Welcome to the 6th landlord forum eNewsletter - which we hope will be useful to you. All the information presented at the forums will be available via the links in this eNewsletter

Recent forum recap

The last landlord forum was held on Tuesday 19th November 2019. Below is a recap on the event and links to the presentations.

The agenda includes a variety of talks and information relating to the rented sector including:

Economic Development

Chris Lawes attended to update on recent investments and projects in the Borough, as well as updating on some of the ways that NBBC are promoting the Borough widely. As landlords/letting agents invested in the area this information is useful for you to see the current and future plans for the Borough

PHIL – Preventing Homeless Improving Lives project

Leigh Caswell gave a presentation on how their project supports tenants across the County by assisting them with personal/financial issues that may be affecting their tenancy. PHIL want to promote their services to private landlords/letting agents with the hope that they would consider referring any tenants to the project who may be at risk of eviction now or in the future.

All the information covered in the forum as mentioned above can be seen in the link below.

Current topics

New Tenant Fees Act

This Act came into force on the 1st June 2019, the Act will bring an end to upfront fees charged by landlords and agents to their tenants. It will also limit the levels of both security and holding deposits – with most security deposits capped at five weeks’ rent and holding deposits at one week’s rent.

This means landlords will no longer be able to charge for many services provided to the tenant, including:

  • Referencing
  • Credit checks
  • Inventories
  • Assessing guarantors
  • Services, such as cleaning or gardening
  • Administration

The only charges allowed will be for replacement of a lost key or security device, and a charge when rent payments are at least 14 days late.

Landlords will also still be able to claim for damages where there is a breach of the tenancy agreement.

Fitness for Human Habitation Act

This Act came into force on the 20 March 2019. It is designed to ensure that all rented accommodation is fit for human habitation and to strengthen tenants’ means of redress against the minority of landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations to keep their properties safe.

Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve with their lives.

or contact the Communities Team on 02476 376 492.

Veterans Hubs and Outreach and Support Officer

As part of our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant, in partnership with The Veterans Contact Point (VCP), we developing local Veterans Hubs and there is a new Armed Forces Community Outreach and Support Officer which if you have any tenants who are part of the Armed Forces Community and are in need of some support in areas such as employment, health, housing or finance you can refer them to the VCP.

Private Sector Housing Team updates

E.ON project in partnership with NBBC

HMO Regulations

From 1 October 2018 the criteria for a licensable HMO changed to remove the 3 storey requirement. This means that any property, regardless of the number of storeys, that is let to 5 or more people, in 2 or more households, who also share some amenities such as bathroom/kitchen facilities, will require a HMO licence from the local authority.

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council will be able to accept licence applications for both Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire based properties.

If you have a property that you believe may require a licence, or require clarification on whether your property falls within the new licensing criteria please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 024 7637 6406.

Amended gas safety rules, surrounding annual gas safety checks, that have come into force from 6th April 2018

Also, landlords are being reminded of the importance of serving a copy of a valid gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy, or they risk being unable to serve a Section 21 notice of possession

Useful information

The Government has produced a series of useful 'how to' guides for the private rented sector in England. Please take time to read these informative guides:

How to rent: The checklist for renting in England

This guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the letting process.

How to let: A guide for current and prospective private residential landlords in England

This guide is for current and prospective landlords. It explains the responsibilities, legal requirements and best practice for letting a property in the private rented sector.

Universal Credit

What Universal Credit means for landlords – see this useful government guidance:

Property standards

There is also the new Fitness for Human Habitation Act

General data protection regulation (GDPR)

Data protection has changed dramatically with the introduction of the GDPR, and the housing sector needs to be aware of the implications.

Landlords and letting agents who handle and process personal data from tenants will need to understand their new responsibilities under the regulation.

Below are some links to further information on GDPR:

Warwickshire Switch and Save is now open for registration. This is a scheme to help get cheaper gas and electricity bills. In partnership with Act on Energy, who help households looking to switch suppliers

Safe in Warwickshire is brought to you by the multi-agency Safer Warwickshire Partnership Board. See the various campaigns taking place to make Warwickshire safer.

this tutorial is aimed at anyone starting to let out a property to a tenant and becoming a landlord or overseas landlord if leaving the UK for more than 6 months.

Preventing Homeless Improving Lives (P.H.I.L)

P.H.I.L helps Warwickshire residents who need advice about their housing situation.

The project aims to prevent homelessness at an earlier stage and at least 2 to 3 months before crisis point, and offer help and support to try and prevent homelessness.

NBBC services for landlords

NBBC website

Updated and revised private landlords section on the NBBC website including the informative landlord information zone, and previous newsletter and forum content.

Housing Solutions Support Scheme

We have a variety of options to help prospective tenants access the private rented sector

Properties to rent

If you are a private landlord or letting agent and have a property you are looking to advertise for rent, particularly that is suitable for customers on low incomes or claiming Universal Credit, please let us know.

You can complete the request form and return to our Landlord Liaison & Development Officer via email - landlordforum@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk

National Landlords Association

If you are not a National Landlords Association (NLA) member but would like to know more about the Association, and receive a regular newsletter along with details of NLA meetings in your area then you can sign up for a free newsletter.

Landlord Accreditation Scheme

The aims of the scheme are to encourage, acknowledge and promote good standards of privately rented accommodation and to assist landlords and tenants to undertake their responsibilities to each other.

Shared Private Sector Housing Service

Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire Borough Councils are now operating a Shared Private Sector Housing Service. If you have properties in either area then all inspections, licence applications and queries will be dealt with by Nuneaton and Bedworth.

Please contact 024 7637 6376 or email privatesectorhousing@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk if you wish to speak with us.

It is hoped this will make it simpler for local landlords by only having to deal with one team and one set of uniform standards which will be harmonised over the coming months.

Duty to cooperate referral form – Landlords and Letting Agents

If you are having issues with your tenant(s), and that they may lose their accommodation due to this, please complete and return the referral form so we can see how we can assist to try and prevent this loss of accommodation.

NBBinvest – Economic Development and Business Support

Find out why our central strategic location, business sectors, innovation and space to grow will ensure your business flourishes in Nuneaton & Bedworth.

Social media for landlords

Created By
Paul McArthur