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Heat Network Regulations - EMPO Messenger (June 15)

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

Heat Network Regulations - EMPO Messenger (June 15)

EMPO provides the following guidance on the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 & the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015. This guidance is from the National Measurement & Regulation Office (NMRO) Enforcement Authority and is for advice only and is not legally binding.

Residential Accommodation may be in scope of the regulations depending on the individual circumstances. We would only deem residential accommodation in scope of the regulations if each tenant rents an ‘apartmented’ space in a building.

For the purposes of these regulations, an ‘apartmented’ building is a building in which there is more than one occupier in the building paying for the heat supplied. To be in the scope of the regulations, for domestic accommodation the ‘apartmented’ space should contain the following: a kitchen (or cooking area), a bathroom (including a toilet) and a space intended to be for living and sleeping in.

So if the tenants share common bathrooms or kitchens then the building would not be in scope of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.

In summary, EMPO’s interpretation of the above is that the majority of HMOs are not impacted by these regulations as most properties will have shared common areas and will not be ‘apartmented.’

Landlords of self-contained properties, whose tenants are directly responsible for their utility bills and contract with utility providers, are outside the scope of these regulations. Where this is not the case landlords need to:

i) Notify the National Measurement & Regulation Office (NMRO) by 31 December 2015. This notification will last for four years.

(ii) Undertake viability assessments in respect of metering for individual units by 31 December 2016 and install meters where viable.

The above can be accomplished by emailing heatnotifications@nmro.gov.uk and by visiting www.gov.uk/heat-networks where the NMRO has provided a viability assessment tool to help landlords determine if they need to install individual meters.

New EMPO Members May 2015

William Fish, Robert Grant, Pardeep & Surekha Rana, David & Annette Freer, William Robinson, Maxine Murray, Tim & Tina Okey, Suzannah Tynan, Mr Ali-Khani, Jordan Court Ltd,  Janet Muller


Again Rogue landlords in the East Midlands damage the sector with their actions.

Two rogue landlords have been fined a total of £16,400 for safety breaches which put their student tenants at risk.

Landlords Mr Irfan Tariq and Mrs Sajadah Tariq of Elm Bank, Mapperley, were taken to court by Nottingham City Council for failing to licence student flats in Corporation Oaks, St Ann’s and for fire safety failings.

The couple, who claimed the property, was mostly unoccupied despite housing a dozen students, failed to appear at Nottingham Magistrates Court on Wednesday June 3rd and the case was heard in their absence.

They were found guilty of failing to licence a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) under Section 55 of the Housing Act 2004, as well as contravening the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006, in particular around fire safety.

They were each fined £5,000 for failure to licence the property, £2,500 each for breaches of the management regulations and full costs of £1,403.30 were awarded to the Council and a victim surcharge of £120 each – a total fine of £16,403.30.

The Safer Housing Team was made aware of poor conditions at the property last November by the Student Advice Centre and the Fire Authority who believed the property was occupied by students and that they were at risk from fire hazards. The property was not a licensed HMO.

Magistrates heard how officers visited the property the same day and found the landlord in attendance, and although there were personal belongings within the property, such as laptops and mobile phones, the landlord denied that many of the rooms were occupied.

A warrant was applied for and granted and executed on the morning of November 12th 2014, supported by Community Protection’s Neighbourhood Policing Team. At the time officers entered the property, 12 students were found to be living at the address, seven of whom were from overseas. Hazards found at the property posed a serious risk to the health, safety and well-being of these citizens, including:

  • Fire doors having been removed from door frames and left leaning against walls
  • Service pipes going through walls and ceilings/floors, compromising fire safety
  • A rear exit door which was a designated fire escape having been screwed shut
  • A fire alarm not being maintained and on two separate visits not operating at all.

Mr Tariq is also awaiting trial in the Magistrate’s Court for similar offences in relation to another HMO.


The Lincolnshire Landlord Expo

In partnership with DASH accreditation and Graham Penny Auctions EMPO is hosting the Lincolnshire Landlord Expo at the Bentley Hotel, Lincoln on Tuesday 6th October 2015.

This FREE to attend event will provide an excellent platform for property investors to find out about the opportunities and pitfalls of investing in Lincolnshire.

To find out more about the Expo please click HERE


Focus on Lincoln- Good news for Student Landlords!!

1,000 more university students on way to Lincoln - and they will spend £15 million a year!

Investment of £130 million at the University of Lincoln will attract 1,000 more students and deliver a huge economic boost to the city and county.

The investment will further transform the Brayford campus with new buildings that will enable the university to train more nurses and engineers, taking student numbers to 14,000.

The new students will bring a cash windfall amounting to around £15 million each year with restaurants, bars, shops and landlords benefiting, according to NUS figures.

But the benefits of the investment will be far wider as the additional graduates will plug skills gaps in the NHS and hi-tech industries in Lincolnshire, improving services, securing the presence of large employers in the area and driving economic growth.

The cash will also be used to enhance the university's Holbeach campus, strengthening its expertise in food production, which will benefit agriculture in Lincolnshire.

The funding for the university's expansion, which will take place during the next three to five years, includes £48 million from the European Investment Bank.

The vice chancellor of the university, Professor Mary Stuart, said "Local people are going to have nurses that are trained with the best facilities." "We think there'll be about 150 construction jobs and more people will be coming to work for the university, buying homes in the area and using all the facilities."

Gary Hughes, a member of the West End Residents Association, said the university's expansion would help the economy but expressed concern and suggested it could do more to ensure neighbourhoods are kept tidy and late-night noise is tackled.

But local companies see a great opportunity.

Julia Lock, partner at Andrew and Co and head of commercial property, said: "More students inevitably means more trade for existing retail businesses and may also help to attract other large retailers to the area.


Channel 5 and Paul Shamplina (Landlord Action) exposes sub-letting scam

On Wednesday 24th June 2015 at 9pm, Channel 5 aired the first episode of ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’, a six-part series following leading eviction specialists, Landlord Action, and council teams from across Britain, as they deal with the gritty side of the UK’s buy-to-let industry, exposing problematic tenants and dishonest landlords.

The first episode uncovered horror stories of home-owners battling to take repossession of their homes from tenants who refuse to pay, and landlords exposed for the poor and unsanitary living conditions of their rental properties.

Mr Shamplina says “We’ve been in this business for 15 years and this series could run and run if it were to uncover all the unsavoury behaviour which occurs in the buy-to-let industry. Hopefully the cases highlighted in ‘Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ will give a balanced view of the issues that can occur on both sides and remind landlords of the importance of thorough due diligence.”

The series will run for six weeks, every Wednesday on Channel 5 at 9pm starting on 24th June 2015.

Paul will be presenting a seminar on ‘How to avoid a bad tenant’ at the Lincolnshire Landlord Expo on Tuesday 6th October 2015.

To watch the first episode of Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords’ click HERE