No-fault evictions to be banned in England

No-fault evictions are now to be banned in England.

This ruling means private landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice without good reason.

The government says the new plans are in place to protect renters from “unethical” landlords and give them more long-term security.

 

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced similar plans for Wales, while in Scotland new rules requiring landlords to give a reason for ending tenancies were introduced in 2017.

There are no plans in Northern Ireland to end no-fault evictions where a fixed-term tenancy has come to an end.

Currently, landlords can give tenants as little as eight weeks’ notice after a fixed-term contract ends.

Under the government’s new plans, landlords would have to provide a “concrete, evidenced reason already specified in law” in order to bring tenancies to an end.

 

Research shows number of last-time buyers has increased

New research reveals the number of last-time buyers in the housing market has increased.

The research found that one in three home moves are now made by last-time buyers aged 55 and over.

The study from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) shows that the numbers have almost doubled in the last decade and many buyers in this sector are cash buyers with less than a fifth taking out a mortgage.

The study also found that approximately 63% of older home owners own their property outright, and they account for the bulk, 84%, of all outright owners, holding a disproportionate share of housing equity at £1.8 trillion out of a total £2.6 trillion.

The report says that this strongly suggests that most last-time buyer activity, and much of the growth in that activity, has to date been cash-financed.

 

 

Landlord refused license because of the conditions of his properties

A landlord has lost his fight to be able to hold a licence to rent properties again after a tribunal found he wasn’t a “fit and proper” landlord.

Derrick Morgan appealed to the Residential Property Tribunal after Rent Smart Wales (RSW) refused to grant him a landlord licence.

 

However, the tribunal has now dismissed his appeal, meaning he will not be able to rent properties.

The decision by the Residential Property Tribunal stated,

 

“The concerns related to a number of complaints that had been received by NPT concerning the applicant and which related to the poor condition of his properties and allegations of illegal eviction of tenants.”

The report said,

“It appears as though NPT had obtained a county court warrant permitting them to gain access to the site and that the inspection was part of a multi-agency initiative. Police officers were also in attendance at the visit. The Applicant had not been given advance notice of the visit.”

Rent Smart Wales wrote to Mr Morgan to notify him that his application for a licence had been refused because of “the condition of his properties, the management practices which he employed, the nature of his spent convictions and his association with his son, Ryan Morgan, who had unspent convictions.”

Mr Morgan, 60, appealed against that decision and the tribunal listed the matter for hearing and inspection for January, 2019.

 

During the inspection the tribunal was shown a number of properties on the site operated by Mr Morgan.

the report said, “It was clear from the inspection that several of the properties were in the process of having work carried out to them. In all save one property, there was no evidence at all that the properties were occupied. However, it was clear that the properties were not of a high standard.”

The tribunal report added, “When asked what types of tenant he housed, Mr Morgan replied that they were all in dire straits when they came to him.

“They were homeless, sleeping on park benches or had come to him via government units. He referred to them as being a ‘low class type of tenant’.”

Tenant who caused £25k damage evicted

A tenant who caused £25,000 worth of damage to the flat she was renting out has been evicted.

The property East Yorkshire was found in a ‘disgusting’ condition by its landlord, with holes in the walls, smashed windows and ripped up floorboards. The radiators were ripped from walls lying on top of mounds of rubbish. Debris was found on the smashed hob and the bathroom was covered in filth.

Landlord Phil Withnall said he had not seen anything of this nature in the 25 years of letting property.

 

Mr Withnall estimated the cost of having to repair the damage done by mum-of-five Katie Bentley as £25,000.

 

Mr Withnall said she allowed the home to be infiltrated by squatters and claims she did not pay rent for the last six months she was living there.

 

He said he had even offered Miss Bentley £500 to leave and changed the locks multiple times.

After securing an eviction notice through the county court, Mr Withnall went to the High Court to apply for private bailiffs to speed up the process.

 

Mr Withnall said, “I knew it was going to be bad, but it was worse than I imagined…She was a nightmare tenant and a nightmare neighbour. I am pleased for all the neighbours this has come to an end, and they are pleased for me.”

 

 

Unhappy tenants can now sue their landlords

A new law has come into force enabling people living in rented accommodation the opportunity to sue their landlords over unfit homes.

On Wednesday, March 20, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act came into effect, allowing tenants to go to the courts if they feel their landlord is not keeping their property well maintained.

This Act will apply to tenancies of less than seven years in England and Wales in an update of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

 

Legal action can be taken on a number of issues, including properties that are too cold or too hot, have damp or mould as well as noise and lighting issues.

 

 

 

 

Cash Buyers Saving Thousands when buying Property

New research suggests cash buyers can save thousands of pounds when buying a house compared to those buying with a mortgage.

 According to finance specialist One77 Mortgages, who analysed house price data from the Land Registry, it costs those buying with a mortgage on average 9 percent more than cash buyers.

Alastair McKee, managing director of One77 Mortgages, said,

“Many home sellers will be drawn to a cash buyer as it can often mean a quicker, smoother selling process with less paperwork and no onward chain, which can be hugely appealing to someone that needs a quick sale in particular.

“However, savvy buyers will know they are in this stronger position and, as a result, they will often negotiate more off the asking price than they otherwise would, with the seller tending to accept it, resulting in a lower sold price achieved.

“When considering what works best for you, it’s really down to priorities. If you need to sell quickly, then a cash buyer is the way to go, but if the sold price is more important, it’s worth holding out for an offer at full asking price.”

 

 

£20k Fine for Landlord

A ‘negligent’ landlord from Camberwell has been ordered to pay costs of more than £20,000 after failing to apply for a licence.

Omo Ayoade, 45, appeared in Camberwell Magistrates’ Court after complaints from his tenants and after he failed to apply for a license.

A resident living in one of his three flats had complained to Southwark Council about bed-bugs in November 2017.

Following that, the council became aware of a collapsed ceiling that still hasn’t been fixed since it fell in.

After a council visit, Ayoade was ordered to fix the ceiling but failed to do so. The council then said they would fix it themselves and bill Ayoade for the work.

As well as failing to apply for a new landlord license, Southwark Council said Ayoade had also ignored their letters.

 

The council had already taken action against Ayoade in 2013 when he was told to pay costs and fines totalling £1,938 over failing to comply with an improvement notice after various problems with his homes were discovered.

 

Landlord accused of illegally renting out property claims he is being “ruthlessly” victimised by Council

A landlord who is accused of illegally renting out property has said he “is only helping people.”

Robert Crow, 69, is accused of breaching a court order which banned him renting out his Southend property after he was convicted of 18 offences in September.

Mr Crow attended Southend Magistrate’s Court.

His address has repeatedly been the subject of complaints of antisocial behaviour and was the scene of a stabbing in October 2017.

Mr Crow claims he “is only helping people”, saying those he has housed “would die” if not taken in.

The 18 charges against Mr Crow related to the dangerous, insanitary and substandard living conditions of the property including water leaking through lights, an insanitary kitchen, bath and shower facilities which were caked in filth and tiny bedrooms hoarded with rubbish.

 

UK Property Transactions Fall By Over A Third

UK property transactions have been reducing at a rapid rate, according to recent research.

The study carried out by estate agent software platform, Reapit, found that UK property transactions have fallen by over a third in the past three months.

Property transactions between November 2018 and January 2019 fell by 36% compared to the same time frame over the last five years.

The research revealed sellers are reluctant to place their properties on the market during such an uncertain time. The 10% market reduction in instructions during this time signifies a five-year low point.

Statistics that have been based on the five-year average also suggest properties currently under offer have declined by 8%.

Gary Barker, CEO of Reapit, said, “Although house prices remain reasonably resilient, our research sheds light on the extent to which Brexit uncertainty has affected property transactions in the past three months. Our data reveal that property sales per estate agent have dropped by a third when compared to the long term average.

“The 36% drop in sales represents an unprecedented five year November to January low. It’s doubly concerning for estate agents because seasonally, this is a quieter period for transactions compared to the summer months.

“It’s fair to say that the housing market is holding its breath as we await the Brexit outcome. Nobody wants to risk being on the wrong side of a potential house price crash, so the market sentiment is to wait and see.”

 

Free legal helpline launched to simplify conveyancing process

The legal side of property transactions can be a lengthy and complicated process.

A recent study found that the average conveyancing case involved 130 documents, as well as 300 emails between clients and agents or lawyers.

In light of this, UNU Group has launched a free legal helpline, designed to offer help and support.

The helpline was founded by a group of industry experts, designed to offer impartial advice to customers to put them at ease during the conveyancing process.

UNU Group Director said, “We don’t think people should be kept in the dark about something as important as the buying and selling of their property, just because they may not understand legal jargon.

“The UNU Group helpline is designed to provide friendly and helpful advice to guide you through the conveyancing process. We wanted to offer this without there being a cost implication, so that anyone can access our services.”

The 24-hour helpline can be reached on 0800 085 8512.