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See also: Letting Agents and Property Managers

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26/01/2015: NI Landlord Registration Scheme deadline approaching

 All private landlords who let residential property in Northern Ireland are being reminded they should be signed up to the Landlord Registration Scheme. All private landlords are required to register immediately prior to letting a new tenancy or by Wednesday 25 February if they have existing tenancies and no new lettings.

The rules are contained in the Landlord Registration Scheme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2014 (NI SR 2014 No. 9) which are made under the Private Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/1459 (N.I. 10)) as amended.

If a landlord fails to register or provides false information for registration, they risk being issued with a fixed penalty of up to £500. If taken to court they can be fined up to £2,500. The scheme requires all existing and new landlords to register and provide accurate and up-to-date information on themselves and their properties.

The fee to register for three years is £70 if done online or £80 non-electronically. This fee applies regardless of how many properties a landlord owns.

The scheme aims to make private renting more attractive for more people. Tenants will be encouraged to look for the Landlord Registration logo and number when taking up a new tenancy. This will provide reassurance that their landlord has complied with the statutory requirement to register.

 

23/12/2014: Single licensing authority for private rented sector in Wales

The Welsh Government is seeking views on its plan to appoint a single licensing authority to manage the registration of private rented sector properties in Wales. The authority would also manage the licensing of landlords and agents and stipulate the training requirements necessary for landlords and agents.

The consultation will seek views on the decision designate a single licensing authority for the whole of Wales, and the intention the single authority should be Cardiff City Council. Responses should be submitted by 6 February 2014.

17/12/2014: Notice to quit invalid due to non-compliance with statutory tenancy deposit scheme
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2014/1604.html

Charalambous and another v NG and another
[2014] EWCA Civ 1604 Court of Appeal

02/11/2014: Landlords in West Midlands will face a fine for renting to illegal immigrants
Source: GOV.UK

Private landlords, homeowners who let rooms and letting agents in the West Midlands could face a penalty of up to £3,000 if they rent to illegal immigrants. The legislation is being implemented in parts of the West Midlands and will mean landlords must introduce ‘right to rent’ checks to confirm their prospective clients have the right to be in the country.

The right to rent measures were introduced as part of the Immigration Act 2014 and will be phased in across the country, beginning in Birmingham, Wallsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton.

Landlords must ask to see a passport, biometric residence permit or other evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship and in most cases will be able to do so without needing to contact the Home Office. In cases where tenants do not have documents due to an ongoing Home Office application, landlords can request a right to rent check

09/06/2014: Government to promote end of prohibition on short-term lets of London homes

Under a special law applying to Greater London [Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1973 s. 22(1)], the provision of ‘temporary sleeping accommodation’ constitutes a material change of use for the purposes of planning law for which planning permission is required [Town and Country Planning Act 1971].

Use as temporary sleeping accommodation means use as sleeping accommodation which is occupied by the same person for less than ninety consecutive nights and which is provided (with or without other services) for a consideration arising either:
* by way of trade for money or money's worth; or
* by reason of the employment of the occupant.

The Government intends to remove the prohibition by clause in the Deregulation Bill going through Parliament. According to the Government, there were nearly 5 million overseas visitors to the capital between July and September last year alone, and thousands of properties available as holiday lets on travel websites.  The letting restrictions caused controversy during the 2012 Olympics, and are irregularly enforced by different London boroughs leading to confusion.

 

22/10/2013: Government response to consultation on illegal immigration in private rented sector
In July 2013, the Home Office launched a public consultation on proposals to address use of privately rented accommodation by illegal migrants. The consultation proposed that, in the future, private landlords would be required to check the immigration status of new occupants and would be subject to a penalty for renting accommodation for illegal migrants to live in as their main or only home.

The Home office has published a report which summarises the responses to the consultation and the Government‟s proposals in light of the consultation. The government plans to implement proposals requiring private landlords to check the immigration status of new occupants and implement penalties for those landlords renting accommodation to illegal immigrants. In order to address concerns raised by respondents to the consultation that landlords may discriminate because of the new administrative burdens associated with checking the immigration status of prospective tenants, the Government intends to implement a statutory non-discrimination code for landlords.

If the Immigration Bill gains Royal Assent, the policy will be in place from autumn 2014.

02/10/2013: Government announces measures to encourage family friendly tenancies
The Government has announced new measures aim to encourage longer fixed-term, family-friendly tenancies and raise standards in the private rented sector. Developed with the representatives of the residential landlord sector, the measures include a model tenancy agreement designed to set out clearly the rights and responsibilities of landlord and tenant, and a tenants’ charter to ensure all tenants know what to expect from their tenancy and how to get advice.

[Page updated: 04/04/2015]

 

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