Browsing all articles from June, 2023

£17,000: Council issues highest ever penalty against non-compliant landlord

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A landlord in Mansfield has been ordered to pay a £17,000 penalty after renting out a sub-standard and unlicensed HMO.

The landlord, who was investigated by Mansfield District Council officers after a complaint about alleged overcrowding, was found not to have a licence for their six-bedroom property. 

The Nottinghamshire authority decided to pursue a civil penalty rather than a criminal prosecution in order to use the cash to help support its private sector housing team. The landlord can’t be identified as an agreed condition of them accepting the penalty.

This was the third civil penalty issued by the council against private landlords in the past three years. The others resulted in penalties of £4,787 and £12,900.


Councillor Anne Callaghan (main picture), portfolio holder for housing, says the case shows why the authority needs to be vigilant about standards in the private rental sector – especially when the need for housing is so high.

She adds that the cost of obtaining a five-year HMO licence – £724 – is a good deal less than any penalty they might have to pay for trying to circumvent the law. 

“A strong market for rented accommodation can lead to landlords cutting corners on standards and fulfilling their legal obligations,” says Callaghan.

“I hope this case sends a message out to other private landlords in this district that if we find them acting unlawfully, we will not hesitate to take action against them.”

Read more about landlord fines.

View Full Article: £17,000: Council issues highest ever penalty against non-compliant landlord


NEW: It’s time to phase out traditional gas boilers says lobby group

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The Heat Pump Association (HPA) wants the government to firm up a date for phasing out traditional gas boilers as UK heat pump installations continue to trail the rest of Europe.

The government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy states that it wants to phase out new natural gas boilers after 2035. However, an independent review earlier this year pressed for the date to be brought forward to 2033.

HPA chief executive Charlotte Lee (main picture) says while heat pump sales have grown year-on-year in the UK, total sales when compared with the rest of Europe are low.

“We believe the UK government’s projected deployment target of 600,000 heat pumps installations per year by 2028 remains achievable provided it moves swiftly and decisively to introduce the Future Homes Standard, provides early clarity of a date for the full phase out of 100% fossil fuel boilers, and takes steps to reduce the price of electricity,” she says.


Lee adds that greater take-up of heat pumps in the rest of Europe is proving to mitigate emissions and grow economies. “We believe the UK can afford to be equally ambitious provided the government takes swift and decisive action to support the market.”

The latest European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) report shows a direct link between a fall in the ratio of gas to electricity prices and an increase in heat pump sales. In 2022, the ratio of electricity to gas prices in the Netherlands fell significantly, resulting in the heat pump market almost doubling.

“Our members are clear that the price of electricity relative to gas is a critical factor, and we support the EHPA’s view that electricity prices should be no more than twice those of gas,” says Lee.

View Full Article: NEW: It’s time to phase out traditional gas boilers says lobby group


LATEST: Huge spike in number of young landlords entering buy-to-let market

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The Renters Reform Bill won’t lead to a mass landlord exodus as an army of youngsters are already starting to take older investors’ place.

The Property Sourcing Company’s poll of its 3,000-strong investors and landlords community bfound that while there had been a 74% drop in the number of older, more established buy-to-let landlords during the past year, it was more than compensated by a 181% increase in younger buyers.

The firm also found that the number of professional builders and investors who owned BTL properties remained steady at 27% between June 2022 and June 2023.

It believes that while the end of Section 21 notices has spooked many in the PRS, the Bill will address some of the stress that tenants and landlords feel when dealing with each other.

Huge spike

CEO Jonathan Christie dsays there’s been a huge spike in buy-to-let landlords looking to sell their tenanted properties because of fears they will not be able to evict troublesome tenants.

“However, this is not the case; in fact, the Renters Reform Bill looks to bolster landlord confidence by introducing a structured framework around the eviction process and even introduce new eviction grounds for if a tenant is persistently unable to meet their rent,” he explains.

Landlords will still be able to evict using Section 8 grounds for anti-social behaviour, rent arrears, selling the property or moving into their property. Although there are fears more court work required around Section 8s could end up making evictions take longer and become more expensive, Christie tells LandlordZONE he doesn’t believe this would make much difference to new landlords who had not experienced using Section 21s.

“If Section 8 is set to be law under the Renters Reform Bill, then this is what they will learn and abide by,” he adds.

View Full Article: LATEST: Huge spike in number of young landlords entering buy-to-let market


House prices fall 3.5% and rising interest rates will hit buyer confidence

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House prices in June saw a modest rise of just 0.1% – but year-on-year prices are down 3.5%, Nationwide says.

The current average home price stands at £262,239.

First-time buyers are struggling as they need to put down 55% of their gross annual income as a deposit –

View Full Article: House prices fall 3.5% and rising interest rates will hit buyer confidence


Labour U-turns on tenant protections in just 24 hours

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The potential rise in evictions means the government must immediately introduce the Labour Party’s Private Renters’ Charter to help protect tenants.

Labour’s call follows Shadow housing secretary, Lisa Nandy, announcing that Labour would not introduce a rent freeze

View Full Article: Labour U-turns on tenant protections in just 24 hours


Landlords and university jointly launch unusual student week initiative

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Landlords and student groups have teamed up to tidy Leeds’s streets during student changeover week.

The city hosts about 37,000 students, the vast majority of whom will move house each year at the same time, leaving behind large amounts of rubbish, overflowing bins, furniture and personal items, initiating a huge clear up operation.

The Leeds Property Association (LPA), along with the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City Council and student housing charity Unipol aim to reduce the impact of this year’s changeover on local residents by promoting recycling and waste disposal options.

Landlords will take part in the Blue Bag Collection Scheme, providing thousands of blue bags for students to donate clothing, bedding, books and electrical items that they don’t need.

Bags are being delivered through students’ letterboxes and given out by student letting agents DEU Estates, Pickard Properties and Sugarhouse Properties.


Donations will be distributed to the British Heart Foundation or given directly to vulnerable community members through other local charities.

Andrew Parascandolo -landlord leeds

LPA chairman Andrew Parascandolo (pictured) says it’s important that responsible landlords and letting agents in Headingley and Hyde Park recognise their responsibilities to the community by helping the council keep the streets clean and tidy. 

“To assist the council workers, the Leeds Property Association has once again sponsored two caged wagons to collect some of the waste,” he explains. “Last year over 7,000kg of waste was removed from the streets.”

Richard Napier from Sugarhouse Properties adds “We already run a pop-up foodbank in our office so it’s great to be part of a wider coordinated initiative to promote re-using and responsible recycling.”

Landlords that want to take part can find more information at

View Full Article: Landlords and university jointly launch unusual student week initiative


Labour’s Lisa Nandy rejects rent control pleas

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Lisa Nandy, Labour Party’s shadow housing secretary, has rejected calls for rent controls – despite saying at the Labour Party conference last autumn that she supported them.

Now, she believes that rent controls are a ‘sticking plaster on our deep-seated problems’.

View Full Article: Labour’s Lisa Nandy rejects rent control pleas


Exclusion of landlords from mortgage help scheme ‘a mistake’ says Labour

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Omitting BTL landlords from the government’s mortgage charter will only hurt supply and push up rents as landlords are forced to pass on their costs, says Labour.

The new agreement revealed by the Chancellor this week between the UK’s largest mortgage lenders and the Financial Conduct Authority aims to provide a set of universal standards to help and reassure borrowers worried by high interest rates.

Borrowers won’t be forced to leave their home without their consent, unless in exceptional circumstances, in less than a year from their first missed payment, while those approaching the end of a fixed rate deal have the chance to lock in a deal up to six months ahead, starting from 10th July.


However, during a debate on mortgage and rental costs, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves (pictured) asked ministers if they had considered the consequences of not including BTL mortgages.

“Treasury Ministers remain ignorant or indifferent to the plight of renters,” she told the Commons.

“The Tory mortgage bombshell is experienced whether people have a mortgage or not. Renters are seeing huge increases in their rents – on average 10% in the last year. Renters right now are exposed to their landlords passing the higher costs of their mortgages on to their tenants.” 

Many of her Labour colleagues echoed Reeves’ concern, including Derek Twigg MP who said he had been contacted by an increasing number of constituents whose landlords were being forced to sell up as they couldn’t afford their own mortgages.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen (pictured), replied that the agreement included a growing number of lenders. “I hope that more and more lenders will be added to those 85% of providers. The details will be known in the next few weeks.”

View Full Article: Exclusion of landlords from mortgage help scheme ‘a mistake’ says Labour


INTERVIEW: The young duo shaking up the ‘guaranteed rent’ sector

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A twenty-something entrepreneurial pair aim to shake up the HMO sector by building on their upmarket guaranteed rent model.

Liverpool-based Cosi Living founders Joe Duggan, 24 and Olivia Maher, 25, (main picture) only rented their first property as a lockdown project in May 2020, but already manage 256 rooms and tenants across 60 properties in the city.

“We take on a house that’s run down and where the landlord is getting voids and might be thinking of selling,” Maher tells LandlordZONE. “We improve its value by spending between £10,000-£15,000 putting in a new kitchen and decorating and then manage it for the landlord in a guaranteed rent package.”

The company commits to properties for five or seven years and makes a profit by turning a £300 room into one that can command £500.

Any old stuff

“A lot of people have the mindset of putting any old stuff into HMOs, but we make sure ours are furnished to a high standard – that way, tenants look after them,” she explains.

“We also care about our tenants and are hands on. For example, if we find there’s a blocked drain during an inspection, we’ll ask the tenants to sort it out, so it doesn’t get left and becomes a bigger problem for the landlord.”

Cosi Living typically rents to groups of students and single tenants, who it is careful to house sympathetically in its HMOs, so that young girls wouldn’t be housed with an older man, for example. This has resulted in some tenants staying on since the beginning.

Growing demand

And with growing demand in the sector, the firm has plans to expand and is hiring a finance and admin assistant, portfolio manager and an operations assistant/general manager, taking the number of full-time staff to six.

“We have a passion for property and plan to become one of the leading HMO agents in Liverpool before expanding to other UK cities,” she adds.

View Full Article: INTERVIEW: The young duo shaking up the ‘guaranteed rent’ sector


The Midlands shines as a rental hotspot amid dip in renter interest

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Despite a slight nationwide drop in rental interest, the Midlands is emerging as an exception to the trend, a rental demand index reveals.

The latest findings from Barrows and Forrester highlight that Dorset is the current epicentre of the rental market

View Full Article: The Midlands shines as a rental hotspot amid dip in renter interest




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