Secretary of State James Brokenshire MP has today announced a call for evidence on deposit protection in England.
This call for evidence seeks to understand the barriers tenants face providing a second deposit when moving from one tenancy to the next. It looks at what can be done to speed up the return of deposits to tenants at the end of the tenancy.
Gillian Kerr, SWLA Office Manager attended the meeting in Bristol on Wednesday 12th June 2019. Items discussed included;
The West of England Landlord Expo (Bristol) date for 2020 is set for 26th March 2020. It’s the Expo’s 20th Anniversary so promises to be a busy and informative day. All landlords are welcome and it’s free to attend, pop it in your diary! SWLA will have a stand at the event.
½ Day Landlord Training Courses
Monday 7th October 2019
Venue – Charter Room, Plymouth Guildhall, Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 1HA
If you are accredited this will count towards your CPD hours, but the course is open to all.
Cost for SWLA members – £35 per half day or £65 for both courses.
Cost for non-SWLA members – £40 per half day or £75 for both courses.
First Session – 9:30 – 12:30 – Understanding the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Fitness for Human Habitation
Some things for you to think about, the potential high penalties for landlords who do not keep their property in repair and safe. This can lead to delays in evictions as well as damage claims from the tenants. On this course we will be looking at what is and is not acceptable condition.
Second Session – 13:30 – 16:30 – Inventory
Inventories – move in and maintaining a good property condition. What are the best ways to record condition, how at the end of the tenancy to access what is tenants damage and how much the landlord can lawfully claim in compensation.
Places secured upon receipt of payment, book your place through the office 01752 510913.
Making Tax Digital (MTD) – Mandatory digital record keeping for VAT for businesses over the VAT threshold (with turnover over £85,000) came into force from 1 April 2019. This was an important first step in the modernisation of the tax system to which the government remains committed.
The government have confirmed a light touch approach to penalties in the first year of implementation. Where businesses are doing their best to comply, no filing or record keeping penalties will be issued. The focus will be on supporting businesses to transition and the government will therefore not be mandating MTD for any new taxes or businesses in 2020.
Information above taken from the ‘Spring Statement 2019: Written Ministerial Statement’. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/785618/WMS_final_Commons.pdf
For further information, see the gov.uk website; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-tax-digital/overview-of-making-tax-digital
Here’s the latest landlord engagement newsletter; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletters/may-2019-universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletter
The gov.uk guide has also been updated and answers many landlord queries; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-and-rented-housing–2/universal-credit-and-rented-housing-guide-for-landlords
Condensation can lead to damp and mould issues, here is a video with tips on how to reduce it! https://www.plymouthenergycommunity.com/advice/energy-tips
Cornwall Home Solutions within Cornwall Council operates as a home improvement agency within the county. They administer adaptations in people’s homes across all tenures, operate a Handyperson Scheme, and relocate clients with an adapted or accessible housing need into more appropriate properties.
The service head, Karen Sawyer, has advised that the number of adaptations being agreed in private rented homes are not at a high level, compared with other housing sectors.
Cornwall Council would like feedback from landlords and agencies as to what difficulties or barriers may be present which prevent landlords being able to allow adaptations or agreeing to let to those with an adaptation need.
Engagement with the private rented sector has revealed that two key barriers to adaptation were:
These issues will be addressed by:
• removing the need for a lettings certificate for modular ramping and stair-lifts
• replacing the five year lettings certificate for other medium and large adaptations with a two years letting certificate
• providing financial support for reinstatement work to put property back to the original condition before adaptations were allowed
The more feedback Cornwall Council receive the better, it will help them shape an adequate response to the needs of the sector. Feedback and queries can be directed straight to Karen: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see the Home Solutions Website; https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/housing/home-solutions/
The Ministry of Housing, Communities, Local Government have issued a new Section 21, form 6a that must be used from the 1st June 2019. We will be updating our stationery to include this shortly, however in the interim please use the form on gov.uk website. Here is the link for the form 6a;
Please also be aware, the Notes on “How to Complete Form 6a” have changed as well. Here is the link for the Notes.