Lordly To Replace StudentPad?

Members may remember last year, Jackson Jacob came to talk to us about his student project seeking to improve the tools available to both tenants and landlords.

He has now progressed this to the stage where a new app is being launched, which he says could be a replacement for StudentPad.

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Charging Points For Flats

This month one of our members used our 'questions@' tool to ask other members for help with a problem.

He asked, "A flat tenant has requested permission to install a car charging point in the basement carpark of the block - in his allocated place. It is a block of 15 flats where I also own a share of the freehold so do have some influence over the situation. His suggestion is that he runs a wire from his flat to the basement. Would appreciate knowing your thoughts or your experience

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New Electrical Regs – What Landlords Need to Know

As of July 1st 2020, ALL RENTED PROPERTY (not just HMO's) will need a current electrical certificate showing the property has been tested within the past 5 years and was safe and met the required standard at the time it was tested.

For most landlords, this is more than just getting a new certificate – it is a requirement to upgrade the electrics in their properties. In this article we look at what that will mean for many of us  (This article is a shortened version of the full guide in the CPD section of the PDPLA Members Area)

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My Experience With a Tenant from the 'Housing List’

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 

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PDPLA Rules and Code of Practice Updated

At our committee meeting this month (via Zoom) we agreed changes and updates to the Code of Practice which all members must abide by and the Association Rules which define how we operate. The key changes bring the documents up to date, as it is many years since the rules were reviewed and times have changed, consolidates the complaints procedure which was defined in both documents and positions us for the forthcoming affiliation with the NRLA. 

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Landlords Take Hit To Support Tenants

Private landlords are willing to take a temporary hit to rental income to support tenants struggling as a result of coronavirus according to new research published today.

According to a survey of over 4,500 landlords by the NRLA, 90% of landlords who had received a request for support from a tenant had responded positively.

This included offering tenants a rent reduction or deferral, a rent-free period, early release from a tenancy or a refund on service charges included in rents for homes of multiple occupation.

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Wanted: Slow and Expensive Builder/Tradesman

As landlords we are all equally guilty – how cheaply can you fit a kitchen? Can you get the bathroom done next Monday/Tuesday? We never say, could you take a little longer and do it better or, OK that sounds good but what if I paid a bit more? So it is our fault that very few trades people have the time to take pride in the quality of their work or go the extra mile to do a better job. But does it matter as long as it is good enough you ask? Well, yes it does,you could save money if you ask for a better job. Let me give you some examples….

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Boswells Offer Rent Guarantee Insurance

Facing unprecedented demand earlier this year, Alan Boswell Insurance (the PDPLA preferred provider due to their industry beating comprehensive 5 star cover) withdrew their rent guarantee insurance but the good news is that it is back and is simpler than before... 

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Student Halls Avoid Even More Taxes

It has long been the bane of local student landlords that our taxes have increased annually every year since George Osborne 1st became chancellor in 2010, while at the same time, encouragements for student halls providers have reduced or removed their taxes in almost equal proportion, creating a very unfair playing field. It is now apparent that student halls providers have found a new ruse and many don't even pay Corporation Tax.

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Thinking of asking for a 'mortgage holiday'?

Friend of the PDPLA and mortgage advisor, Carol McFadden followed up on last months guidance to landlords where students have asked for rent holidays with the following comments about the availability of 'payment holidays' for Buy To Let mortgages.

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Student Landlord Lockdown Quiz Question

During the pandemic, which student religiously stayed in their room, built themselves shelving for books and created a small office in which to work, studied hard and in the process, not only developed a whole new branch of mathematics but also came up with the basis of a theory which could shape the thinking of future physicists for centuries in the future?

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Student Rents - What to do in the current crisis

There has been concern among many of our members as student tenants ask for contracts to be cancelled and rent to be waived. As many members have mortgages to pay and they rely on the residual income for their pensions, any rent reduction puts them in a very difficult position financially. The good news is that none of the agencies involved support these requests – the University, the government, local MP's and others are all saying that students need to sit tight and pay their rent if at all possible. We look at who is saying what and where you can go for advice or guidance should you be affected.

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Stay Lawful As Portsmouth HMO Tenants Come & Go

The problem: As soon as an HMO property drops below the C4 threshold it becomes a C3. No planning permission is required to go in this direction, but you will need it to go back to C4.

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Temporary Housing Needed During Covid-19 Crisis

Hopefully members have received the email outlining our efforts to coordinate the availability of short term accommodation, whether for those self-isolating or recovering, for key workers or the homeless.  If you missed it, we reproduce it here. 

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Communal Space in HMO’s – Have you lost a room?

We know many landlords have lost a room in Portsmouth after applying for a Mandatory HMO licence when the new rules came in last October. This is typically a 5-bed going to a 4 or similar, due to communal space not meeting PCC's very high requirement (compared to every other council in the country).

If this is you – what have you done with that room? For many, we know it is just wasted as a separate 7 or 8 square metre room in a property where the inhabitants do not live as a cohesive group has no value. The individuals often use the communal kitchen but take food to eat in their room and don't use the rest of the house except, obviously, the bath/toilet facilities as required.

One issue we are finding is that unbeknown to the landlord, one or more of the tenants decide it is a 'wasted room' and they let one of their friends live there….

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