Header- Phone Number

01752 510913

Header – Email Address

info@landlordssouthwest.co.uk

Search the Blog

Request a Call Back

If you are interested in joining us and would like to have a chat please enter your details below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Fill out my online form.

Blog Categories

Monthly Archives

SWLA Membership Renewals 2018

Posted on October 12th, 2018 -

All SWLA Memberships are due for renewal as of 1st November 2018.

Thank you to members who have already paid. If sending a BACs/Bank Transfer (£45.00), please remember to include your surname and membership number so that we can send your receipt promptly via email.

Account Name: SWLA
Sort Code: 20-68-10
Account Number: 50498610

You can also renew by sending a cheque to the office; SWLA, 30 Dale Road, Plymouth, PL4 6PD

 

 

 


SWLA General Meeting

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 -

  • Wednesday 17th October 2018 – Future Inn Hotel, William Prance Road, Plymouth –  7.30pm

 

 

 

 


Notice of a General Meeting

Posted on October 3rd, 2018 -

 Wednesday 17th October 2018 – Future Inn Hotel, William Prance Road, Plymouth –  7.30pm

 

 

Speakers will include:-

 

Emma Rose, Plymouth City Council

An update on Universal Credit, with Q&A to include Housing Benefit & Council Tax questions

 

Jeremy Wood, Excaliber Insurance

‘The perils of being under-insured’ including loss of rent vs rent guarantee

 

Richard Green, Trading Standards

‘The role of Trading Standards in Private Renting’

 

Wine & 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.


SWLA Members – Plymouth Landlords – Free Energy Saving Measures

Posted on September 26th, 2018 -

Do you have a property in Devonport, Ham or St Budeaux electoral wards? (to include Devonport, Keyham, Morice Town, Ham, Weston Mill, Pennycross, North Prospect, Kings Tamerton, St Budeaux, Barne Barton and parts of Stoke and Beacon Park)

To check which ward a property falls into, the postcode can be entered at https://mapit.mysociety.org/ and it will tell you immediately.

Plymouth Energy Community are working with Plymouth City Council to provide free energy saving measures to homeowners and private renting tenants. Everything that they provide is free including;

  • LED lightbulbs
  • Draught excluders (door, window, letter box etc)
  • Pipe and tank lagging
  • New Thermostatic Radiator Valves (if not present or not functioning efficiently).
  • Advice on reducing damage caused by condensation

No means testing. Completely free of charge.

To enquire, call 01752 477117 or email  energyteam@plymouthenergycommunity.com

Click the following link for more info;    Energy Team – Big Bills Save Money


HMO Licencing

Posted on September 25th, 2018 -

New HMO licencing – 5 persons or more sharing – New legislation begins on 1st October 2018.

Only 5 days to go to get your applications in to the local authority where an early bird discount may be applicable.


Teignbridge Property Agent Rating Scheme

Posted on September 25th, 2018 -

Vice Chairman, Iain Maitland attended the launch of the Property Agent Rating Scheme for Teignbridge on Wednesday 19th September 2018.

19 agents were awarded ratings from bronze to platinum.


Landlord Accreditation Course

Posted on September 25th, 2018 -

Landlord Accreditation Training Course

 Thursday 8th November 2018 – 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.

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 700 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.


Landlord Training Course; Inventories – Last Few Places Remaining

Posted on September 21st, 2018 -

Landlord Training Course – Inventories

Tuesday 9th October 2018 – 9:30am – 4:30pm at Plymouth Guildhall

If you are accredited this will count towards your CPD hours, but the course is open to all.

Cost for SWLA members – £65. Cost for non-SWLA members – £75.

Inventory Course will cover:-
– How to create a robust Inventory and Schedule of condition
– Mid-term visits – what to look for and record
– Managing the safety paper trail
– Alternatives to taking a deposit
– IT solutions
– Move in
– Move out
– Move out reports
– When is wear and tear a damages claim
– Managing a move out dispute
– Adjudication workshop

Places secured upon receipt of payment, book your place through the office 01752 510913.


Plymouth Student Guide 2018/19 from Devon and Cornwall Police

Posted on September 20th, 2018 -

To view, please click the following link;  Plymouth student guide interactive


B&Q Trade Loyalty Scheme Launch

Posted on September 14th, 2018 -

https://www.trade-point.co.uk/loyalty#

From 1st October 2018, TradePoint members are eligible to receive flat rate discounts when they spend and swipe their TradePoint membership card. The discount is applicable on practically every product across B&Q and TradePoint.

Spend £250 in a month and you’ll receive 5% discount off your products until the end of the following month.

Spend £1,000 in a month and you’ll receive 10% discount off your products until the end of the following month.

These changes will help make B&Q low prices even lower for loyal members.

  • As you make purchases using your TradePoint card, B&Q will track your monthly spend
  • When you spend £250 or £1,000 in any given month (including refunds or cancellations) B&Q trigger your discount.
  • Your discount will be valid until the end of the following month.
  • B&Q will apply your correct level of discount within 7 days of you reaching the qualifying spend.
  • If you let B&Q have your email address they will send you an email advising you that your discount has been applied and a monthly spend update.
  • Each calendar month is a qualifying period – so there’s a chance to earn the discount every month.

***SWLA Members, if you do not have a B&Q Trade Point Card, please contact the office to find out how you can apply***

 

 



Meetings Attended by SWLA

Posted on September 7th, 2018 -

On Wednesday 5th September, SWLA Office Manager Gillian Kerr attended The West of England Landlord Panel in Bristol. Main subjects covered were HMO licencing and Universal Credit.

Linda Johns (SWLA Committee Member – Policy and Liaison Officer) along with SWLA Vice Chair Iain Maitland attended Plymouth City Council’s Charter Steering Group. They met Plymouth’s new Portfolio Holder- Cabinet Member for Housing; Councillor Penberthy. Discussions were held regarding  private rented accommodation within Plymouth and Pledge 33 from the Labour Manifesto. Other items included the plan for preventing homelessness.


Letting Agents – From 6th August 2018, ‘Ombudsman Services’ Cease to be a Redress Scheme for the Property Sector

Posted on August 3rd, 2018 -

Since 1st October 2014 – all letting and managing agents in England must belong to a redress scheme.

There were 3 schemes to choose from;

  • Ombudsman Services
  • The Property Redress Scheme
  • The Property Ombudsman

‘Ombudsman Services’ are ceasing to be a redress scheme for the purpose of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 which requires membership by agents.

Any letting or managing agent in England who belong to the ‘Ombudsman Services’ scheme must join one of the other 2 schemes before 6th August to ensure that they continue to comply with the requirement to belong to a redress scheme.

Agents must remember to prominently display who they are a member of in their office and on their website (if they have one).

For more information please see the ‘Ombudsman Services’ press release;

https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/property

 


Landlords – Do you rent a property that is lived in by 5 or more people from 2 or more families?

Posted on July 27th, 2018 -

If so, regardless of how many floors the property has, you have until midnight 30th September 2018 to apply for a HMO Licence (if you haven’t done so already).

For further information, please contact your local authority.


Landlord Training Course – Inventories

Posted on July 13th, 2018 -

Landlord Training Course – Inventories 

Tuesday 9th October 2018 – 9:30am – 4:30pm 

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 – £65. Cost for non-SWLA members – £75. 

Inventory Course will cover:-    

  • How to create a robust Inventory and Schedule of condition
  • Mid-term visits – what to look for and record
  • Managing the safety paper trail
  • Alternatives to taking a deposit
  • IT solutions
  • Move in
  • Move out
  • Move out reports
  • When is wear and tear a damages claim
  • Managing a move out dispute
  • Adjudication workshop

This course is key for those newer to lettings or for those who recognise their inventory paperwork could be better or for those looking for fresh solutions. 

Places secured upon receipt of payment, book your place through the office 01752 510913.


Landlord Accreditation Course

Posted on July 13th, 2018 -

Landlord Accreditation Training Course 

Tuesday 4th September 2018 – 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 680 landlords have already completed this course since September 2011.

Course can lead to Accreditation, if required.


‘How to Rent’ Guide Update

Posted on July 12th, 2018 -

The Government have published another updated version of the guide ‘How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England’. The document was updated on 6th July 2018 and published on 9th July 2018. This was following the previous update on 26th June 2018.

When you provide the ‘How to Rent’ guide, print it straight from the gov.uk website to ensure that you give your new or renewing tenant the most up to date guide;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent


Form 77

Posted on July 10th, 2018 -

Unfortunately, due to the constraints  of GDPR and having taken legal advice we are no longer able to operate a form 77 service.

We apologise to all form of contributors and thank them for their past submissions.



‘How to Let’ Guide for Private Residential Landlords

Posted on July 4th, 2018 -

The government has published a ‘How to Let’ guide for landlords. It’s a great guide to read through to ensure that you have carried out all of your landlord responsibilities.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/718965/How_to_Let_Jun18.pdf

Please note. The booklet does not cover leasehold, holiday lets or resident landlords who let to lodgers.

 


New HMO Guidance Document Released for Local Housing Authorities

Posted on July 4th, 2018 -

The government has released a guidance document for local authorities regarding the extension of mandatory licencing of houses in multiple occupation (HMO). Included in the document is a new definition of an HMO that will require a licence. It also includes the regulations on room sizes and landlords needing to take responsibility for their tenant’s rubbish;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/houses-in-multiple-occupation-and-residential-property-licensing-reform-guidance-for-local-housing-authorities

This guidance document will help landlords understand how health and safety rules for shared houses will impact their properties.

From 1st October 2018, private landlords renting out a property to 5 or more tenants from two or more separate households must have a licence from the local authority.

The aim is to protect tenants from poor and often over crowded living conditions owned by a small number of landlords.

 

Here we have some highlights taken from the document which will be relevant to our members;

We want to support good private landlords who provide decent well-maintained homes and not impose unnecessary regulation.

Mandatory licensing of HMOs came into force in 2006 and originally applied to properties of three storeys or more with five or more people making up two or more separate households living in them.

As demand for HMOs increased in the decade since mandatory licensing was first introduced there has been a significant increase in properties with fewer than three storeys being used as HMO accommodation, notably two storey houses originally designed for families and flats. Some have been used by opportunist rogue landlords who exploit their vulnerable tenants, and rent sub-standard, overcrowded and potentially dangerous accommodation. The growth of HMOs has also had an impact on the local community, including where inadequate rubbish storage leads to pest infestation and health and safety problems.

To this end we have also clarified the minimum size to be applied to rooms used for sleeping accommodation in HMOs and added requirements relating to the provision of refuse disposal in licensed properties. 

The measures complement those in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which tackle rogue landlords. They will also operate within the additions brought in by that Act to the enforcement regime, including the financial penalty procedures and banning orders.

 

What are the extended mandatory HMO licensing requirements?

In April 2018, Parliament approved secondary legislation which reforms the mandatory HMO licensing regime.  

The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 20182 (‘the Prescribed Description Order 2018’) has the effect of extending the scope of section 55(2)(a) of the Housing Act 2004 (‘the Act’), so that mandatory HMO licensing also applies to HMO properties which are less than three storeys high. The Prescribed Description Order 2018 also deals with the passporting of licences granted under additional and selective licensing schemes into the mandatory licensing regime.

A second statutory instrument, the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Mandatory Conditions of Licences) (England) Regulations 20185 (‘the Mandatory Conditions Regulations 2018’) amends Schedule 4 of the Act, introducing new conditions that must be included in licences that have been granted under Part 2 of the Act. These are:

-Mandatory national minimum sleeping room sizes; and

-Waste disposal provision requirements.

 

Minimum sleeping room sizes 

From 1 October 2018 local housing authorities must impose conditions as to the minimum room size which may be occupied as sleeping accommodation in the HMO. A room smaller than the specified size must not be used as sleeping accommodation, and communal space in other parts of the HMO cannot be used to compensate for rooms smaller than the prescribed minimum. The purpose of this condition is to reduce overcrowding in smaller HMOs. The standards adopted are similar, but not identical to, those relating to overcrowding in dwellings under section 326 of the Housing Act 1985. 

 

What is the minimum sleeping room size?

The minimum sleeping room sizes to be imposed as conditions of Part 2 licences are:

-6.51 m2 for one person over 10 years of age

-10.22 m2 for two persons over 10 years of age

-4.64 m2 for one child under the age of 10 years

The minimum size for sleeping accommodation does not apply to charities providing night shelters or temporary accommodation for people suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or mental disorders. 

It will also be a mandatory condition that any room of less than 4.64 m2 may not be used as sleeping accommodation and the landlord will need to notify the local housing authority of any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 m2. 

Any area of the room in which the ceiling height is less than 1.5m cannot be counted towards the minimum room size. 

In addition, local housing authorities are required to impose conditions specifying the maximum number of persons over 10 years of age and/or persons under 10 years of age who may occupy specified rooms provided in HMOs for sleeping accommodation.

The mandatory room size conditions will however be the statutory minimum and are not intended to be the optimal room size. Local housing authorities will continue to have discretion to set their own higher standards within licence conditions, but must not set lower standards. 

 

Waste disposal

All licences issued after 1 of October 2018 will need to include a condition requiring the compliance with the council’s storage and waste disposal scheme (if one exists). A licence holder’s failure to comply with the scheme is a breach of the licence and a criminal offence. 

From 1 October 2018, local authorities will be required to impose a mandatory condition concerning the provision of suitable refuse storage facilities for HMOs. Local authorities will be aware that HMOs, occupied by separate and multiple households, generate more waste and rubbish than single family homes. Some local authorities have made specific provision under their function as the local waste authority for landlords of HMOs to ensure there are appropriate facilities for storing rubbish their properties generate. 

All licensed HMOs will need to comply with the scheme issued by the local authority (if one exists) for the storage and disposal of domestic refuse pending collection. A licence holder’s failure to comply with the scheme is a breach of the licence and a criminal offence. 

This condition must be included in all HMO licences (mandatory or additional) granted or renewed after commencement of the Mandatory Conditions Regulations 2018 on 1 October 2018. 

 

For more information and detail, please see the publication via the link above.


SWLA Attend Plymouth City Council Steering Group Meeting

Posted on June 29th, 2018 -

On Wednesday 27th June, Gillian Kerr (SWLA Office Manager) and Iain Maitland (SWLA Vice-Chairman) attended a Steering Group Meeting hosted by Plymouth City Council. Attendees included representatives from Plymouth City Council, PATH, Shelter, University of Plymouth, local letting agencies and social housing providers.

Items discussed included Energy Efficiency in the Private Rented Sector (PRS), legislation changes effecting the PRS including the appointment of a new portfolio holder for housing, Trading Standards and their role in the PRS, Homelessness Reduction Act and the Plan for Preventing Homelessness.

SWLA attend and support these meetings on a regular basis and are keen to continue developing relationships between the Local Authority, landlords/agents and other key organisations.


New ‘How To Rent’ Guide Published, 26th June 2018

Posted on June 27th, 2018 -

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has published new ‘how to’ guides including the ‘How to Rent’ Guide which must be provided to all new or renewing tenants in England.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

On Tuesday 26th June 2018, the government published an updated version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide. This is the second update this year, the previous one being 17th January 2018.

All new or renewing tenants in England must receive the most current version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide from their landlord at the start of their tenancy. Therefore, if you have a new or renewing tenant who signed their tenancy agreement on or after 26th June 2018, this new version must be given.

You should ensure that your tenants sign to acknowledge receipt of all documents that you give (please see page 6 of the ‘How to Rent’ guide). There is space for your tenant to sign for receipt of these documents at the back of the SWLA Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement.

If you do not prescribe the correct documents to your tenant, a Section 21 Possession Notice would be invalid and any application for possession would be thrown out if it goes to court.

If you have a tenancy that started 25th June 2018 or before, there is no need to give your tenant this new version but there is nothing stopping you doing so. It’s a great way to remind tenants of their responsibilities.


Notice of a General Meeting

Posted on June 27th, 2018 -

SWLA Open Office Afternoon 

Wednesday 11th July 2018     3pm – 6pm

30 Dale Road, Plymouth PL4 6PD

Come and join us in the office for a cream tea. You can meet our committee and other SWLA members. All welcome!


West of England Landlord Panel Meeting attended by SWLA

Posted on June 27th, 2018 -

SWLA office manager Gillian Kerr attended the West of England Landlord Panel meeting in Bristol on 20th June 2018.

Items discussed included Legal Updates, Licencing Updates and general market conditions for the Private Rented Sector.

SWLA represent members in many South West local authority areas, we will promulgate relevant information through our quarterly bulletins. If you prefer to read the bulletins online you can do so; https://www.landlordssouthwest.co.uk/news-articles/latest-bulletins/