Another Friday Newsround
All parties seem to have a commitment to get rid of section 21 now so I suppose it is just a question of when it happens.
In fact, none of the manifestos seems particularly favourable to landlords with The National Landlords Association saying both threaten the private rented sector.
CEO Richard Lambert said that a Labour government would drive landlords from the market, while a new Tory administration would be on a “hell-bent” path to punishing law-abiding landlords.
The RLA has said that Labours plans Plans for rent controls, open-ended tenancies and property MOTs could close down the PRS.
David Smith, Policy Director for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), said:
These proposals have not been thought through.
We have been at the forefront of wanting to drive criminal landlords out of the market, but to place such ill-thought out burdens on the majority of good landlords would lead to a serious rental housing crisis, which would only hurt tenants as they struggle to find a place to live.
The sector does not need new obligations, but better enforcement of those that already exist.
A warning to agents who hang on to people’s data unnecessarily. A post on Property Industry Eye says:
UK estate and letting agents should be on their guard after a property company in Berlin was served a notice to fine it over £12.4m, or €14.5m, because of a breach of data regulations.
The German company, Deutsche Wohnen, is said to have hung on to tenant data, using a software system that did not automatically delete obsolete information.
It appears to be the first GDPR fine triggered by a company’s data retention activities, and the largest against a property company.
British agents have been strongly warned by a lawyer to take note of the case, as exactly the same data protection regime applies in the UK.
The case is therefore directly relevant to UK agents; it is also important because there was no misuse of actual data but a breach of admin obligations under General Data Protection Regulations.
So you are warned.
Hamilton Fraser launches new Alternative Deposit product
As reported here Hamilton Fraser are to launch a new deposit product called ‘Ome’.
Hamilton Fraser says that Ome (which will be headed up by CEO Eddie Hooker’s son Matthew) will operate independently, but still benefit from the support and entire resources of the Hamilton Fraser Group, including its own adjudication service HF Resolution.
It aims to address a number of market changes, including the introduction of the tenant fee ban and mandatory client money protection.
Trading Standards to challenge pet rents
A report from the Negotiator says that The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (NTSEAT) are taking legal advice on whether agents can charge higher rents or additional ‘rent premiums’ for tenants who have pets.
James Munro, Senior Manager at NTSEAT said he believes it’s not a fair way of mitigating potential cost or lost rent because agents are asking tenants to pay a non-refundable premium even if they are a model tenant adding
The Dogs Trust says people with pets are normally more responsible than those without pets
NTSEAT is also worried that agents and landlords may eventually start charging higher rents for other ‘greater risk’ tenants such as families with small children in a bid to offset potential tenancy costs.
Housing lawyers fear exclusion from dispute resolution process
An article in the Law Society Gazette reports on a new report from Justice which is causing concern to housing lawyers.
Justice is taking a ‘fresh look’ at systems in place for resolving housing disputes as it says courts may not be the best starting point for such issues and current mechanisms are inadequate.
While recommendations have yet to be published, the Gazette understands that some housing specialists are worried that lawyers will be excluded from any proposed process.
The Gazette was told:
The idea is for a holistic, investigative and non-adversarial dispute process, where all matters in issue between parties to a housing relationship and those that underpin the housing problem (benefits, mental health etc) are investigated, identified and adjudicated upon by the service.
‘Our tentative proposal is that the savings we anticipate will be derived from the service will be reinvested into publicly funded legal advice, with housing lawyers to advise parties through the HDS process at a sustainable rate of funding, which would have to be multiples of the current rate of funding for advice, to sustain quality, holistic housing advice.’
- Keyless door technology
- How house prices have performed under Conservative and Labour governments
- Nationwide breaks ranks and backs cross-party plans to scrap Section 21 evictions
- An interesting Nearly Legal report on unlawful eviction
- Agent traumatised by hooded assailants hijacking her car as she attended viewing
- Serial offending landlord fined more than £25k for failing to maintain a property
- Is more respectful language needed in PRS to avoid stigmatising tenants and landlords?