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Top tips for scoring G1/V1 at your IDA

20th June 2016

By Alistair McIntosh, Chief Executive, HQN   1. Start now You can predict what the HCA will want to talk to you about. Are sales stalling? Is the cash running out? Has there been a board room bust up? No problem. Just set the facts out and agree a plan to sort it. Now. Don’t wait for the call.   2. Make life easy for the HCA  The HCA teams put a lot of time into getting ready for these. But it's hard work going through thousands of pages of words and columns of numbers. ...

Court fines landlord over death-trap dozen

2nd June 2016

A tip-off leads council investigators to 12 tenants - including a young child - sharing seven rooms in an unlicensed HMO with no proper fire escape, writes Bill Tanner. The subsequent prosecution was another success for London’s Barnet council and its crackdown on substandard HMOs. That crackdown has already led to landlords paying fines and costs of around £200,000 since March - Yossi Meshulam being the latest. At Willesden magistrate court this month, Meshulam, of Harrowes Mead, Edgwa...

Rogue ‘landlord’ illegally evicted tenant from illegally sub-let flat

25th May 2016

A tenant has told of being illegally evicted by a ‘landlord’ who was illegally sub-letting his council flat, writes Bill Tanner. Speaking after a court case that saw the ‘landlord’ fined nearly £2,000, tenant Ata Allah Alalawi said Rami Nazzal snapped on hearing he wanted to leave. Nazzal, 35, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Magistrate’s Court to sub-letting his one-bedroom council flat and illegally evicting Alalawi. The court heard how he rented the property ...

Council’s rogue landlords scheme 'has teeth'

19th May 2016

Three ‘rogue’ landlords have to pay over £4,000 in fines and costs for not signing up to a selective licensing scheme - having ignored council letters urging them to comply, writes Bill Tanner. Oldham Council successfully prosecuted the three to show its scheme - introduced last year to improve the management of properties and flush out rogue landlords and irresponsible tenants - has teeth. The council made it a criminal offence to operate a privately rented property without a licenc...

The Housing and Planning Act – reactions

19th May 2016

The Housing and Planning Act has now been given Royal Assent and the regulations will now start to be decided. 24housing has compiled a brief round-up of reactions. Cllr Peter Box, planning spokesman at the Local Government Association: The planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding. Councils approve almost nine out of 10 planning applications and the number of homes being granted planning permission by local authorities during 2015 was 253,000, the highest level since 2007. We support the...

Queen’s Speech: ‘Cinderella Services’ find their prince but where’s the fortune?

18th May 2016

Chris Smith, 24housing editor's comment on the Queen's Speech: Critics of the social care system will be vindicated by the Queen’s Speech. The commitment to help young people on the margins of society will be welcomed by seasoned campaigners who have fought for the ‘Cinderella Services’. The pledge to "increase the life chances for the most disadvantaged" was the main message but it must be backed with sustainable funding and a commitment to support local agencies to deliver. Wh...

Housing and Planning Act – reactions

18th May 2016

Following the Housing and Planning Bill receiving Royal Assent, 24housing rounds up the latest reactions. Cllr Philip Glanville, cabinet member for housing at Hackney Council: This Act will be hugely damaging to the social fabric of inner London boroughs like Hackney. It does nothing meaningful to address the capital’s housing crisis, improve the stability or affordability of private renting, or deliver on the homeownership aspirations of residents, the vast majority of who are current...

Enforcement vital to end property gains by crooks say MPs

17th May 2016

Senior MPs have called on the prime minister to clarify his plans to tackle money laundering in the property market, writes Chris Smith. Labour MPs Frank Field and Margaret Hodge called for clarity after prime minister David Cameron announced plans to introduce a register to identify foreign owners of UK properties. The prime minister’s initiative, likely to be included in the Queen’s Speech, is aimed at tackling the use of property as a way of laundering money gained through crimes s...

Mobysoft to become a sponsor of HQN's Rent and Income Excellence Network as part of 12-month commercial partnership

13th May 2016

HQN has announced a major commercial partnership with Mobysoft which will see the leading housing software company become a sponsor of the Rent and Income Excellence Network for the next 12 months.   As part of the new partnership, which officially launched on 1 May, HQN and Mobysoft are joining forces for a special event entitled 'Executive decisions: The strategic importance of data' (click here) in central London on 7 June, which is free to Housing Quality Network members.   HQN chief exec...

MPs call for tougher property ownership rules

12th May 2016

MPs have urged the chancellor to toughen property transparency laws to curb money laundering, writes Chris Smith. Labour MPs Frank Field and Margaret Hodge warned more had to be done to tackle a “big industry” that was enabling criminals to hide their ill-gotten gains and drive up the already over-heating housing market. The call came as the prime minister set out plans to create a new corporate money laundering offence as he opened an international anti-corruption conference in Lo...