We are seeing alarming premium increases of around 17 or 18% from Boswells. This appears to be in line with or lower than other providers and is being applied equally to our homes and rental properties. 'Consumer intelligence' data says "Quoted home insurance prices surge a record 25.7% in a year". The increase in the year to July 2023 in the South East was 28.4%.
Prior to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 Local Authorities (LAs) would routinely say that a tenant who left a property before the bailiff arrived had made themselves homeless and thus they would be relieved of their statutory duty to assist. That should no longer happen and the LA should step in as soon as the Section 21 is served, but does it happen?
There were positive signs at the January Committee meeting. Two applications for new HMOs were granted permission without the usual hunt for excuses to refuse. Sadly, there is no change of heart, we do not know of any Councillors happy to see new HMOs being created. With so much anti HMO feeling amongst the electorate this is perhaps understandable though very frustrating for us, whilst leaving usable rooms empty and pushing up rents and property prices for all.
A guest rant this month from member, Anthony Athill in response to local government concerns about poor conditions affecting tenants health and well-being. Basically, he argues that governments create the problem and it is time they addressed it and stopped making it our problem, he says "Once upon a time I would have attended the housing focussed 'Health and Wellbeing' workshop but I do not think there is any point in more talk, we know that poor housing impacts lives dramatically and we know what needs to be done."
In their leaflet, "Renting and Universal Credit - A guide for landlords and letting agents" the DWP says "This outdated practice – known as 'No DSS…..'" Unfortunately, it is far from outdated, landlords are reluctant to take benefits claimants for perfectly logical reasons and the list is growing.
Some great discounts here for members using their PDPLA member TradePoint card. If you don't have one or have lost yours (or need another), get it here: B&Q Tradepoint discount card (pdpla.com) And remember, this is in addition to your normal 10% discount.
Prompted by the unrepresentative lobby group, the East St. Thomas Residents Forum, PCC took enforcement action against the institutional investment company that owned 6 HMOs occupied by 7 students. PCC argued that they were operating without planning permission. The decision of the Appeal Judge went against PCC and could mean that many, many of their recent decisions need to be revisited.
It is a widely held view that private landlords are responsible for most evictions, yet official statistics indicate this is not true. Action in other areas would have a greater impact on homelessness than penalising landlords and making it harder for them to repossess their property when tenants default on their obligations.
After raising the issue of new insurance checks on flat roof surfaces back in August (see it here), we are pleased to say that, via our preferred broker Alan Boswell, we have convinced insurers to change their approach on this issue.
We recommend members check the wording on their renewal 'Schedule', especially if you have an Aviva 'property owners' policy.
If you are wondering what the NRLA are doing to encourage the Government to treat landlords fairly as tenants hit hard times as a result of Covid 19 see https://www.nrla.org.uk/campaigns/coronavirus We are meeting with the NRLA and other regional associations on Tuesday to discuss what more we can do
In 20 years of being a landlord, like many of us, I have avoided taking anyone on housing benefit. The main reason being that statistically they come with higher risk of rent default. We all know how difficult it is for landlords to deal with this situation. I became a landlord as a pension investment seeking minimum stress and aggravation so you may be surprised that I have just taken a tenant from the PCC homeless housing scheme, read on to hear what happened