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And in Other News (December)

And in Other News (December)

Do You Want To Do Your Own PAT Testing?

 Have you been to the ToolStation?

Accountants Confused?

Winter is Here

Immigration Act 2016

Living Home Standards

Overcrowding

And from the RLA e-news:

  • Britons without passports are victims of Right to Rent
  • One in four landlords selling homes due to MIR changes
  • Landlord possession claims down by 21%

 

Do You Want To Do Your Own PAT Testing?

Last year we ran a couple of half day courses for our members to learn how to PAT test portable electrical appliances in their houses and we bought the necessary equipment so that members using it had everything they needed to complete the necessary testing in their houses.PAT

Since that time, a number of the members who attended have bought their own PAT testing kit and the PDPLA kit has been well used  - we charge a nominal £10 per time it is borrowed and this goes towards test labels, fuses and the annual recalibration and recertification of the equipment.

Regular PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) is a requirement of the Additional Licensing Scheme for HMO's in Portsmouth and it is also a stipulation of the University of Portsmouth if you wish to advertise your properties on their StudentPad site - many electricians don't like doing it and charge accordingly, as they find it tedious - but done as part of the annual check/clean/upgrade process by the landlord, it can be a comparatively quick and simple task and can save a not insignificant expense.

If you are interested in attending the training to allow you to do your own PAT testing, or just so you can understand what it is and how it is done, do please let us know. We don't have another course scheduled, but the trainers have courses in this area early in 2017 and would add one for us, if we need it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Have You Been To The ToolStation?

For landlords living or working in the south of the city, we wanted to check whether you are aware of the Tool Station outlet in Rodney Road. Similar to Screwfix in concept, but easier to get to, much quicker service at present as many fewer customers, a wider range of products (so we are told) and on the several items we have purchased, cheaper too. Obviously we have recommended suppliers and suppliers who offer us discounts, but that does not mean they will always be cheaper so do check first. It is just down the road from B&Q and has an excellent and easy to use website at www.toolstation.co.uk, so do check and compare prices next time you pop to B&Q with your TradePoint card and let us know the difference between the two, as apart from you getting the best deal, it also gives us the data to argue for better discounts at our other suppliers as they should at least match the over the counter price at Tool Station in our view.

Accountants Confused?

It is unfortunately quite clear from members' issues on taxation, and in particular on the changes starting from April 2017 on tax relief on loan interest, that there is bewilderment and even bafflement from some in the accountancy profession. As in any profession, there are experts in certain fields, and this is no different. An expert in VAT, may be brilliant in that field, but not so in others. The general guidance that we at the PDPLA would give is to undertake due diligence, and use an expert with the requisite knowledge. An accountant that is a landlord is a good start.

Winter is Here!

As the temperatures drop, many landlords are checking with tenants for issues with insulation, windows, pipes etc. Is the boiler working,? Has it been serviced.? Are the pipes and tanks lagged? If the tenant is going to be away for any length of time, have they ensured the chances of frozen pipes are minimised? Are tenants, (and landlords) aware of the location of the stopcock?

Immigration Act 2016

As a reminder to all, as announced last month, from 1 December 2016 landlords could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe they are letting to an illegal immigrant. Also landlords can end a tenancy for occupants that do not have the right to rent. The regulations are available - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2016/1037.

Living Home Standards

The establishement of this has been called for by Shelter as an equivalent of the Living Wage, with minimum standards for properties, and designed to be a measure of what can be expected from a home. From a survey by Ipsos Mori, 38% of properties owned with a mortgage would fail this standard. In the rental sector, the PRS figure would be 69%. Whilst this seems a huge percentage, and more ammunition for Shelter to bash the sector, for housing associations it is 66% and, and for local authorities 68%. Interestingly for those owned with no mortage, the figure is only 20% .

Overcrowding

Living in a Grade 2 listed mansion overlooking Hyde Park in London sounds tempting. However the four bedroom flat, next to the Dutch embassy was home to 18 workers from London Hotels. They lived in in 14 bedsits in a flat divided by thin pieces of plaster board, with one kitchen, at an average rent of £800 per month, netting almost £15,000 per month. This was a operated by a criminal landlord, one who gives our sector much more than just a bad name and reputation. In total when rightly prosecuted, he was fined more than £162.000, plus costs.

Britons without passports are victims of Right to Rent

British people who don"t have passports are struggling to rent homes, after the Government made landlords responsible for carrying out illegal migrant checks.

According to an RLA survey, 43% said they were less likely to rent to those who do not have a British passport because of the fear of criminal sanctions for getting it wrong under the Right to Rent legislation. According to the 2011 census, 17% of people in England and Wales did not have a passport.

One in four landlords selling homes due to MIR changes

A week ahead of the Autumn Statement the RLA can reveal that a quarter of all buy-to-let landlords are selling homes as a result of Government tax changes.
An RLA survey of more than 1,000 landlords showed that a quarter had either sold one of their properties or had one on the market as a result of the Government"s plans to change Mortgage Interest Relief, to tax them on income rather than profit.

Landlord possession claims down by 21%

The number of claims made by private sector landlords to re-possess a property have fallen by 21% over the past two years.

According to official statistics from the Ministry of Justice, the number of possession claims made to county courts in England and Wales by private landlords have fallen from a high of 6,486 in the first quarter of 2014 to 5,129 between July and September 2016.

 

Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.

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