Our weekly look at the housing news has come round again, what has happened this week?
The Queen’s Speech
You can read my blog from earlier this week on my thoughts of the Queen’ Speech here
The Renters Reform Bill was given a mention, the purpose of the Bill is to abolish ‘no fault’ section 21 evictions and strengthen landlords’ rights of possession, and most importantly to deliver on the levelling up mission to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030 bringing with it a fairer rental market which is more effective for tenants and landlords.
You can read more about it here.
Labour calls for rent freeze
Labour’s London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, buoyed up after the party’s successes in the capital, has renewed his call for rent controls generally and for him to be given the power to impose private sector rent controls.
You can read what Sadiq says here, is this something that you as landlords, now need to be concerned about?
Is there a cleaning crisis?
Cleaners have always been seen as a low skilled job, but cleaning that is done really well is a skill that not everyone can do! Brexit and Covid have not helped as Daniel Evans, chair of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks says:-
Cleaning companies play a vital role when it comes to the handover from tenancy to tenancy, and for landlords suffering voids.
Many households have cancelled their cleaners, and there may not be much prospect of getting them back as the cost of living bites. Having a clean property when renting and making sure it is kept that way once occupied by tenants is something landlords need to make sure of. He also added:-
“Brexit and Covid haven’t helped, and neither will the cost-of-living crisis, which could see more landlords and letting agencies tighten their belts and start to see cleaning as a luxury, when frankly it is a necessity for the smooth running of the sector.”
Bogus repair claims
A warning from solicitors Woodstock Legal Services has seen a rise in a growing number of mischievous property disrepair claims as tenants and ‘ambulance chasing’ law firms see the potential pay-days such claims can bring.
Solicitor Carly Jermyn says more and more tenants are aware of their rights under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, saying:-
More tenants are using counter-claims under this legislation to delay or stop possession claims particularly when they have fallen behind in the rent
This is partly a fall-out from the pandemic during which some tenants either wilfully or through desperation decided to prioritise the basics such as food and heating – and making a disrepair claim is one way to offset the potential debt incurred via rent arrears
You can read the full article here.
How will the new ‘property portal’ for landlords and tenants work?
The first details of the ‘private rental portal’ were revealed in the Queen’s Speech this week. It will apparently be similar but a lot more comprehensive than the ones already in operation in Wales & Scotland.
These use the address of each private rented property in England to create a database of homes and their landlords or agents. LandlordZONE looks into more.
Are we inadvertently giving too much information to burglars?
This is what a property services firm has accused online property listings updated by estate agents of doing by uploading floor plans and video footage giving a clear layout, thus allowing for a better planned ‘visit’.
Owners should be careful to ensure that high-value goods in rooms are not visible and that security features and levels should not be seen in video’s.
Mark Hall from Divert.co.uk says vendors should reject floorplans for their property, you can read more here.
Newsround will be back next week.