We have previously commented (fairly negatively!) on the plans to introduce compulsory membership of redress schemes for lettings and property management agency work which appeared at the last minute in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
Slightly surprisingly (actually it isn’t, that was a rhetorical device) the government has, instead of producing the consultation that was promised on this issue, produced a draft Statutory Instrument which sets out the requirements for any organisation that is seeking approval as a redress scheme provider.
There is not a huge amount of useful information in the draft SI, unless you are considering applying to be a redress scheme of course! There … Read the full post
I didn’t comment here on Eric Pickles announcement of a ‘Tenants Charter’ at the Tory conference because, on inspection of the DCLG press release, it looked like a burp of a soundbite, with absolutely no significant likely effect. I contented myself with being rude about it in 140 characters on twitter, as that seemed sufficient. This didn’t stop some landlord organisations and journals getting terribly over-excited about the perceived threat of ‘required’ longer tenancies. There was (and remains) no such requirement.
However, the latest, slightly more detailed, press release does have some interesting bits in it, and perhaps more telling is the direction of travel – the recognition that private … Read the full post
The Government has today published the Immigration Bill in the Commons. We have previously commented on this planned bill and we had been hoping that it might be quietly shelved or downgraded. However that appears not to be the case. From our point of view we are only interested in the housing related provisions in Chapter 1 of Part 3 (which start here) and I am not going to discuss the rest of the Bill.
Chapter 1 of Part is, as most of you will know, concerned with ensuring that private landlords have to do the Home Office’s job for them. Sorry what I meant to say there … Read the full post
The detail of this may have passed you by at the time, it certainly did me, but amongst the wind and posturing of David Cameron’s ‘big speech’ in March on stopping immigrants from getting things from healthcare to driving licences was quite a significant snippet on the private rental sector.
You have probably already registered the proposals for what Cameron calls ‘state sector’ housing – presumably meaning social housing – which is to introduce statutory allocation guidance:
New migrants should not expect to be given a home on arrival. And yet at present almost one in ten new social lettings go to foreign nationals. So, I am going to introduce
… Read the full post
London Borough of Islington v The Unite Group Plc  EWHC 508 (Admin)
This is an interesting appeal in relation to the counting of storeys for HMO licensing purposes. It actually repeats an argument dealt with in an appeal in a criminal prosecution of a Mr Williams by Cotswold District Council from way back in 2008 although the result here was different (see “Recount Your Storeys” (2009) 12 JHL 1).
Basically, Unite owns a block of flats in Islington. The ground floor is a shop and the entrance to the block. The next four floors are flats, one flat per floor. The flats themselves are described as ‘cluster flats’. What … Read the full post
We bring you two interesting reports from the world of Rent Repayment Orders. Briefly, these stem from a power under s73 and 74 of the Housing Act 2004. These sections allow a Residential Property Tribunal to award a tenant or local authority the return of rent or housing benefits where the landlord has been operating an unlicensed HMO.
The provisions are a little different. For tenants the Landlord must have been convicted of operating an unlicensed HMO or the Local Authority must have already obtained an order for the return of Housing Benefit and, after this has occurred, the tenants may then apply for the return of rent … Read the full post
[Update at the end of the post 15/11/2012]
Now that the Guardian has the story, I feel able to quote a briefing paper by Andy Gale of the DCLG that had found its way to me. This is the briefing that Andy Gale has been giving to Council officers (not councillors, as far as I know) on what he gives as the DCLG view of the post-Localism Act world, how Councils should implement it, and how officers should sell this to Councillors.
And it makes very interesting reading. Please note that there may be a more considered post on the issues and policy views to come on this blog … Read the full post