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And in Other News (September)

And in Other News (September)

Tree Surgeons Fined For Case Of Mistaken Identity

Landlord TV Star Wanted

HMO's used by families - C3/C4 Reminder

PDPLA Landlord Insurance - Is it Better / Cheaper?

Tree Surgeons Fined For Case Of Mistaken Identity

A tree care company has been ordered to pay £1,450 after damaging a silver birch protected by a Tree Preservation order.

Green Frontiers Garden Care, from Headley, had been contracted to remove a dead tree at a property in Kingswood Firs, Grayshott.

However, the company set about taking down the wrong tree, removing around a third of the canopy before the mistake was spotted.

East Hampshire District Council's arboriculture team brought the prosecution, saying the damage had caused "large wounds" to the protected tree and had left it vulnerable to fungal decay and other diseases.

The company pleaded guilty on 22 August at Basingstoke Magistrates Court. It was ordered to pay £1,450, including a fine of £700, a victim surcharge of £70 and £680 as a contribution of costs to East Hampshire District Council.

Jamie Gargett, East Hampshire District Council Arboriculture Manager, said: "Green Frontiers stated in court that this was a genuine mistake. However, this is the third time the company has been prosecuted for similar offences. 

"Its behaviour demonstrates a clear disregard for Tree Preservation Order regulations.  East Hampshire District Council takes environmental protection very seriously and any contravention of Tree Preservation Orders will be formally investigated and prosecuted where appropriate."

Landlord TV Star Wanted

We have had the following request from the producer of a new TV programme:

I work for award winning Television Company, Boomerang. We are a leading Factual Entertainment company who create factual entertainment, popular factual, documentary and sports entertainment programmes. Boomerang's hit shows include, "£4 Million Restoration: Historic House Rescue" (More 4), "Posh Pawn" (Channel 4) and "Sinkholes: Deadly Drops" (Channel 5) amongst others. The project in question will be led by BAFTA award winning, Sam Grace, who has Directed multiple high profile programmes including "The Apprentice" and "Maestro at the Opera" for the BBC, "Undercover Boss", "How To Get A Council House," "Mission Impossible with Michel Roux Jr" for Channel 4, â"Long Lost Family" and Caroline Quentin's "National Parks" for ITV.

We are currently looking for people for a new documentary focusing on those who have worked their way up the property ladder. We specifically want to speak to those who have a prolific UK property portfolio as well as those who have had an interesting route up the ladder. I was wondering if you might be able to help me on my search by putting the word out to any of your landlords who may be interested in taking part.

Let us know if interested and we will pass on your details.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

HMO's used by families - C3/C4 Reminder

From a planning perspective, a family home is planning use class C3 and an identical building used as an HMO is planning use C4. This distinction was introduced to allow local authorities to control the spread and density of HMO's and to allow them to put some rules in place which could be applied to HMO's to ensure adequate space and standards.

So, if you have an HMO and want to let it to a family for a period, but not lose the C4 status and the ability to use it as an HMO at some time in the future, do you need to do something?

The answer is most definitely YES.  Before you allow your HMO to be let to a family you need to get its planning status changed from 'C4 HMO' to 'C3/C4 Mixed Use' - this ought to be straightforward if the property is already an HMO and has C4 statusm but there is a charge for doing so which was introduced a couple of years ago as the volume was quite high.

We have a guide on how to change status at the bottom of our homepage - however, that is 5 years old so needs updating, Part 1 outlines the process and is worth a look but ignore the rest as the forms have all changed. Instead use the PCC link:  https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/development-and-planning/planning-applications/planning-houses-in-multiple-occupation

If you don't do this, your property could lose £60,000 in value overnight - that is the premium that an HMO has over an identical C3 at the moment, due to the restrictions to creating new ones put in place by PCC. 

PDPLA Landlord Insurance - Is it Better / Cheaper?

As a landlord, you will get inundated with calls and emails trying to offer you cheap insurance (and many other things which will part you from some of your money). You will know that we have always encouraged members to use Boswells for 3 reasons:

1. It is the most comprehensive cover we have found (no others include 'malicious damage by tenants' as part of the standard offer and when you add all these essential extras, we find that Boswells are competitive on price)

2. We have never had a member complain about difficulty or delay when making a claim, or a member who was told they had insufficient cover or the wrong sort of cover. Indeed we have many members who have been surprised how much support they received when, for example, one of their properties suffered a major fire.

3. Every insurance deal includes in its price a contribution to the marketing charges of the organisation that sells the policy. You cannot avoid this or get a cheaper policy by not paying it. Boswells are good enough to share some of this contribution with us, so whilst the insurance costs you the same as it would if you buy it elsewhere, it makes a huge difference to the finances of the PDPLA and allows us to run subsidised education courses and the like without needing to increase our annual membership fees.

So next time you come to renew your insurance:

- Do consider Boswells

- Do compare 'like with like' (ask others to include the components that come as standard with Boswells)

- Do ask Boswells to price match if you get a like for like offer that is cheaper

- And if you want to decrease the annual cost, consider increasing your excess (if you are only ever going to claim for major issues, make sure you are not paying for a policy setup to allow you to claim for a carpet or washing machine)

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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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