City backed firm heading for an expensive shock

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Apologies to those who don't have properties in Portsmouth - but this (smaller than usual) issue of the news is a collection of items from our response to Portsmouth's consultation on Additional Licensing. We normally take a broader view but are so worried about the impact on the city of this scheme, we have dedicated this edition to some of the key issues (plus a look back a decade to the last time we were here).

Being August, we have no member meeting this month - but we are returning to Watkins & Faux for our breakfast for the 1st time in 3.5 years - so do join us if you can. And when you read Charlotte's blog, don't let the '£' signs get you over-excited - the costs of setup, operation and management will make a big dent -only you can judge how big.

Don't forget that from October (1st) rules for carbon monoxide detectors change - so make sure you have one in any room with a boiler, not just those with solid fuel burning devices.

"Because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and also because it may be found with warm, rising air, detectors should be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. The detector may be placed on the ceiling. Do not place the detector right next to or over a fireplace or flame-producing appliance."

As we move into July, one would hope that we are moving into the quiet time of the year - when we can focus on refurbishments and upgrades to our properties and hopefully, take a little time to review our businesses and update our plans. Sadly, as this months news shows, it all seems to be all about additional regulation and more hoops to jump through, barriers to success, etc. So as you review your plans, these issues are likely to be front and centre. 

Why are landlords so unpopular?

Is Buy To Let A Good Investment?

Renters Reform Bill - A Good Summary

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Many of us choose paving over lawns as it is easier to stop weeds than it is to control them. The same is true of regulation - once we have them they are a pain to live with, so better to stop the unnecessary ones before they establish - respond to consultations, talk to your councillors and your MP. Better 20 minutes of your time now than hours spent on an ongoing basis.

Rent-2Rent is front and centre this month after Alwin spent many hours trying to help 2 members with dire problems - one after entering a badly structured and terribly managed 'Rent-2-rent' arrangement and in the other case, the landlord did not even know his property was a Rent-2-Rent business. As a result, we have asked Kiera, as a member with a successful Rent-2Rent business, to tell us how it should be done and Alwin to outline some of the pitfalls. We suggest you read both articles and then, for a 3rd view on the sharing economy, have a look at Charlotte's blog.

Now, where did that marmalade sandwich go? 

Property Tax Consultation

Now This Is A Small Room

Shock Drop In HMOs Blamed On Licensing

Drying Times For Rising Damp Treatment

Portsmouth Private Rental Sector Update

HMRC - Allowable Costs for Capital Gains Tax

Home Office Right To Rent Checks Updated (Again!)

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Keep your old gas safety certificates for at least 4 years - you will need them if you need to issue proceedings as they are required in the supporting documents. 

The local rental market is undergoing seismic change - the numbers looking for accommodation have never been higher, yet most landlords are having to consider different sectors or rental models. Student numbers are down, staycations are 'so last year', regulatory pressures on HMO's have passed bearable levels - it is not surprising that so many landlords are calling it a day, but for those who stick with it and can afford the cost of changing their approach, all is not doom and gloom. Come and join us at one of our meetings this month to hear more of the ups and downs of the rental market, and do read Charlotte's blog before you consider a switch to short term letting.

We normally discourage attempts to sell to our membership - we all get enough without the PDPLA doing it too, but Neil Shaw of Chinneck Shaw was a long term PDPLA member and his team thought this property, which they have been asked to sell, would suit one of our members.

The other reason we chose to highlight it, is because like many Portsmouth properties, it will be unsellable if PCC's proposed new standards are adopted. 

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Stop Paying To Dump DIY Waste

Havant Trials New Planning Solutions

Waterlooville property owner fined

HMRC Runs More Courses 

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Do fit induction hobs in your properties when you upgrade them - it reduces gas usage, is cleaner and safer, much easier to clean between tenancies and looks so much better.

BUT - When showing prospective tenants around, do also check whether anyone in the household has a pacemaker and if they do, make sure the individuals concerned know that they cannot safely get within 60cm of the hob when in use.

If you did not photograph the utility meters in your properties yesterday, make sure you do so as soon as possible (or ask your tenants to). Whether you pay for utilities or your tenant does, no one wants to be paying for any more usage at today's new price than they have to – with tariff increases for out-of-contract users rising by 54% today for the average user, you want to ensure that you get as much as possible at yesterday's price.

Good news this month – some new recommended suppliers and success with mediation, plus Charlotte came back!

Bad news – HMO licensing just got even more expensive, small HMO's are likely to need a licence (see our recommendation that you get out of the HMO market) and the Right To Rent changes come into force today. 

No room for an April Fool in this issue...

 John Stewart - RIP

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Update

Right To Rent - Final Reminder of Changes

Refugee Resettlement

Save some bees!

Tenant Waste / Landlord Responsibility 

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EPC Assessors need documentation. So if you are getting an EPC have all your paperwork ready. It may be obvious that a property has cavity wall insulation (small holes evenly spaced across the face of the building filled with render,  PVC sleeves in the air bricks, etc) but unless you have...
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Ukraine: We do not know how things will develop or whether there will be a role for the city or for local landlords, but in order to be prepared, if you have empty properties which could be used to house refugees should the need arise, do please let us know.

Nearer to home: Lots of events scheduled in the next couple of months, see the list below. PCC have scheduled a series of taster events aiming to give a high level understanding of what we should be doing in each area - do attend if you can and do feed back on whether you learnt anything / whether it was of value, etc. We also have a training session of our own - the team that provide our PAT test equipment will be coming down from Yorkshire to train members on the use of the kit to allow them to do their own testing - if this may be of use, do sign up (we are subsidising the overall cost), if you have done it before and need a refresher, you should sign up too.  Places are limited to 12 people, though there is a possibility we could add another session so do let us know if interested. 

Levelling Up Whitepaper - Housing Proposals 

HMRC Videos on YouTube

Right To Rent Changes

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It is officially Spring - so if you plan to use our infra red camera to highlight your cold spots, you better do it soon before it gets too warm.....  Send your booking request to Martyn Winfield  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

If your properties are in Havant, Hayling, Waterlooville, Petersfield, Fareham, Gosport or beyond - we have very little news for you this month, which is good, as it means less for you to worry about. Sadly not the case for those with property in Portsmouth. Maybe Charlotte has the right idea in moving to Plymouth with her latest venture. 

And for your diary:  We are back to the Innlodge this month, Clare Hardwick, Head of Private Sector Housing at Portsmouth Council has kindly agreed to join us to give us an update. Two days later, our breakfast this month will be at Port Solent - so check the tides and we hope to see you at one of these events if you can make it. 

(And do keep an eye on the calendar and our Facebook page, as we have quite a range of educational events which will be added over the next few weeks).

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Update to the Right to Rent Scheme 

Summary of 2022 Regulatory Changes

Pet Friendly Lets Survey

Tax on Mortgage Interest 
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Don't forget to book our 'heat map' IR camera while it is cold to check insulation and draught proofing on your properties - full details here: Infrared Camera & PAT Testing Equipment - Portsmouth and Dustrict Private Landlords Association (pdpla.com)

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Happy New Year! May this be an easy one for you all, after the trials and tribulations of the last 2 - it really is time the roaring 20's got started.

Normally in this intro, we highlight the biggest items in the news but just for a change, we suggest you make sure you see 'In Other News'. This is the bucket where we put the smaller items or links to other peoples articles that may be of interest and this month is no different covering topics ranging from Havant's illegal Local Plan, Croydon's bloody nose on Selective Licensing, Purplebricks making the same mistake as Countrywide and a whole range of useful items from Boswells plus an upbeat assessment of the property market.

Do let us know what you think / Happy New Year Reading!

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Havant Local Plan Illegal?

Right To Rent - Printed documents not accepted from April

HMRC Self Assessment Consultation

Purplebricks join Countrywide in tenant deposit fiasco

Boswells 'Rent Guarantee Insurance' and guide to insuring against malicious damage

Government reject Croydon plans to introduce licensing

Coronavirus Has Not Impacted The Property Market

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We have mentioned this a few times in the past - but member, Martin Freeman, reminded us of the need to avoid having your property stolen by registering for alerts with the Land Registry

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Christmas is coming! And so is our December social event, do book your tickets if you haven't already as we have to decide whether to go ahead this week and at present, numbers are slightly lower than we had hoped...

And in the news this month: Sadly we have had a couple of seriously rogue tenants - both in Portsmouth and both in properties owned by PDPLA members. Elsewhere the threat of more well intentioned but ineffective regulation - this time from the APPG on healthy homes and buildings of all places, but at least Charlotte has her feet up and is having a rest (whether she likes it or not!)

Have a great Christmas/Hanukkah/Holidays/New Year and may all your tenants be well behaved and pay on time!

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Oxfords District Heat Network Gets Smart

Modular Houses For ~£30K?

40 year mortgage anybody?

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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."

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A busy month coming up with a whole range of meetings and events. f you missed the email last month, PLG are looking for properties (24-36 month term) for tenants currently going through litigation who have specific needs – so if you have a property that might be suitable, do join us this coming Friday (on Zoom) where PLG will discuss how they work and answer your questions.

Our monthly meeting is our annual tax specialist and is normally the best attended event of the year. He will be talking about 'Exit Planning', a topic also covered by Charlotte in her blog this month. We also have Washday attending to talk about simple landlord repairs and maintenance for washing machines and the like – so quite a diverse event and, for those who cannot make it in person, we will also be broadcasting using Zoom, so do try and attend if you can and join us anyway if not.

Our breakfast this month has moved out a week to the 17th to give as many of you who can make it, the chance to attend Portsmouth City Councils Big Climate Conversation at the Guildhall – please do try and make time in your diary to attend at least one of the sessions (Wednesday is probably the best day for us if you can only make one). If you rarely browse down as far as the 'Green' section of this email, do make sure you do this month for the piece on heat pumps, hydrogen and what it means to you.

And then, on the 18th, we have the NRLA hosted webinar on what 'net zero' means for the PRS.

We have also been talking to Handelsbanken (based at Lakeside, North Harbour) and they will join us at our member meeting in January, but if you wish to consider using them before then, to checkout their flier click here and let them know you are a member.

Is it time for a Great Homes Update?
HMRC Courses For Landlords
Octopus & Homes England Target Developers With £175m Green Homes Fund 
Petition: Prevent Council Tax bills being charged for individual bedroom lets
Landlord Loses Properties After Failing To Meet Standards

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I know, I know – it was me who championed them, but no one told me that 10-year life lithium battery smoke alarms are absolute rubbish.

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Quite a lot of activity in the private rental sector this month – from our advice on rent guarantees and referencing through to the challenges of housing benefits tenants. Longer term issues include the Local Plan and the delay of MTD along with the need for better plans and support if we are to get to 'Carbon Neutral'.  

If you can, do try and join us at one of our meetings this month - fuel and Covid concerns aside, we always enjoy seeing you and aim to ensure members always benefit from attending.

Global House Price Rises 

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This month we have to talk about Portsmouth Planning Committee and its almost demonic desire to stop any new HMO's from being created

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We publish one day late this month in order to include the 'Heads For Tails' campaign which we had to keep secret until now - read on for more detail. Also on the central government front, do try and find time to read thru the NRLA 'white paper' - some very sensible suggestions in there on how to solve some of the long running issues in our industry.

Elsewhere in the news, we have some good offers for members this month, 2 meetings which will be worth attending if you can and some updates on local issues (see 'In Other News' for several of these) plus what may be the greenest building in the city.

When you have read all of that and feel you need a rest, spare a thought for Charlotte who probably needs a bigger rest than you do - though it is all her own fault.

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EPC's in HMO's

Portsmouth HMO Planning Rules May Have Changed

Bed Bugs A Bugger To Eradicate

PDPLA AGM Minutes Available

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Lots of local and central government news from around the area this month - not all bad but easy to end up with a persecution complex if you are so inclined.  

The best way to avoid it is to know that your properties are of  a high standard and your tenants are happy and that you are able to prove it.  Yes, we are talking about accreditation again - please read Charlotte's blog and let us know what you think. 

And if you have cavity wall insulation and the inevitable mould spots on the cold corners, or the same problem without the insulation, see our pictorial guide on using insulated paint. Yes, it is a thing and it does work!

Right To Rent Scheme Update

HMRC Seminars on Residential Property Income and Tax

PCC Cautious On Return To Work 

Havant:  Lower Road Development Approved By Planning Inspectorate

Hampshire Waste Prevention Community Grants

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.. 

Landlord Breakfast 'In Person' meetings returned in June. No viral aftermath reported so we plan to do it again in July, but this time we are going to North Hayling, so a must attend for those landlords who don't normally join us due to the challenges of getting to Southsea for 9am.

No evening monthly meeting in July though – we had planned to meet in person for our AGM but given the extension to lockdown, that will now happen in August, more details next month.

Quite a broad range of topics in this newsletter – hopefully there is something for everybody. If you are experiencing problems because of the Covid crisis, do please let us know.

And please note the landlords checklist has been updated to reflect latest electrical requirements – see it here:https://pdpla.com/documents/landlords-checklist 

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.

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Hayling Retains Blue Flag Status 

Possible Capital Gains Tax Changes

House Prices Reach 1900 Levels Again

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If you have a problem with mice in any of your properties, try WD40.

It will not get rid of them, but it will stop them squeaking.....

 Much going on this month - our next meeting may be our last big Zoom meeting with more expert speakers than we have had in a long time, followed only 2 days later by the resumption of our Landlord Breakfasts (rules permitting) at a new venue: The Florence Garden. See you there!

Also see our thoughts on the need for a more 'joined up' approach to planning and PCC's latest bloody nose in their fight to stop development of much needed HMO's. And if you prefer something lighter to start the month, see Charlotte's blog - you will be amused and horrified in equal amounts. Video footage has been withheld in the interest of public decency.

I hope you are enjoying the Spring Bank holiday – shame the weather is not better but at least the short term let market seems to be recovering fast. As a student landlord, I was pleased to see Charlotte's confirmation that end of tenancy cleaning really is as big a task as I thought it was (see her blog on the topic).

We have agreed in principle, a deal with Digital Home to provide broadband to Portsmouth landlords at very favourable rates – so if you are considering switching, do wait until later this month or talk to us first.

If you missed our last meeting, see our summary article or better still, watch the recording in the 'members area' of the website and if you have not yet registered for our May meeting please do so – we have 3 guest speakers covering mortgages, legal changes for landlords and also, the NRLA director responsible for campaigns to talk about his focus and what they are working on with government. This will be another joint PDPLA / NRLA meeting – so lets hope we get a bumper attendance.

And finally see our piece explaining why spending £8,000 on an air source heat pump is better business than £4,000 on a replacement gas boiler. As always, do let us know what you think. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

When lockdown started, we cancelled meetings and sat at home waiting for a couple of months and then, in May of last year we thought we would try holding one of our meetings using Zoom. Since then, we have been amazed at attendance – often with more attendees than we had at our in-person meetings. Some members have already asked that we continue with Zoom meetings even when we start to meet in person again, hopefully later this year.

Whether we do or not, there is definitely a benefit from being able to watch the recording later, whether you attended or not and that is something we hope to continue. Last month we had 2 excellent speakers (see the recording here), our own Alwin Oliver updating us on Mediation and also, Nick Watchorn from LNPG.

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Rats, Rats and More Rats 

50% Fewer EU Students

Pandemic Sees Student Rents Fall By 30%

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As there are so many useful tips elsewhere in this newsletter, we thought we would end with some humour instead this month:  I was walking past the rent office yesterday, when a woman came running out out screaming and wailing, she had a £20 note rolled up and stuck in her left ear and a £10 note rolled up and stuck in her right ear, I asked her friend what was wrong with her, she said she's upset because she's £30 in arrears

If you don't want anymore 'humour' like this, do please send us some tips for future newsletters... :-) 

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