Apr
27

Manifesto call for new housing court

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The RLA is calling on the next government to set up a new housing court to speed up justice for landlords and tenants. The new court would enable landlords and tenants to more swiftly access justice to uphold their contractual rights in respect of property possession and for action against landlords breaching the law. The […]

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Apr
27

Nightmare Tenant – No rent payments, two mortgages and mounting legal fees

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Today (Thursday 27th April, 9pm) on Channel 5s “Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords”, a Watford landlord has a fight on his hands when his long-term tenant stops paying rent and unleashes a deluge of abuse when he tries to evict her. With rent arrears already at £6000 and mounting legal costs, builder David Simpson has been… Read more

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Apr
27

Making Tax Digital put on-hold…

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Breaking News – Tax: Government plans to introduce quarterly tax returns and payments have been put on-hold in the run-up to the June election, after fears of its effect on businesses. The proposed new tax regime for business, digitising tax returns, which had its scheduled plans delayed in the Spring Budget announcement, has now been […]

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Apr
26

Stamp Duty planning for purchasing partners plot?

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My partner (not married) owns a bungalow (principle residence). She has obtained planning permission for the demolition of the bungalow and to build 3 houses on the plot (1 x 4bed detached and a pair of 2 bed semi’s). My company (incorporated about a year ago to build and retain rental properties) has agreed to… Read more

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Apr
26

The Victoria Derbyshire Programme is looking at the ongoing issue of tenants and landlords

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The Victoria Derbyshire Programme on BBC Two and BBC News is looking at the ongoing issue of tenants and landlords. They are particularly keen to hear from readers if you are a landlord in the UK who has had a problematic tenant. Of most interest is a landlord who is currently in a serious dispute… Read more

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Apr
26

Portsmouth Election Hustings

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On 8th May 2017, just one month before the ‘snap’ General Election called by Prime Minister Teresa May, PDPLA supported by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) will host an election hustings in Portsmouth. With 4,000+ landlords in Portsmouth providing nearly 25% of the accommodation in the city, which is also the most densely populated city […]

The post Portsmouth Election Hustings appeared first on RLA Campaigns and News Centre.

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Apr
26

Mayor’s Landlord Database will do little to find the criminals

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Plans for a new database to name and shame criminal landlords in London will do little to root out the crooks. We have concerns over the Mayor of London’s new plans for a database of landlords. In 2015/16 just 411 landlords were prosecuted by councils in the Capital of which 70% were in one Borough, Newham, which […]

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Apr
26

Government hopes to make Universal Credit payments easier for Landlords

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With talks in the media of DWP claiming that they plan to make the process for direct payments to Landlord’s easier. On 11th April 2017 DWP released a new UC47 Alternative Payment Arrangement application forms; enabling landlords to apply for direct payments. On both the secure and non-secure forms landlords can also apply for repayment… Read more

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Apr
26

Is there Stamp duty to consider if I use a Declaration of Trust?

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I have a buy to let property which is solely in my name and the mortgage outstanding amount is £125,200. I wanted to do a declaration of trust between myself and my wife and I wanted to know if any Stamp duty is payable? Many thanks Kais

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Apr
26

Fraudsters are targeting landlords and homeowners: are you ready to protect your property?

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Your property is probably your most valuable asset, therefore it is a very attractive target for ownership crime. The reported value of rental frauds in 2016 matched a total amount of nearly £2.5 million. This is a growing trend which shows no signs of abating, so how would you protect yourselves and your tenants? What should set the alarm ringing?  Here we look at some of the most common property frauds and tips to safeguard your business.

You are more vulnerable to property fraud if your property is:

• Rented out

• Empty – perhaps the owner may be living abroad or in a care home

• Mortgage-free, so no bank or building society has an interest

• Not registered with the Land Registry

Identity fraud

According to experts at the Land Registry, buy-to-let landlords, owners of mortgage free properties and those living abroad are particularly at risk of a scam involving fraudsters stealing their identity to sell or mortgage the property without them knowing. They then disappear, frequently changing their names leaving the true homeowner to deal with the consequences. To tackle this problem, the Government’s Land Registry department has set up a Property Alert scheme to prevent such frauds. Homeowners and landlords can register their details and get an email alert when there is activity on the property, such as a mortgage being taken out against it or a change of ownership details. The recipients can then decide how to react in case the activity looks suspicious. If you feel your property might be at risk you can also have a restriction placed on your property. A restriction is intended to prevent fraudulent activity such as the transfer of a mortgage, unless a solicitor confirms the application was made by the rightful owner.

Fake tenants

In one scam someone posing as a tenant will answer an ad for an online property and ask to pay by Western Union or a similar service. They then “accidentally” pay too much, apologise and ask for the money to be returned. The original payment will bounce and the fake tenant will receive the “repayment”.

Fake payment invoice

In recent months the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received a high number of reports about emails containing a piece of malware claiming to be an invoice or containing details of transactions. According to the Bureau the specific wording of the email is new and convincing, contains details of a fake order which appear to have been sent by a legitimate company. The payment method is described as a credit card payment, with details of a fake transaction number. The email will then state that the recipient can find more information on the purchase in the attached file, however opening the attachment will infect your computer with malware. The telephone numbers provided at the bottom of the email are not genuine and are often connected to people that are unaware that their email is being used.

Are you prepared to act to protect your property? We have a few tips to get you covered:

Sign up to the Land Registry Property Alert service:

If you think you might be at risk of property fraud, the first thing you should do is to sign up to the Land Registry Property Alert service.

Alerts are sent to you via email when official searches and applications are received against the property you want monitored.

So, for example, if someone tries to make changes to a property you have registered – such as applying to change the registered owner of your property – a notification is sent to you via email.

It won’t automatically block any changes to the register but it will tell you what is happening so you can take appropriate action if necessary.

It’s a good service for landlords too, as you can monitor up to ten properties at one time free of charge.

Put a restriction on your title

You can safeguard your property further by applying to put a restriction against the title that no sale or remortgage of the property is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer.

Be wary of fake emails

Do not click on any attachments or links within an email unless you are sure that you know who has sent them. Always check the legitimacy of the email with the company that has supposedly sent it.

Some fraudsters have intercepted emails between solicitors and their clients and substituted fraudulent bank details. Some people have unwittingly sent money meant for their house purchase to criminals rather than their own solicitor. If you are notified of a change to a solicitor’s bank details then telephone the solicitor and speak to someone whose voice you recognise to check this.

Know your tenant:

The best advice we can give to landlords and letting agents to avoid becoming victims of property fraud is to know their tenants. Always attend viewings with clients, never release keys (particularly regarding void properties) and never allow anyone to stay after you leave. Fraudsters might take an imprint of the key and get it cloned later. Make sure you are there and you can verify the details of the people moving into your property, don’t just rely on the letting agent.

As a landlord expanding their existing property portfolio, the importance of keeping properties under detailed control is key to safeguard them from fraudulent agents and to ensure that they are managed effectively.

Arthur property management software enables property managers to do just that, by giving them control over all aspects of their portfolio from their computer, tablet or mobile phone. Our app brings landlords, tenants, contractors, agents and owners together, in a single user interface, which makes problem solving easy, from wherever you are in the world. The Arthur software is guaranteed to help you get your property portfolio in order, no matter what size…

Come and try our 30-day free trial today!

Arthur Online

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View Full Article: Fraudsters are targeting landlords and homeowners: are you ready to protect your property?

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