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The PRS - Briefing for MP's

 One of our Havant members "started to write to our new Labour MP in anticipation but sadly she was just pipped to the post by Alan Mac. A friend knows her personally and thinks she would have been good for our area." Rather than waste it - we include here for any new or returning MPs keen to understand the reality of the sector.

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257 / 2 people / No Licence Needed

This month we learnt that a property converted into 2 flats which technically is a 257 (see definition below) does not need an HMO Licence if it is rented to 2 people or less. Unfortunately, a number of members had already spent many hours submitting HMO Licence Applications for such properties – the good news is that they will get their application fee refunded, the bad news is the time, stress and hassle of the past 9 months cannot be recompensed. We have always argued that no evidence of the need to improve 257's was included in the justification for Licensing and this is just one more example of the struggle even the Licensing team have in deciding what to include and how to handle it.  

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Portsmouth Planning – The Good, The Bad and the Downright Ugly

 This month's Planning Committee was quite different from recent meetings, yet the outcome was largely as bad as ever and there was one aspect which we can only describe as diabolical.

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UoP Student Housing Go Above & Beyond

Sadly, one of our members recently experienced something we all hope will never happen to us. A student tenant with a neurological disorder in a shared house experienced a suspected fatal episode during the night and was found the next morning by a housemate. 

Our landlord member contacted PDPLA for advice. The positive news from this terrible situation is that, in the words of our member, the University Student Housing team were amazing, so this is just a short plaudit to them in a terrible situation. 

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Excess Cold Kills But....

Do you have an unheated toilet in one of your houses? Beware as in some Licensing inspections, PCC are asking landlords to add some form of heating because of the 'excess cold hazard' in the smallest room.    (This in a 2-storey, 5-bed HMOs that have the benefit of mains gas central heating, double glazing, and other energy efficiency attributes providing an above average EPC score)

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HMO Licensing: From Bad To Worse?

The story of the negative impact of Portsmouth City Council's efforts to "improve" housing standards for a number of poor souls it might be assumed were already at the bottom of the heap in terms of both social support and housing...  

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Tenants Leaving Rubbish Bins On Pavement

We worried that PCC's threatened removal of waste bins if they were consistently left on the pavement would impact landlords and leave them bin-less even where the landlord had paid for a larger bin and the problem was tenant caused and beyond the landlords control.

We need not have worried as you can see from PCC's response below. 

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Housing Standards & Expectations - Then & Now

We seem to constantly debate housing standards and younger people particularly forget how rapidly standards improve - perhaps this reminiscence of one persons housing history will help put things in perspective. 

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Councillors Should Be Ashamed

After this months Planning Committee, where councillor Benedict Swann said Carianne Wells (PDPLA member and director at Applecore, which provides architectural professional services) should hang her head in shame, The News went with a front page headline of 'HMO Anger' and twice published a piece summarising Cllr. Swann's rant.

Read our response  

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Renters Reform Bill - Almost There...

It appears that the Renters Reform Bill will come back to Parliament for its 3rd and final reading in the next few days. It would also appear that the various representations we have made directly and also through and in support of PropertyMark and the NRLA have been listened to with regard to student tenancies, licensing schemes and court reform.

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  665 Hits

Beware Fire Alarm/Detector Maintenance

Sadly, landlords are once again at the end of the chain and pick up the workload, costs and risks associated with something as simple as a ceiling mounted smoke detector.  

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TradePoint Offers For Members

In addition to your normal member discount, there are further discounts this month on landscaping, decor, kitchens and bathrooms. Read on for more detail and a reminder of how to get your card if you do not have one.

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Portsmouth HMO Licensing Update

There has been much angst over the introduction of Licensing in Portsmouth, both Additional and the transition of Mandatory to the same process. Whilst we continue working to encourage PCC to improve their solution there are obvious restrictions on what we can or should publish, but a short update on the current situation does seem appropriate.  

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Landlord Insurance - Why?

We have talked about insurance many times, most recently in September last (Better, Best, Boswells - PDPLA News - Portsmouth & District Private Landlords Association)  but an incident this month brought my objectives into clear focus.

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If Only People Understood Section 21 Reforms

We publish here an exchange between Roger Bell the South Hampshire Chair of iHOWZ Landlords Association and someone called Jake responding on behalf of Secretary of State, Michael Gove 

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  730 Hits