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Islington sets out plans to limit 'mega-basements'

27th August 2015

Residents and others have just a few more days to respond to Islington Council’s plans to limit the size of basement extensions and the impact these have on local areas. Soaring property values have led to a steady increase in the number of planning applications for the excavation of large basements in Islington, with the number of planning applications containing basement developments rising from 41 to 62 between 2013 and 2014. The council has published new draft planning guidelines, whic...

Research findings set to provide new tools for the sector

14th August 2015

A current industry pulse survey is underway to establish barriers in communication practices within housing associations. Throughout this month specialist built environment communication agency, Shere Marketing is appealing to housing professionals to submit their views on current operational challenges and delivery challenges, post-election reform. The agency has been working with housing associations since October last year to identify and support sector professionals to make the best of thei...

Nuisance neighbour removed using new law enforcement powers

10th August 2015

New law enforcement powers have been used to evict a woman from a property in Bury to bring an end to nuisance behaviour associated with her home. A resident of Warwick Close, was previously subject to a closure order in April following reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB) from other residents. It was ruled that they could not set foot within the property for 3 months. The type of nuisance behaviour described to Six Town Housing and Greater Manchester Police (GMP) included drug dealing and mi...

Comment: Landlords and the immigration bill

3rd August 2015

Following the announcement from the government that private landlords will be expected to play a greater role in checking the immigration status of their tenants, Bob Mayho, principal policy officer for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), said: We have fundamental reservations about the government’s new proposals and question why landlords are being asked do the job of the UK Border Agency in checking the immigration status of their tenants.  These proposals raise serious questions...

Landlords ‘to act as border control'

3rd August 2015

Landlords will be expected to evict migrants who lose the right to live in England, under measures to be included in the Immigration Bill, according to a recent BBC report. Those who fail to evict illegal immigrants or check a migrant's status in advance could face up to five years in jail. Greg Clark, secretary of state for communities and local government said: "The proposals were designed to crack down on rogue landlords who make money out of illegal immigrants." Government plans to reform the ren...

Top governance rating restored to Network Housing Group

29th July 2015

Network Housing Group, one of London’s largest housing associations, has regained its G1 rating following an assessment by the housing regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The HCA oversees the work of housing associations to make sure they are governed properly, rating them G1 to G4. Last year Network Housing Group was downgraded from G1 to G2 as a result of errors in the rent setting procedures. Today’s upgrade now means that Network Housing Group holds the ...

Opinion: zero carbon homes - the next four years

21st July 2015

Tom Jarman, environmental sustainability coordinator at SHIFT landlord Your Homes Newcastle, on why it isn’t necessarily curtains for zero carbon homes: So the kybosh has finally applied to aspirations for zero carbon new build in 2016. To some this won’t have come as a great surprise from a government which has never been seen as entirely convinced, and whose commitment to zero carbon new build has been inconsistent at best. However, there is hope. In 2020, the EU nearly Zero Carbon Bui...

Sheffield uses new legislation to protect both landlords and tenants

20th July 2015

Sheffield City Council is believed to be the first authority outside London to use new legislation designed to boost the rights of millions of people living in rented accommodation. In the last six weeks it has fined 11 letting agents a total of £37,000 for failing to comply with legislation introduced last October. Under the new laws, letting and property management agents need to register with one of three redress schemes, which were set up to resolve problems between tenants and letting agen...

Croydon landlords sign up for licensing scheme discount

14th July 2015

Landlords in Croydon are being offered an incentive to save hundreds of pounds by signing up early to the council’s selective licensing scheme. There are around 30,000 private rented properties in the borough, and the council is introducing the scheme to raise housing standards and tackle dodgy landlords who undercut their competitors on quality and price. All applicants must prove they are fit and proper – and from October any Croydon private landlord who does not have a licence f...

BPF: Government delivers on game-changing planning reforms

10th July 2015

The British Property Federation (BPF) has praised the government for the raft of planning reforms announced in the Treasury’s Productivity Plan that ‘hit the nail on the head’ and have the potential to be an enormous boon to housing supply. It has warned, however, that some of the new measures will only work if the government addresses the severe shortage of funds within local authority planning departments.  It also outlined concerns that with its focus on Right to Buy ...

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