REMEMBER TO SPEND YOUR ‘OLD’ £1 COINS

3rd October 2017 By

Please be aware that the ‘old’ £1 coin will cease to be legal tender on 15 October 2017.

After that date only the ‘new’ twelve-sided coin can be spent.

Spend them or give them to charity but don’t lose them.

Check those bottles so many of us have to save odd coins and down the back of sofas and chairs.

Some shops will be giving the round £1 coins in change up to the last minute, you can ask for the new coin but that may not be possible.

Those people who find the old coins after 15 October will still be able to take them to the bank for exchange.

 

Find out more >>

Supporting Fire Door Safety Week 25 September to 1 October 2017

11th September 2017 By

Fire Door Safety Week this year is from 25 September to 1 October

All property owners and occupiers whether landlords or not are urged to ensure that all fire doors are safe and correctly fitted.

 

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Supporting Gas Safety Week 18 – 24 September

11th September 2017 By

Gas Safe Week this year is from 18 – 24 September.

All property owners and occupiers whether landlords or not are urged to ensure that all appliances are up to date with testing and safe.

Remember only use a Gas Safe Registered fitter or technician.  There are hefty fines for anyone else carrying out this work and possibly for those employing them to do so.

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CRLA HOLIDAY OFFICE CLOSURE

3rd August 2017 By

Please note that I will be on holiday from Saturday 5 August to Tuesday 22 August meaning the CRLA office will be unmanned with no telephone or email contact.

Members:

  • For legal queries please contact Coodes on 01872 246200 or email crla@coodes.co.uk.
  • For fire safety queries please contact Jeff Hick on 01872 01872 277256 or email: jeffhick@hotmail.com.

If you leave a message on the answering machine (01872 554498) or send an email either through the website or to any of the email addresses (crlawp@gmail.com, ruth.crla.updates@gmail.com or ruthclarkemail@aol.com) I will respond as soon as possible on my return.  This may take a while depending on the number of messages and emails awaiting my return.  If you want a response from me more quickly I suggest you ‘phone me on 22 August.

The forms and information sheets on the website will still be available.

Anyone making a membership renewal payment by BACS or cheque during the holiday period will find that their access to the website will be restricted until a day or two after my return from holiday

Ruth

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DEPOSIT PROTECTION

22nd July 2017 By

The TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) has launched a Code of Recommended Practice. Interesting reading even if you use a different deposit protection company.

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FREE CARBON MONOXIDE AWARENESS WORKSHOP IN PLYMOUTH ON 9TH AUGUST 2017

7th July 2017 By

The Gas Safe Charity is running a series of free morning workshops across the UK aimed at ANY organisation that delivers services in the homes of vulnerable people.

Low levels of carbon monoxide have been linked to increased risk of falls and dementia.

Front line staff and volunteers have a key preventative role but there is also a duty of care for employers. A range of organisations have attended past ThinkCO workshops and have now introduced carbon monoxide awareness into their induction and general training. There is usually only one place per organisation per workshop and each participant will receive a training pack, buffet lunch and a free CO detector for each organisation.

To learn more and to get a booking form please click HEREor email thinkco@gassafecharity.org.uk.

Any questions please call Hilary on 07813 977798 or Simon on 07549 956376.

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LETTER FROM DCLG FOLLOWING GRENFELL TOWER DISASTER

21st June 2017 By

DCLG have written to local authorities following Grenfell Tower disaster.  They have asked that the letter be shared with residential landlords.

  • In addition to the checks on residential blocks owned by social landlords, DCLG are offering private owners of residential buildings an opportunity to test cladding on blocks over 18 metres high through arrangements put in place with the Building Research Establishment (BRE).
  • These checks will be paid for by DCLG, and the information will be available to DCLG from BRE.
  • Where owners consider that they may have concerns about cladding on buildings over 18 metres high, they should follow the process in the letter.
  • DCLG have provided an email for enquiries: PRShousingchecks@communities.gsi.gov.uk

DCLG are keen to reach out to as many people as possible and the attached letter provides you with further information on the service they are offering. Should you wish to make use of this service, please fill out and return the form

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FROM TODAY’S QUEEN’S SPEECH

21st June 2017 By

  • Security deposits will no longer be able to exceed the value of one month’s rent. Compared to the restriction which already applied of one sixth the annual rent (aka two months’).
  • Holding deposits will no longer be able to exceed one week’s rent.
    There will need to be a consultation so date for implementation ‘some time in the future’.

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PROBATE FEES TO REMAIN UNCHANGED

21st April 2017 By

Good news from the forthcoming election.  It has been decided that the proposed revision to Probate Fees will not take place due to lack of parliamentary time.

Current probate fees of £215, or £155 for those applying through a solicitor, look likely to remain unchanged for the time being.

 

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DIG OUT YOUR OLD £5 NOTES – 5 MAY 2017 DEADLINE

20th April 2017 By

5 May 2017 is the cut-off date for using ‘old’ £5 notes.  They will cease to be accepted by most banks, shops and vending machines from that date.

If you find you still have a note after the 5 May deadline contact the Bank of England.  The Bank of England’s head office in London’s note exchange desk lets anyone with an out of date note swap it for a current one – meaning anyone with an old note can head there and swap the paper notes for polymer ones, but it is an awful long way to go!

You can save yourself a journey by posting the note to Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London  EC2R 8AH but send it by recorded or similar service and keep the receipt.

Find out more >>

GENERAL ELECTION CALLED FOR 8 JUNE

19th April 2017 By

General Election called for 8 June. Perhaps time to find out who the candidates will be in your area and challenge them on their (and their party’s) views on the PRS. Perhaps a change in the tax, recognition that it is time to tidy up the volumes of legislation affecting the PRS and they need to recognise that landlords are needed and valued (the good ones anyway).

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CIVIL PENALTIES AND RENT REPAYMENT ORDERS

6th April 2017 By

From today Local Authorities will be able to issue civil penalty notices up to a maximum of £30,000 per offence as well as being able to apply for rent repayment orders for up to twelve months’ worth of rent.  Tenants will also be able to apply to the Tribunal for rent repayment orders.

We will be liaising with the Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing Team on this.

These regulations are just part of the measures to be introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

Find out more >>

HOUSING AND PLANNING ACT 2016 CIVIL PENALTIES AND RENT REPAYMENT ORDERS

16th March 2017 By

Housing and Planning Act 2016 – measures affecting PRS

The regulations introducing civil penalties and extending the grounds for rent repayment orders have now been laid and will come into force on 6 April. These new laws give local authorities new powers to deal with private landlords who infringe housing standards. Guidance for local authorities on their new powers will be published next week, and the related commencement order is online. We are told that the other measures from the 2016 Act, such as the database of rogue landlords/property agents and banning orders, will come into force on 1 October.

The Commencement Order is now on the CRLA Website together with a link to the Link to Housing and Planning Act 2016 The Rent Repayment Orders and Financial Penalties (Amounts Recovered) (England) Regulations 2017

http://crla.org.uk/index.php/public-pages/legislation-and-regulation-from-local-and-central-government/

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GAINING POSSESSION OF YOUR PROPERTY

17th February 2017 By

Thursday 30 March, Coodes offices in Truro 10am – 1pm

£75 for CRLA members   £150 for non-members

Good landlords find their tenants want to stay in their homes and landlords want good tennts to stay.

Unfortunately there are occasions when you need your property back from the tenant.  The process can be frustrating, worrying, time consuming, and expensive.

This course is to help you understand the process, get things right the first time and get your property back as quickly as possible whilst keeping costs down.

The team from Coodes will be bringing many years of experience to share with you.

Objectives

The course will cover the process from service of Section 21 or Section 8 notice through to Court and actually gaining possession of your property.

Suitable for all landlords and agents.

Course Content

  • Managing the problem tenant; rent arrears and antisocial behaviour
  • Overview of Section 21 and recent changes in case law
  • Section 8
  • Accelerated proceedings vs standard proceedings
  • Costs, forms, estimated timescales
  • Common errors and how to avoid them
  • What to do if the tenant remains on expiry of the possession order
  • How to avoid harassment, illegal eviction and your duty to your tenant’s belongings

Find out more >>

TENANCY DEPOSITS

16th February 2017 By

It is reported that many landlords and agents are failing to protect deposits.  I have put together a VERY short survey which I would be very grateful if you would find the time to complete.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YP7XQ8H

Find out more >>

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR BEFORE USING A LETTING AGENT?

14th February 2017 By

Most letting agents and property management agents are honestly trying to do their best for landlords and tenants whilst running their businesses.  Unfortunately, as recently highlighted on the BBC, there are some rogues out there who let everyone else down.

Before taking on an agent ask:

  • Do you know someone who has experience with this agent? Ask them for the good and bad news
  • Does the agent belong to one of the government’s three redress schemes (a requirement since October 2014 and £3,000 fine for not having joined one of the following)? The information about which scheme is used should be clearly displayed.  Don’t be afraid to contact the appropriate body to ensure the agent is a current member.
  • Are the fees charged by the agent clearly displayed as required under the Consumer Protection Act 2015?
  • Does the agent hold Client Money Protection Insurance? Not a requirement yet but due to be brought in.
  • What Deposit Protection Scheme does the agent use? Again don’t be afraid to ask the scheme provider for confirmation.
  • Deposit Protection Scheme
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme

 

Find out more >>

LANDLORD RIGHTS FOR INSPECTING OR VIEWING A PROPERTY

5th January 2017 By

A new information sheet is now available in the Members Area of the website under Information Sheets for Landlords outlining what landlords need to do when wishing to visit a property.

Thanks to our friends at Coodes for this.

A copy of the document will appear in the January 2017 newsletter.

Find out more >>

CORNWALL COUNCIL TAKES ACTION OVER ILLEGAL EVICTION

21st December 2016 By

Following an investigation by Cornwall Council’s Private Sector Housing team, Cornwall Council successfully prosecuted landlord Marlene Goodland of Chy-An-Bowjy, Ruan High Lanes, Truro under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

At Truro Magistrates Court on the 13 December 2016, Marlene Goodland was found guilty of unlawfully depriving a tenant of their occupation of ‘The Hideaway’, Ruan Highlanes, Truro.  The Magistrates sentenced Miss Goodland to a 12 month Conditional Discharge and ordered her to pay costs of £4321.80 to the Council.

On the 16 March 2016, Marlene Goodland unlawfully entered the private rented house in Ruan Highlanes, Truro with a locksmith and changed the locks to the external doors locking her tenant’s family possessions inside.

Miss Goodland took back possession of the premises within the initial 6 months rental term.

Stuart Kenney from Cornwall Councils Private Sector Housing Team said: “The defendant informed the Court that she believed that the tenant had vacated the premises at the time that she took possession.  The landlord did not follow any lawful process before making the decision to enter the premises with a locksmith, change the locks and take over possession.  However, the Court found that she did not have a reasonable basis to believe that the property had been vacated.  Taking over possession without following a lawful process is a risky business and in this case has resulted in a criminal conviction for the landlord and substantial costs and legal expenses.”

Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing and the environment Joyce Duffin said: “Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that an eviction follows a lawful process.  Cornwall Council is committed to protecting the rights of private tenants and will take action where necessary to protect them.  The only lawful method for a landlord to take possession is by obtaining a court order.  In this case this was not done and the end result is a criminal conviction.

Cornwall Council is committed to supporting landlords and has created a voluntary registration scheme called the Cornwall Responsible Landlords Scheme that is designed to assist landlords with their legal responsibilities.  The Council also strongly recommends that landlords join a recognised local or national landlords association”.

Details of the Cornwall Responsible Landlords Scheme can be found here: www.cornwall.gov.uk/housing/private-sector-housing/responsible-landlord-scheme

Miss Goodland is not a member of the CRLA

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UPDATED SECTION 8 FORM

21st December 2016 By

The updated Section 8 Form can be found in the Members Area under Download Resources.  Available either in Microsoft Word of Adobe Acrobat format.

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AUTUMN STATEMENT NOVEMBER 2016

24th November 2016 By

The following is intended only as a brief review of how we feel the private rented sector will be affected by the announcements in the autumn statement.  Not a lot of surprises as there have been many announcements in the last few days.

 

Letting Agent Fees

Charging of fees to tenants by letting agents to be banned as soon as possible.  Administration fees, reference fees and credit checks will still be chargeable.

Banning of letting agent fees has been in force in Scotland and has seen landlords facing extra costs and often increasing rents to meet those costs.

When this ban was announced a short while ago Gavin Barwell MP (Minister for Housing and Planning) tweeted “Bad idea – landlords would pass costs on to tenants via rent. We’re looking at other ways to cut upfront costs & raise standards”.

 

Insurance Premium Tax

The basic rate of Insurance Premium Tax will rise from 10% to 12% from 1 June 2017.

 

SOME GOOD NEWS:

 

Tax thresholds

No change to previously announced increase to tax-free allowance from £11,000 to £11,500 by April and £12,500 by 2020.

Commitment to raise the top threshold to £50,000 remains.

 

Fuel duty

Cancelled for the seventh consecutive year.

 

Universal Credit

A reduction in the rate at which benefits are withdrawn from people when they start work The taper rate at which universal credit is withdrawn as earnings rise to be reduced from 65p to 63p.

 

National Living Wage

National Living Wage to rise to £7.50 from April 2017

Find out more >>