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HCA says sector in 'strong financial position' but warns of surplus cash risk

1st July 2015

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) says the social housing sector “remains in a strong financial position”, according to its latest quarterly survey out today, while warning against the "risks and costs of holding surplus cash". The survey says "the sector remains attractive to lenders, with significant amounts of cash available to registered providers to cover their development and operating costs". The 2014-15 Q4 survey (January to March) says the sector has “access to sufficient fi...

Five year licence required for HMOs in Camden

22nd June 2015

Camden Council is introducing new licensing conditions for landlords of shared accommodation. It will mean that landlords who rent out a HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) must apply for a five-year licence.  A licence will only be granted if a minimum set of standards for the property are met. The scheme will tackle a range of health and safety issues, such as fire hazards, risk of falls, poor home security and excess cold – which is known to cause mould and damp. With a third of Camden house...

Council uses new anti-social behaviour power to close down cannabis factory

16th June 2015

Southwark Council and the police have used new anti-social behaviour powers to repossess a council flat that was being used as a cannabis factory. Earlier this year, the culprit was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for drug offences carried out at the property. The council applied for a mandatory eviction notice using new powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act, which came into force in October 2014. The new legislation allows local councils to seek immediate possession ...

'Unscrupulous' landlord fined £11,000

2nd June 2015

A landlord has been hit with an £11,000 fine after putting his tenants' lives at risk. According to the London Borough of Hillingdon Council, Javeed Hossain crammed too many tenants into his rental property in Harlington and failed to install correct fire safety measures. Hossain, of  Rydal Crescent, Perivale, is the landlord of 26 New Road, Harlington, a three-storey property operating as a house of multiple occupation (HMO). Following the council investigation into overcrowding, and ...

Private landlords irate after Citizens Advice says 740,000 homes 'severe threat' to health

21st May 2015

Private landlord groups have hit back at a major Citizens Advice study which showed that “740,000 households in England live in privately rented homes that present a severe threat to tenants' health” and called for the government to target "dodgy landlords". Reacting angrily to the report, the National Landlords Association issued a press release under the heading 'Lies, lies and damned statistics'. 'A Nation of Renters', which was based on research by the UK think tank New Policy ...

Generation Rent appoints Betsy Dillner as acting director

13th May 2015

Generation Rent has appointed Betsy Dillner as acting director when Alex Hilton leaves the prominent campaign group on Friday. Dillner (photo) joined Generation Rent in January 2014 as community campaigns manager and has been leading the development of local grass roots campaigns across the country. “In little over a year Generation Rent has built up incredible momentum and I look forward to building on the work Alex and the team has done,” Dillner said. “The housing crisis c...

Only 1 in 16 private landlords will vote for 'knee-jerk' Labour

29th April 2015

Labour won’t be marching into Downing Street on the back of private landlords’ support with Ed Miliband’s party accused of “jumping to knee-jerk policies to appeal to the masses”. The National Landlords Association (NLA) says support for Labour and the Liberal Democrats has halved since the 2010 general election because of their “interventionist policies” in the private rented sector (PRS). Landlord support for the Labour Party has fallen from 11% in 2010...

Blockbuster judgement day as HCA downgrades five housing associations

29th April 2015

Political parties will be relieved it can’t happen to them but five housing associations have had their financial viability rating downgraded by the Homes and Communities Agency from V1 to V2. For both viability and governance, the first two grades indicate compliance with the standard though any downgrade by the powerful regulator is always deeply unwelcome. In 10 regulatory judgements helpfully published on the same day, the HCA downgraded the following five with reasons given by the age...

You can have 40 a year, says European Parliament

28th April 2015

The European Parliament has backed new legislation 'to curb the consumption of lightweight plastic carrier bags in the European Union' with shoppers limited to 40 bags a year by 2025. Under the legislation, member states can either ensure that the annual consumption level does not exceed, on average, 90 lightweight plastic carrier bags per person by the end of 2019, and not more than 40 by 2025, or ensure that they are not given for free at stores and sales points by the end of 2017. The Group of the Pro...

New scheme launched for tenants to check their private landlord

16th April 2015

A 'National Register of Accredited Landlords' has been launched by the NLA. Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association, announced the launch on Thursday at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual South West Conference. While voluntary, the NLA said the register enables tenants to check if their landlord is accredited. The NLA said the register “aims to raise the profile of accreditation and highlight those who are committed to best practice”. The NLA’s '2020 Vision' is t...