Browsing all articles from May, 2021

PRS braces for end to 14-month long evictions ban

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On 20th March 2020 LandlordZONE exclusively broke the news that the first county courts were moving to suspend evictions.

Reel forward 14 months and that ban is now due to end on Tuesday when bailiffs will once again be able to execute possession warrants and the courts system will restart in earnest.

But it’s not going to be that simple. For technical reasons most evictions will not restart for another two weeks after that and landlords will still have to give four months’ notice of an eviction, down from six.

Nevertheless, for the many landlords facing both severe financial problems as they have waited to evict tenants, there is light at the end of the tunnel – after several false starts.

Sherrelle Collman, MD of Caridon Landlord Solutions (pictured), says: “This is good news for landlords, particularly those who have cases trapped in the court system and therefore have been many months without rental income. 

“However, landlords must appreciate there is a significant backlog which cannot be cleared overnight.

“We also acknowledge that this change will be concerning for many tenants, but the ban on evictions had to come to an end at some point, just as lockdown had to and furlough will.”

Shelter says the government must take urgent action to protect renters against the imminent threat of eviction and homelessness with a package of emergency financial aid.

But to protect renters long-term, Shelter says the government must address the structural failings of the private rental system through its forthcoming renting reform measures.

Nowhere to go

polly shelter

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter (pictured), says:The lifting of the eviction ban signals the beginning of the end for many renters facing homelessness. Thousands of people will wake up on the 1st of June knowing they’ll soon be kicked out of their home, with nowhere to go.”

Her comments are echoed by the Joseph Rowntree Federation, which is calling for a targeted package of grants to support renters in arrears, administered through the existing Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) system.

“The £180m currently available through DHPs this year is nowhere near sufficient to support the 450,000 renters in arrears,” it says.

“A boost to DHP payments, together with improved guidance and ring-fenced funding for arrears, would be sufficient to re-set the housing market and enable renters to recover economically at pace with the rest of the country.”

Another pressing issue the government just tackle is the backlog of some 11,000 possession cases that must now be actioned by county courts.

Court caseload

“We have a large number of cases at Landlord Action in courts all across England and Wales that have been on hold while our landlords have had to wait for bailiffs to be able to start working again,” says its Legal Director Tim Frome (pictured).

“Due to the volumes of cases to deal with it is likely that cases in the city courts are likely to be more delayed than those in rural areas.

“We will know very soon how long the different courts are going to take in scheduling the bailiff appointments.  

“It must be noted that dealing with the backlog will be in addition to the bailiffs being instructed on new cases that are progressing through the courts. The new processes put in place last year have delayed the length of time it takes to complete all possession cases.”


Timothy Douglas, (pictured) Policy and Campaigns Manager, at Propertymark, says: “Since January bailiffs have been able to act if a possession order confirms the tenant was in six months of rent arrears or it was granted on anti-social behaviour grounds.

“The easing of restrictions today will be welcomed by many in the private rented sector, particularly by those landlords who have been personally affected by the pandemic and have been unable to regain possession of their property.

“The UK Government must not underestimate the support that letting agents have provided to landlords and tenants throughout the pandemic. This support has been crucial in helping to sustain tenancies and must be reflected in future decision making.”

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – PRS braces for end to 14-month long evictions ban | LandlordZONE.

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LATEST: Landlords challenge York licensing scheme as ‘unlawful and irrational’

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Landlords are threatening to take City of York Council to the High Court over its plans to introduce additional licensing for smaller HMOs.

York Residential Landlords Association claims plans to extend the current scheme to include all smaller HMOs with less than five occupants in areas of the city where there are high levels of shared housing, are unlawful and irrational.

The National Residential Landlords Association legal counsel, David Smith (pictured), has written to the council on behalf of the York group explaining that its members are deeply concerned.

They claim it is unlikely to meet the requirements of a lawful consultation, that the accompanying documents fail to make a clearly evidenced case for the scheme to be rolled out, and that parts of the proposed scheme are unlawful.

Smith tells LandlordZONE: “The evidence to support the licensing process is very poor and shows very little correlation between HMO density and the issues of noise, anti-social behaviour and rubbish.

“In fact, there is no evidence which links those issues to rental property at all and the council itself seems to suggest that it may be more closely linked to the normal night and business life of the city centre.”

He adds that if the authority tries to proceed on the basis of this current flawed evidence base and consultation then it’s likely York landlords will have a strong case to say that this is unlawful.

The council’s legal team is currently considering the letter. In its consultation document, it says York has about 2,000 HMOs occupied by less than five occupants and adds: “We know from experience that there will be a small, and probably vocal, minority of landlords who will never see the overall value of additional licensing of HMOs. They take an essentially narrow, self-interested view.”

The consultation at ends on 27th June.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – LATEST: Landlords challenge York licensing scheme as ‘unlawful and irrational’ | LandlordZONE.

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HMO vs Single Let – Which Is Best?

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Property Investors ponder over whether HMO or Single Let is the best strategy for Buy To Let?

The answer may surprise you!

Please click on the video below:

The post HMO vs Single Let – Which Is Best? appeared first on Property118.

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210,000 tenants may face difficulties post Covid arrears

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Thousands of private renters who have built arrears during the pandemic face problems finding an alternative home because of damage to their credit scores according to a new survey.

With the Government refusing to support tenants and landlords in tackling COVID related arrears

The post 210,000 tenants may face difficulties post Covid arrears appeared first on Property118.

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NRLA warns of looming referencing crisis as Covid arrears taint credit scores

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Thousands of tenants in rent arrears will struggle to find future homes because of damaged credit scores caused by legal action, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

Ahead of emergency restrictions easing on 1st June, its new survey of more than 2,000 private renters in England and Wales shows that 7% have built up arrears since the first lockdown in March 2020.

A quarter of them report that their landlord has attempted to reclaim these by seeking a court order which, if successful, damage a tenant’s credit score and make it harder to access new housing.


With the government refusing to support tenants and landlords in tackling COVID-related arrears, the research finds that about 210,000 tenants may face severe difficulties in getting landlords to let to them in future. 

The data, compiled by research consultancy Dynata, finds that the average amount of rent owed during the pandemic is now almost £900.

The figures also show that more than 80% of renters now in arrears weren’t behind on their rent payments when the pandemic began, while 30% of them now owe £1,000 or more. Most don’t qualify for emergency housing support from councils to help those receiving benefits.


Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, says that without urgent help, many tenants face the prospect of losing their home needlessly as landlords struggle to shoulder the cost of arrears.

He adds: “The government needs to develop a financial package which ensures that benefits cover the rents of those in receipt of them. For those who do not qualify for benefit support, an interest-free, government guaranteed tenant hardship loan should be established, similar to those in Wales and Scotland.”

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – NRLA warns of looming referencing crisis as Covid arrears taint credit scores | LandlordZONE.

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Introduction to Tenancy Mediation by PRS Mediation

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Julie Ford, a Property Redress Scheme (PRS) Tenancy Mediator with over 25 years’ experience of working in the private rented sector, discusses what property mediation is and its importance. Julie works as a consultant, supporting landlords and letting agents who have problem tenants, especially those with rent arrears.

What is mediation?

Most people will associate mediation with either family issues or divorce. We know mediation is very effective during the divorce process and for that reason it is often a requirement that couples go through mediation before they can apply for a divorce. However, mediation is now playing a bigger part in the private rented sector, especially now that notice periods have been extended and the court process for landlords seeking possession of their property is much longer than we were used to before the pandemic.

Mediation is simply a way of settling disputes between two parties. The two parties are helped by a trained impartial third party (the mediator) to put forward their views and come to a mutually agreeable outcome. It is then common for the outcome to be made legally binding through a signed agreement.

People choose to use mediation because it is much cheaper and quicker than going through the courts. But it also has the advantage that it often leads to longer lasting agreements, because both parties are empowered to solve their dispute to achieve a “win-win” solution.

What is mediation when it comes to property?

Rather than going through the courts to resolve issues such as rent arrears and repossessions, landlords and tenants can use mediation instead. It works in almost the same way as other areas of the law. The mediator simply helps the landlord and tenant discuss the issue and come to an agreement. This could take the form of payment plans, repossession dates and more. After the agreement is reached a document is drafted and signed by both parties to make it legally binding.

Because of the eviction ban, the courts are currently backed up with cases going all the way back to March 2020. For landlords who are owed rent or just want to get their property back, it is much quicker to do this through mediation.

PRS Tenancy Mediation uses trained mediators to ensure that there is a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties (tenant and landlord). We understand that both the landlord and the tenant are likely to be experiencing difficulties associated with financial issues. We are there to help facilitate a good outcome for both parties, but particularly to ensure the best outcome for the landlord.

Julie has recorded an informational video detailing the most important elements of this topic.

Setting up payment plans with tenants

We have had many successes in recent months, such as this one where the landlord recovered 100% of her rent arrears by using PRS tenancy mediation. We’ve been able to set up payment plans with tenants and facilitated deeds of surrender, helping landlords get their properties back without having to go through the entire court process. This saves landlords time, money and stress in preventing lost rent and court fees. This is extremely important in the current climate, with courts anticipated to buckle under pressure once the eviction ban restrictions end.

Importance of tenancy mediation

There is a huge backlog in the court system due to COVID-19, with repossessions taking at least a year to resolve and most cases entering the system now not likely to be completed until well into 2022. Mediation helps keep the property industry flowing – there will be an even greater need for end of tenancy mediation when the Section 21 process is removed as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill. From our point of view as mediators we are here to help and guide, enabling landlords to engage and communicate more effectively with their tenants and resolve issues without the need to go to court.

Next steps

If you have a tenant who is not paying the rent on time or is not paying full rent and the communication has broken down, get in touch with us. By opening up dialogue again and getting the ball rolling, we are sure we will be able to get you the outcome that you would like. Get in touch with the PRS Tenancy Mediation Service today and speak to one of our trained mediators, who will be able to guide you through the process.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – Introduction to Tenancy Mediation by PRS Mediation | LandlordZONE.

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EXCLUSIVE: TV ‘property challenge’ reality show to offer winner £1 million

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A £1 million prize is up for grabs in a new reality TV show to find the Property Graduate of 2021.

Veteran investor John Howard is hosting the programme on Sky to find his new business partner. He’ll be putting contestants through their paces along with fellow judges Helen Chorley and Fiona Talbot during a three-day process that kicks off with interviews to decide who will go through to the next stage.

This will be followed by the property challenge where candidates are given details of a property and need to explain how they would develop it and show a 30% net profit. On the final day, the remaining three candidates will be quizzed about a chosen property deal.

Lucky winner

The lucky winner will then have 12 months to come up with a development or project and Howard will provide a £1 million fund to cover all the costs involved in its development and sale, including construction costs up to a further £1 million. The winning investor will also get 50% share of the profit.

One of the UK’s most experienced property developers and investors, Howard recently launched the John Howard Joint Venture fund to support others.

He tells LandlordZONE: “I enjoy working with other people and can help them avoid making mistakes while sharing profits.”

Howard says there’s no age limit to the competition as he’s looking for ambition, drive, enthusiasm and energy – not just property experience. He’s also particularly keen that women apply too. “We’re not looking to embarrass anyone,” insists Howard.

“Even if they don’t win, people will come away from the experience with more knowledge and confidence.”

The show films during June and July and airs on channel 191 in September. To apply to take part before the 7th June deadline, visit


©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – EXCLUSIVE: TV ‘property challenge’ reality show to offer winner £1 million | LandlordZONE.

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What you missed in The Ultimate Landlord Show this week

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This week saw LandlordZONE’s Paul Shamplina join forces with Landlord Sales Agency’s David Coughlin in a packed webinar at The Ultimate Landlord Show. The two Landlord heavyweights weighed in on what’s happening to Landlords right now, how the eviction bans and court backlogs will affect us, and why so many Landlords are making the decision to sell either part or all of their portfolios.

David summed it up when he said this was “a time that is not going to come again for 7 to 8 years.” He touched on why he’s helping so many landlords right now sell, “the market is still hot, so now couldn’t be a better time to sell your portfolios. Some of us have issues with tenants, and potential tax bills to pay. Others are looking release equity out of the portfolio.” He also encouraged Landlords to think fast:

Stamp duty starts going back up from end of June to September, so if you want to make the most cash, Landlords need to be looking at selling now before it does. We work with Paul Shamplina to solve all your tenant issues. Whatever your issues is, there’s a solution to it.

We’ve already done this for so many Landlords recently, who have been coming to us with portfolios from anything between 5 to 30 properties. Some want to sell the full portfolio, whilst others want to sell off part of it to cash in. They won’t get a higher price than what properties will go for right now. Here at Landlord Sales Agency, our team of experts will do all the work for you, to solve any issue you might have to get you the best price, and fast. We’ve sold portfolios in 7 – 28 days, and the Landlords have been able to relax and enjoy retirement. There’s no one better than us to sell your portfolios, and now is the time.

You can watch a recording of the event by clicking on the link here.

Want to sell to retire? Cash in now while the market is still hot:

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©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – What you missed in The Ultimate Landlord Show this week | LandlordZONE.

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8% of Private Renters are behind on their rent

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In England, the ban on most bailiff-enforced evictions comes to an end on Monday, while the notice period landlords need to give tenants will be reduced from six to four months. Citizens Advice are reporting an increasing number of private tenants are turning to them for help.

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Rogue rent-to-rent operator given banning order over housing offences

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A rogue landlord and property firm have been slapped with a banning order for letting an unlicensed and unsafe home in King’s Cross, London.

Simple Properties Management Ltd received a five-year ban and the company’s director, Miguel Cabeo Cespedes, was banned for three years from letting properties and being involved with any company carrying out letting or property management work – only the fourth of its kind to be handed out in the capital.

The judgement follows a previous hearing which found them both guilty of housing offences, resulting in a £40,000 fine for the business and a £30,000 fine for Cabeo Cespedes.

Council officers carried out several visits to his Acton Street property (pictured) in May 2019 and found that its kitchen diner had been improperly partitioned to make the two-bedroom flat into a four-bedroom property that was home to five residents, as well as damaged wiring to a washing machine that was left exposed in the property’s bathroom.

Both the fire alarms and fire escapes from the property were inadequate.

Court cases

Giles Peaker, housing law expert at Anthony Gold, says Simple has been involved in previous court cases involving harassment, unlawful eviction, sham licences and spurious counter allegations.

“The track record of these set-ups is such that one has to believe that ‘London Simple Properties Lifestyle Ltd’ or similar is currently writhing its way to the surface of a fetid pool to be born, with a different sole director,” says Gold.

He explains that companies like Simple rely on a supply of properties from ‘naive, greedy, or lazy property owners and managing agents for their wholly unlawful rent-to-rent activities’.

Adds Gold: “Until property owners realise that they are quite likely to be the ones facing licensing prosecutions and rent repayment order applications, while ‘London Simple Properties Lifestyle’ vanishes with the rent unpaid and a voluntary liquidation, and stop entering these arrangements, there will always be some crook of a ‘property entrepreneur’ happy to try it on.”

Read more about Rent to Rent.

©1999 – Present | Parkmatic Publications Ltd. All rights reserved | LandlordZONE® – Rogue rent-to-rent operator given banning order over housing offences | LandlordZONE.

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