April 10, 2017
A number of new or amended regulations in relation to the Private Rented Sector have come into force on April 6th.
1) Rent Repayment Orders
Rent Repayment Orders (RROs) were introduced by the 2004 Housing Act in response to situations where the landlord of a property had failed to obtain a license for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) which were subject to a mandatory license; and offences in relation to conditions of the license. The 2016 Housing and Planning Act has extended RROs to cover a wider range of offences. These are
- Failure to comply with an Improvement Notice (to rectify a health or safety hazard);
- Failure to comply with a Prohibition Order (prohibiting use of the premises or part of it);
- Breach of a banning order (where a landlord is banned from letting housing, engaging in letting agency work, or any property management work);
- Using violence to gain entry to the property;
- Illegal eviction or harassment of the occupants.
Read on below or download a PDF here rogue landlords
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March 13, 2016
“The problems of high cost and poor standards are not confined to a few “rogue” agencies but are widespread across the industry. Many of the complaints we and other organisations have heard do not only relate to egregiously poor practice by a minority of agencies, but are widespread, and related to common practices – such as charging high fees. ” (Shelter: End letting fees June 2013 )
Around half of landlords use a lettings agency to market and/or manage their properties. Unlike employment agencies who charge the employer for finding an employee, Lettings Agencies charge both the landlord and the tenant, sometimes both of them for the same service. Agencies notoriously rip-off tenants. Here’s a list of the types of fees that are charged by agencies.
general administration fees
reference fees (including credit checks, bank, guarantor, previous landlord etc)
fees for drawing up tenancy agreements
inventory fees, including check-in and check-out fees
guarantor arrangement/application fees
additional occupant fees
pets disclaimer fees/additional pet deposit
Agencies are inventive. We have even discovered locally one charging a fee if you pay too much rent! (Read on below or download a PDF here laripoff ) Read the rest of this entry »