017, the automatic entitlement of housing costs within Universal Credit for some 18-21 year old will be removed. However, there will be exemptions to protect the most vulnerable claimants.
You can read more from the Explanatory Memorandum here; http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2017/252/pdfs/uksiem_20170252_en.pdf
The Government’s reason for the action is so that “young people in the benefit system face the same choices as other young people who go out to work and cannot yet afford to leave the parental home.” They also feel that it makes the system fair by encouraging young people who are able to stay at home, to do so, therefore alleviating the cost to tax payers.
There are a few exemptions including claimants who are orphaned or their parents live abroad, claimants who are at serious risk in their parental home and claimants where there is serious risk of damage to their physical or mental health if they stayed in their parental home.
The regulation will not remove the entitlement to claimants if they are in any of the following circumstances;
You can read more on the following Government Website;
On Friday 10th March, SWLA Vice Chairman Iain Maitland attended Teignmouth District Council’s workshop at Old Forde House, Newton Abbot.
The object of the days attendance was to address ways and means of local authorities to reach out to landlords and tenants to make them aware of new legislation. Also discussed ways of making landlords aware of their responsibilities and to reassure landlords and tenants that help is available.
Thursday 30th March 2017 – 9:30 – 4:30pm
Venue- Charter Room, Plymouth Guildhall, Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 1HA
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 600 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.
The Chairman and Vice Chairman had meetings with three of the local Members of Parliament.
On the 13th February Oliver Colvile visited SWLA offices and on Friday 24th February Steve and Iain visited Johnny Mercer’s office (see Mercer’s Twitter account) followed by a meeting in SWLA office with Gary Streeter.
We believe all three meetings were constructive, covering such diverse topics as Rogue Landlords, 2016 Planning Bill, Digital HMRC quarterly reporting, relationships with local authorities and HMO licencing.
Oliver Colvile Chairman of the Parliamentary PRS group invited SWLA to attend future policy meeting.
We hope to meet other local MPs in the near future to raise members concerns. .