Supporting landlords

We work closely with landlords to encourage and develop private sector housing in South Somerset.

LANDLORDS FORUMS

We facilitate Landlords Forums on a regular basis (usually one or two a year).

These meetings are in partnership with the "National Landlords Association" (NLA) and designed to allow Landlords to meet, discuss items of interest and have talks from experts in related fields (accountants, landlord associations, council officers, Gas Safe, solicitors, MP, Shelter etc).

                                        ** DETAILS OF LATEST LANDLORDS FORUM **

                                                Held : Wednesday 7th September 2016

at Holy Trinity Community Centre, Lysander Road, Yeovil, Somerset BA21 2BU 

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED WERE : 

South Somerset District Council Revenues and Benefits Team

& Department of Work and Pensions 

Lucy Martin Partnership Manager for Somerset DWP - The next stage of  Universal Credit Rollout

Ian Potter SSDC Revenues and Benefits Manager - The Councils role for Universal Credit

Lucy Martin Partnership Manager for Somerset DWP - Changes to the overall Benefit Cap

Mandy Stewart Benefits Team Leader - How the Cap is applied in Housing Benefit

 

Milsted Langdon LLP

Stephen Griffiths, Partner -covered the following topics : 

The new loan interest restriction

Incorporating a property portfolio

New wear and tear allowance rules

The 3% surcharge on additional property purchases   

We will also had the following stands providing information :

Somerset Care & Repair for those of you looking for options for your property management. 

SSDC Housing Standards Team 

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service

 

 **Watch out for details of the next meeting later this year**

Please e-mail carolyn.wilkinson@southsomerset.gov.uk  if you would like to be sent an invitation for future meetings.

Also please could you send suggestions to us for topics that you feel would be of interest at future forums?

Similarly if the venue is inconvenient or you would prefer future meetings to be held elsewhere, please let us have your views by email, also to  carolyn.wilkinson@southsomerset.gov.uk .


 

Grants and Loans available to landlords

We also offers two different types of grants/loans to financially aid Landlords.


Please Note (1) :

RIGHT TO RENT LIVE ACROSS ENGLAND

On 1st February 2016, Right to Rent went live across England. This means all private landlords, including anyone subletting or taking in lodgers, need to carry out quick and simple checks on all new tenants to make sure they have the right to rent property in the country.

The roll out of Right to Rent has been informed by input from a panel of experts from trade bodies, local authorities, and housing charities and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and backed up by stakeholder events with landlords and agents.

Landlords need to check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. A wide range of documents can be used for the checks, and the Government has worked closely with housing and homelessness charities to design a document list which can accommodate different individual circumstances. This includes where people do not have traditional identity documents such as a passport.

There are resources available to help landlords comply with the new rules, including an online checking aid which landlords can use to guide them through the process and to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office. 

For more information about making the checks go to www.gov.uk/righttorentchecks


Please Note (2) :

LETTING AGENT REDRESS SCHEME

If a letting agent doesn't resolve a complaint, a new law means private renters can complain to a government-approved letting agent redress scheme

What's changed ?

From 1 October 2014, all letting agents are required to be a member of one of three government-approved letting agency redress schemes. If a letting agent doesn't resolve a complaint within 8 weeks, a complaint can be made to one of these schemes.

Before 1 October 2014, you could only refer an unresolved dispute to a redress scheme if your letting agent chose to be a member of a professional association. Some letting agents were members of a professional association.

What are letting agents redress schemes?

Letting agent redress schemes provide a free, independent service for resolving disputes between letting agents and their customers. Landlords and tenants can use the schemes. From 1 October 2014, the three government-approved letting agent redress schemes are:

The decision made by an independent redress scheme is binding on all parties.

Which redress scheme does your letting agent use?

Ask your letting agent which scheme they belong to or check their website. Some letting agents display details on stickers in their windows. You can check which scheme your letting agent is registered with using:

It's a criminal offence for a letting agent not to be a member of a redress scheme. The local council can issue a fixed penalty fine of up to £5000 to a letting agency branch that is not a member of a scheme. Letting agents with multiple branches could face multiple fines.

Redress scheme rules

The rules for each redress scheme vary, but there are common features. All are free to use. No charge is made for a tenant or landlord who makes a complaint. Redress schemes typically require letting agencies to:

  • follow a code of practice
  • have an in-house complaints procedure
  • cooperate with any investigation and agree to pay compensation promptly if the redress scheme awards it.

Guidance for landlords

This page also provides links to publications and websites which should help Landlords to fulfil their legal obligations and become better managers.

  1. A link to a 92 page downloadable LACORS Landlord Handbook.
  2. A government website guide to energy performance certificates.
  3. An informative health and safety executive gas safety leaflet
  4. A government Tenancy deposit scheme leaflet
  5. A landlord's guide to electrical safety in rented property
  6. A "Which ?" guide explaining "How to become a landlord"
  7. An easy-to-read webpage explaining the new Local Housing Allowance
  8. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015