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The Empo EXPO - EMPO Messenger (May 15)

Article by Giles Inman on May 26, 2015 View in browser

The Empo EXPO - EMPO Messenger (May 15)

On the 8th May EMPO hosted its third East Midlands Landlord & Letting Agent Expo at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham. The Expo was a great success with over 80 exhibitors and an action packed timetable of seminars and guest speakers.

Over 700 visitors attended the event to seek out money saving products and services and the advice and guidance necessary to become more responsible landlords in respect of their landlord management and housing standards responsibilities. Next year's Expo will be at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel on Thursday 5th May.

NEW EMPO MEMBERS April 2015

Welcome

Colin Key & Nick Max

Energy Efficient Landlord

Energy EfficiencyIf you let a privately rented property in England and Wales, your property will soon have to meet energy efficiency standards to be legally rented out.

The Government has recently introduced new energy efficiency regulations,that privately rented properties are going to have to comply with by April 2018. If you are a landlord your property will have to have an E rated Energy Performance Certificate or higher to be legally, and if you are a tenant you will be able to ask your landlord for energy efficiency improvements from April 2016.

These new rules can be confusing for people not familiar with the topic. Fear not though! This website has been set up to give you the information you need.

Private renters in severe arrears are facing a ‘desperate situation’ as the number of those owing more than two months of rent has gone up 4% on a year ago.

As of quarter one 2015 there are 70,900 tenants facing more than two months of unpaid rent, according to the figures released by the estate agency chains Your Move and Reeds Rains.

This is 2,700 more than at the same point last year (4%) and 1,500 (2.2%) more than the previous quarter (last quarter of 2014).

Anna Brosnan, head of campaigns at the National Housing Federation, said: ‘These figures show what a desperate situation many private renters are facing.

‘People are up against the rising cost of rents and stagnating wages as they struggle month to month to keep a roof over their heads.’

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: ‘Earnings are a crunch point too.

‘Many tenants are still struggling to keep up with household expenses in the face of extremely modest wages.’ But he added: ‘There are also more cases of severe arrears, in absolute terms, because there are more people renting their home overall. The flipside to these figures are that more than 98% never get into serious arrears.’

Over 28,000 tenants faced a court order for eviction in the first quarter of this year – which is up 2.3% since the last three months of 2014. Although, the number of court eviction orders had fallen since quarter one of 2014 (down 7.9%).

The NHF is calling for the government to build more homes and, through its Homes for Britian Campaign, end the housing crisis in a generation.

Nearly one in six privately rented homes in England is physically unsafe, a report published today has said.

Analysis of the English Housing Survey by Citizens Advice and the New Policy Institute (NPI)  found that 16% of privately rented properties – 740,000 homes – contain a ‘category 1 hazard’ that presents ‘a severe threat to health or safety’.

Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, a category 1 hazard, which can include severe damp, excessive cold or risk of falls, means the property fails the legal minimum standard for housing.

The Citizens Advice and NPI research found the average rent paid for unsafe private rented homes that are unsafe was £157 a week, providing landlords with a total of £5.6bn a year in rent.

Of this, £1.3bn is paid by the state in the form of housing benefit.

According to the report, A Nation of Renters, these properties contain 510,000 children and 180,000 include a person with a disability.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: ‘Rogue landlords are putting profits before safety… The government has rightly said it wants to tackle the country’s housing crisis – it must make targeting dodgy landlords, giving tenants better rights and driving up standards a major part of that effort.’

The Deregulation Act, passed by Government earlier this year, is set to stop ‘rogue’ landlords undertaking ‘revenge evictions’ against tenants who complain or request repairs.

The prime minister David Cameron has expressed he wants to introduce a new mandatory licensing regime to 'crack down on the rogue landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants.'

He also said he wanted to roll out the Immigration Bill, which is currently restricted to a West Midlands pilot, whereby landlords must check the immigration status of their tenants.

National Autistic Society

The National Autistic Society is the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families.

We provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism.

We are currently looking for suitable accommodation in the Leicestershire area. The ideal location would be the North West or South West suburbs, such as Oadby, Wigston, Syston, Thurcaston, that are close to amenities and public transport, but have outdoor space also.

We are looking to develop our services in the area to support up to 14 adults who have autism to be independent in their own homes, who also have access to 24/7 shared staff and support. An ideal site would have a range of one-person up to three-person flats or homes, in the same location or building. Outdoor space would be required, this could be shared and we would work with you to identify the ideal layout and building(s).

Your tenant would be the National Autistic Society and the people we support in your accommodation would be our tenants. This means that you would have the lease and rental security that comes with having a long established major UK charity as your tenant.

We would manage the tenancies of those people living there and any voids would be our responsibility.

We have long successful relationships across the UK with many private landlords who appreciate the benefits of this type of tenancy. We can also be flexible as to how the maintenance of the property is managed – either by the landlord or organised by The NAS.

You would also have the benefit of a local NAS manager being allocated as a point of liaison to ensure that the tenancy operates smoothly throughout.

If you are interested, or have any current property that may meet our needs, please get in touch with:

Amy Lewis, Area Manager on 07887625177 or email at amy.lewis@nas.org.uk.

Bombshell as Cameron announces mandatory licensing of landlords

David Cameron is set to introduce a mandatory licensing regime of private landlords.

What is being described as a bombshell is outlined in a speech Cameron gave last week on immigration.

Most commentators have so far focused on his announcement that the current ‘right to rent’ trial in the midlands whereby landlords or their agents must check the immigration status of tenants is to be rolled out nationwide.

But Cameron added that a new mandatory licensing regime will be introduced. There are no details, for example as to whether it will include letting agents. However, this does seem highly likely given that agents act for landlords and can legally  bear responsibility for ‘right to rent’ checks and other duties.

Until now, the Tories have always walked away from such a policy. The last Labour administration said it wanted landlord – and letting agent – licensing but never introduced it.

But this is what Cameron said: “There are other ways we can identify those who shouldn’t be here, for example through housing. For the first time we’ve had landlords checking whether their tenants are here legally.

“The Liberal Democrats only wanted us to run a pilot on that one. But now we’ve got a majority, we will roll it out nationwide, and we’ll change the rules so landlords can evict illegal immigrants more quickly.

“We’ll also crack down on the unscrupulous landlords who cram houses full of illegal migrants, by introducing a new mandatory licensing regime. And, a bit like ending jobs when visas expire, we’ll consult on cancelling tenancies automatically at the same point.

“It’s not just through housing and jobs; we can track down illegal migrants through the banking system too.”