A fairly quiet week for news. Let’s see what we can find.
Hardly new news this, but the Guardian has a story on the CAB calling for an overhaul of Universal Credit saying that half of all claimants who come to them for advice with the new benefits service are at risk of being evicted.
Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice said:
Half the people we help with universal credit are still struggling to keep a roof over their heads while they wait for their first payment.
Changes to the waiting period for first payment have improved things for many people, but our evidence shows they don’t go far enough. Universal Credit must continue to be reformed so it works for all claimants and leaves people with enough money to live on.
Tenant Fee Ban
As you should know, this is due to receive the Royal Assent shortly and will come into force on 1 June.
The Government has published the Regulatory Policy Committee’s opinion on MHCLG’s impact assessment of the Tenants Fees Bill which, unsurprisingly, considers it is fair.
It seems that the main justifications for the ban are:
- Agents fees are well in excess of those charged by landlords – and often landlords are charged for the same thing, and
- Tenants (despite legislation requiring clear guidance on fees) find it difficult to assess the total cost of renting, plus
- The high upfront costs are in some cases the cause of homelessness
Mind you, on the first point – agents fees will naturally be more than fees charged by landlords. Landlords don’t need to charge fees to tenants, they get the rent.
Some agents, however, are saying that the impact of the ban will be less than anticipated.
Sean Hooker of the Property Redress Scheme has been reported suggesting that landlords should sign up to a redress scheme now on a voluntary basis in advance of a mandatory scheme.
We at the PRS have always accepted landlords and other property professionals as well as the mandatory letting and estate agents. So we’re more than happy to welcome you, as a private landlord
It will help you to prepare yourself for when mandatory redress membership comes in and will help you build on a professional and well-informed business model that will be robust for the future
Note that Sean will be speaking at our forthcoming Landlord Law Conference where he will be explaining complaints procedures and discussing the government’s plans.
I spotted this update on 24Housing on the Grenfell re-housing:
- 195 former Grenfell households have accepted a permanent home
- 173 have actually moved in and
- 29 households are due to move in, but
- 3 Grenfell households are still in hotel accommodation,
- 5 are in self-contained serviced apartments,
- 2 are living with friends or family, and
- 19 in “self-contained interim housing”
So nearly 2 years after the fire, the rehousing of families is still not completed.