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Stiffer sentencing guidelines mean there's nowhere to hide on health and safety compliance

22nd July 2016

With stiffer sentencing guidelines for health and safety, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences now in force for England and Wales, the housing industry should tighten up health and safety compliance. While organisations may have robust procedures internally, what about health and safety processes of those delivering your outsourced services. It's necessary to ensure compliance across your entire supply chain. New sentencing guidelines, which came into force on 1 February 20...

A youth and two men hit with Civil Injunction Orders

21st July 2016

Salix Homes has secured three civil injunction orders (CIO) against two men and a youth – using legislation under the Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. On 4 July, a Manchester County Court judge banned 18-year-old Thomas Booth from entering Mulberry Court in Pendleton, Salford, for 12 months. The housing association applied to use the legislation after concerns of a tenant’s safety and other residents who live in the tower block. Booth, of no fixed abode, is forbidden to ...

Brexit: are RPs at a major crossroads or a minor flex in the road?

12th July 2016

Sector experts are warning of a house price slump, a inadequacy of stress testing amongst RPs in connection with a fall in house prices, funding becoming more expensive, and questioning whether housing policy, heavily geared towards home ownership, is fit for purpose, writes Croftons' Managing Partner, Simon Leighton. Just the odd jitter?I can readily understand how the London housing market, which has been heavily underpinned by massive international investment and huge city salaries, could be ...

Forbes Solicitors launches new Private Landlord Team

4th July 2016

Forbes Solicitors has set up a new team to help landlords. The private landlord team are able to help with issues such as drafting tailored tenancy agreements and defending disrepair claims and other types of action brought by tenants. It also deals with recovering possession of the property both at the end of the tenancy and in response to rent arrears and other breaches of tenancy. The team is launching a series of advice events for landlords, starting this Wednesday (July 6) and operating ...

EU Referendum: Apart from a mess, how do things look one week on?

1st July 2016

In the midst of the political, economic and constitutional disruption created by last week’s referendum decision and the fallout across the political parties, a few areas have materialised in relation to housing that offer some encouragement. Lord Heseltine, at the CIH conference yesterday indicated a significant announcement had been scheduled for this week of plans to assist 100 challenging estates and to support housing in the northern powerhouse. He was deliberately being vague in his choice ...

Landmark ruling on negligent property valuation case

1st July 2016

The Court of Appeal has issued a landmark judgement in a professional  negligence case with wide-ranging ramifications across the lending industry. It is a decision that also sets a new precedent in changing the legal pronciple of causation.  Banks, building societies, asset based lenders and surveyors will be affected by the ruling this week that means lenders can recover all of their losses from a negligent valuer arising out of a refinance loan. The effect of the case goes well b...

Hard questions ahead as HCA gets tough on VfM

1st July 2016

When the HCA introduced the VfM standard there was some uncertainty about the requirements for the annual statement and many RPs received letters post-publication from the HCA requiring an improvement on future statements. And that pressure to deliver – and better communicate - VfM is only going to continue as the HCA has since announced that its approach to VfM is going to get tougher, in particular because of the costs variations in the sector that appear to be unexplained. Essentially t...

Farewell Cannes, bye bye housebuilding

1st July 2016

By Alistair McIntosh, chief executive, HQN We’ll never see Cannes again. There will no more breaks for housing bosses at the yearly conference held in this resort. Why? Tenants have put their foot down. Around two-thirds of council and housing association tenants voted to leave the EU. Another survey found that housing bosses wanted to stay in. And not just for a jaunt in the sun. They saw real benefits in being part of the EU. Once again we picked the losing side. Will the Tories exact reve...

Brexit presents even greater need for strong RP leadership

30th June 2016

With the EU referendum decision announced from the Great Hall in Manchester, the rumblings of seismic change occurred just a few metres from our Manchester offices, writes Croftons' Managing Partner, Simon Leighton. The majority of RP’s CEOs backed Remain and we were cautioned that: Restricting migration and loss of consumer confidence may have a downward bearing on house prices. Reduced stock values limits borrowing capacity and potentially leaves RPs with less headroom for development. Issu...

Judge praises Croftons’ positive action

30th June 2016

Croftons has received praise from the Courts for successfully securing an anti-social behaviour injunction with a ‘positive requirement’ – the fourth time we have used this effective but underused legislation for one of our housing sector clients. The positive requirement will be used to compel the defendant to undergo alcohol treatment as this was the key underlying cause of the anti-social behaviour. The judge commented that the tool was still in its infancy but he was delighted...