The White Paper on the Renters’ Reform Bill, (to include proposals for improving Section 8 & abolishing Section 21) has been delayed for release until 2022. It was due for release in Autumn 2021.
As advised in the Queens speech, the Bill intends to “enhance the rights of those who rent”.
In a letter to contributors to the White Paper, the government said the delay would “not only allow us to benefit from continued work with the sector but will also allow us to carefully consider the findings of the National Audit Office’s review of regulation of the sector which is due to report in the coming months”. The government is also actively engaging with tenants – along with other stakeholders – to learn more about their experiences in the private rented sector.
The speech’s briefing notes set out what letting agents and landlords can expect from the reform package and include:
Abolishing Section 21 (known as ‘no fault’ evictions) thus improving security for tenants in the private rented sector, as well as strengthening repossession grounds for landlords under Section 8 when they have valid cause.
Outlining proposals for a new ‘lifetime’ tenancy deposit model that eases the burden on tenants when moving from one tenancy to the next, helping improve the experience of those living in the private rental sector.
Bringing forward reforms to drive improvements in standards in rented accommodation, including by ensuring all tenants have a right to redress, and ensuring well targeted, effective enforcement that drives out criminal landlords, for example exploring the merits of a landlord register and requiring all private landlords to belong to a redress scheme.
Considering further reforms of the private renter sector enforcement system so it is well targeted, effective and supports improvements in property conditions, including a set of measures to hold “bad landlords” to account for delivering safe and decent housing to tenants without penalising good landlords.
Exploring improvements and possible efficiencies to the possession process in the courts, to make it quicker and easier for both landlords and tenants to use.
The proposed legislation would only apply in England.
Article abridged from Goodlord
**SWLA Tradepoint members will get an extra 10% off these deals**
Landlord Accreditation Training Course – ONLINE
Thursday 20th January 2022 – 9:00 – 4:30pm
Venue – Online
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place, places only secured on receipt of payment.
Over 1030 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.
Wednesday 20th October 2021, 7.30pm Start
Speakers will Include:
David Aggiss, Three Sixty Mortgages:
“2021: What a Year – the changing BTL/Investment Lending Landscape”.
Jeremy Wood – Excaliber Insurance:
“Landlord Insurance: Common pitfalls and how to avoid them”.
If you would like to attend this meeting, Please register with the SWLA Office who will send you details nearer the time;
email: email@example.com or phone 01752 510913.
We hope to see you on the night.
Wednesday 20th October 2021 – 7.30pm – Speaker Meeting – All Members Welcome
Wednesday 28th April 2021 – 11am – 12:30pm
& Repeated at 7pm – 8:30pm
We are holding two FREE training webinars being presented by Stephen Fowler.
The webinar will cover the topic – Compliance – Gas, Electrical, EPC, Right to Rent, their changes and a logical approach.
If you would like to register for either of these sessions, please contact the office to book your place stating which you wish to attend.
Once you have registered, we will email you details regarding joining the webinar.
We intend to recommence training next month via zoom.
We are looking to start with 2 hour sessions on 1. Possession and 2. Compliance. We will run both courses twice, once daytime and once evening. Dates to be confirmed. If you are interested in either course register with the office.
We will also be running the first accreditation course via zoom so again if you are interested, register with the office.
On Tuesday 17th November , Gillian Kerr and Linda Johns attended the meeting along with various representatives from the PRS in Plymouth.
Many items were discussed including; actions taken by each party during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Climate Emergency and possible new funding opportunity, Legislation & Policy Updates, HHSRS and issues as we enter the winter.
I am sure by now you are all aware of the latest Government lockdown update, announced on Saturday 31st October 2020.
As news and information becomes available from the Government website, regarding all things that may affect landlords, courts, the housing market and tenants, we will update our Website Newsfeed to keep you informed of any changes moving forward.
Martin Allen, from Electrical Safety First will be giving an overview of how the new Electrical Safety Regulations affect you as a private landlord in a webinar organised by Bristol City Council on 1 October 2020 at 2pm. There are a maximum of 100 places, so please register your interest by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org and type in ESF Webinar.
A third of places are booked up so please register soon.
Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) (Sole Traders and Individual Partners)
Second and Final Grant – Are you still eligible?
From 17 August 2020 the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will open for claims for the second and final grant. If you applied for the first grant, then HMRC may email you regarding the second grant. (The email will be sent from: email@example.com)
You will be able to claim from 17 August 2020 until the scheme ends on 19 October 2020. The eligibility criteria remain the same as for the first grant. However, you will be asked to complete a declaration confirming that your business has been adversely affected by Covid-19 at any time since 14 July 2020. This typically means that your business has experienced extremely reduced income and/or much higher costs because of Covid-19 at any time since 14 July 2020. If you make a claim and your business has not meet this criteria then the claim could be deemed to have been made fraudulently.
HMRC expect you to make an honest assessment about whether your business has been adversely affected. You will need to keep a record of evidence of how your business has been adversely affected and be able to justify this if HMRC call for your records. The second taxable grant is worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits. This will be based on three months’ worth of profits and will be capped at a maximum of £6,570.
How to claim:
On or after 17 August 2020 go to www.gov.uk and in the search box enter: ‘Self-Employment Income Support Scheme’. Please do not try and claim early as the online portal will not be available before 17 August 2020.
What you will need (the same information as was needed to make the first claim):
o National insurance number
o Self-Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
o Government gateway user ID and password
o Bank account number and sort code (we recommend you use the account which you usually use for business transactions)
o The address the bank account is registered to. This is probably your trading address or possibly your home address. If you are unsure, we would suggest you check your bank statements.
Once HMRC approve your claim, they will authorise payment direct to your bank account and funds should reach you within six working days.
If you do not have access to an internet connection, then you can make your claim over the telephone. The Covid-19 support number is 0800 024 1222 (Mon – Fri 8am to 4pm). This telephone line is expected to be extremely busy and we would recommend that you only contact HMRC if you are unable to claim online.
SEISS & Tax
The SEISS Grant is taxable income and it must be recorded within your business books and records. You should therefore keep a record of any grants received, as this information will be needed when deal with your tax affairs. If you are VAT registered, then the SEISS grant is outside the scope of VAT and does not need to be reported on any VAT returns.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
The CJRS scheme is still available to assist employers, however, please be sure you are aware of the changes effective over the next couple of months.
o 1 August 2020
The government will pay 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 per month. Employers will pay the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions.
o 1 September 2020
The government will pay 70% of wages, capped at £2,187.50 per month. Employers will pay the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions, as well as and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
o 1 October 2020
The government will pay 60% of wages, capped at £1,875 per month. Employers will pay the employer’s national insurance and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500.
HMRC Fraud Scams
There has been an increase in scam emails, calls and texts. If you are contacted by text, phone or email claiming to be from HMRC, stating that you can claim financial help or are owed a tax refund please be mindful that this may be a scam. Do not click on any links or provide any bank account details or personal details over the phone.
This information is designed to assist understanding and does not cover all aspects applicable. We would strongly recommend that you refer to the governments published information, as this may change on a daily basis. Further information is available from: www.gov.uk
We have not forgotten about training, we are working in the background to bring back courses as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.
We do not want to book courses too early and then have to cancel, but be rest assured that we are aiming to have courses up and running again later this year.
If your accreditation has expired during the covid period or about to expire, give us a call and we will book you on the first available accreditation course.
We have been advised by the Organisers of the Landlord Expo in Bristol on the 26th March, that due to the Coronavirus it has been postponed. They will advise us when this will be rescheduled.
Our Committee have taken the decision to postpone our General Meeting that was due to be held at the Future Inn on the 22nd April 2020, for the same reason. We will update you when this will be rescheduled.
The Teignbridge Landlord Open Evening at Newton Abbot Racecourse on 19th May has also been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
Landlords- you can now compare local Letting Agent fees on one website FREE OF CHARGE.
Letting Agents- you can add your company information and fees FREE OF CHARGE to the website.
The comparison site will reveal how much local letting agents charge for ‘full property management’, ‘rent collection’ and ‘tenant find only’ services.
4 simple steps
For further information: www.comparelettingagentfees.co.uk
Wednesday 5th February, Anna Lord (SWLA Senior Administrator) attended the meeting along with various representatives from the PRS in Plymouth. The aim of the group is to drive up housing conditions.
Many items were discussed including; changes in HMO licencing in line with mandatory licencing, the costings of HMO licencing, PATH tenancy training programs, the climate emergency and what the PRS can do to help.
SWLA are proud to be part of this group; helping to drive up housing conditions for tenants whilst ensuring members and course attendees are aware of their landlord obligations.
SWLA AGM – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 – 7.30pm – Future Inn, Plymouth
Wednesday 11th December 2019; 3pm-6pm
Come and join us for a mince pie and a catch up. All members welcome!
Have your say! The Government consultation closes on Saturday 12th October 2019
Iain Maitland (Vice Chair SWLA) and Linda Johns (SWLA Policy Officer) met with Matt Garrett (Service Director, Community Connections Plymouth City Council) and Councillor Chris Penberthy (Cabinet for Housing and Co-operative Development) on Monday 1st October 2019.
Items on the agenda included the oversupply of HMOs in Plymouth and the abolition of Section 21.
If any of our members would like further information regarding change of use of HMOs, please contact the SWLA Office.
IMPORTANT REMINDER; the government’s Abolition of Section 21 consultation closes on Saturday 12th October 2019. Carry out the online consultation survey if you want your view to be heard.
We had a meeting in our Office today, with Andy Richens, and Nigel Mellor both Policy Advisors from the “Office of Tax Simplification”.
In attendance were Iain Maitland (Vice Chairman), Steve Lees (Chairman) and Katarina Swain (Treasurer). They came to discuss and obtain our viewpoint on simplifying Tax payments for the self-employed and landlords. We will update you as we receive more information on this subject in due course.
Just a little reminder, when giving out a copy of the “How To Rent Guide” to your tenants at the start of their tenancy, please always search the Gov.uk website for How to Rent Guide to ensure you give the most up to date version possible to your tenants.
SWLA General Meeting; Wednesday 16th October 2019
7.30pm, Future Inn Plymouth
Speakers covering landlord related topics
Thank you to everyone who attended our open office get together! It was great to catch up and enjoy a cream tea.
Next date for your diaries; Wednesday 16th October 2019, SWLA General Meeting at Future Inn, Plymouth. Three speakers to keep our members up to date on numerous landlord matters.
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
The Ministry of Housing and Local Communities have updated the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ guide.
Landlords and Agents must provide tenants with the latest copy of the guide at the beginning of a tenancy. Landlords are not required to supply a further copy of the publication each time a different version is published during the tenancy.
Print the guide straight from the gov.uk website to ensure that you are providing the latest version to your tenant.
In relation to the Housing Act 1988, Section 21; the Form 6a is also expected to be updated.