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East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme

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Landlord News

There is a wide range of information out there for landlords and agents who are involved with the rental market. In this section we hope to provide the latest news and links to downloads on key issues which landlords and agents should be aware of when conducting their rental business.

Additionally you can find out about events in your area to attend where you can meet other landlords and find out new information relevant to you.

e-Bulletin Issue 7

Welcome to the seventh edition of the Landlord eBulletin.

Not a member but want to receive the Bulletin, then to join our mailing list.

Note: EMLAS does not endorse products and services, but at times may bring to your notice services which may be of benefit or interest to landlords.

Ask the expert

Every issue, through our Ask an Expert feature, EMLAS landlords will be given the chance to ask a panel of experts their specific questions relating to all housing and property issues such as - landlord legislation, possession, tenancy deposits, property investment and tenancy management

Can a landlord withhold a tenant’s possessions to cover damage?

Written by Tessa Shepherd - a solicitor who specialises in residential landlord/ tenant law and who runs the Landlord Law website.

I have recently evicted my tenant after he was arrested for growing cannabis in my house. He left the property voluntarily and handed over the keys.

We allowed him to take his personal belongings but have witheld his setee, TV and bed informing him he can have these back when he has paid the rent until the end of the month. It was due on the 1st Dec and he left on the 3rd. Also the cost of the damage to the property, cleaning costs and cost of changing the locks.

His property is not valuable and would not cover what he owes if I sold it. I have kept his bond but this does not cover the cost of the rent and damages.

I've been informed by the police that I am not allowed to do this under the Torts Act 1977 and I must return his property and then persue my claim through the civil court at cost to myself.

I do this I will not receive any money to cover the damage he has done to my property.

I am afraid you can’t withhold these items, or at least not as of right. Landlords do not have a "lien" over tenant possessions if they owe money, in the same way as, say, hotel owners do.

The Police are right in what they say – the items belong to the tenant and must be returned to him. The Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 they refer to, allows you to sell someone’s goods after giving notice, but this is ONLY if they fail to collect them after having been given notice. Not because they owe you money.

There is actually no legal way that YOU can withhold and sell a tenants goods to cover costs owed to you.

If you get a County Court Judgement against the tenant, eg for the rent and damage, you can then enforce this via the Bailiffs (or High Court Sheriffs) and THEY can then levy execution on the goods.

However if the goods are not valuable in themselves this could be an expensive option, as you will be personally responsible for the bailiffs costs of storage and selling the items at auction – if these costs are not covered by the proceeds of sale.

I realise that for landlords owed money by tenants for arrears and damage this is not a satisfactory answer. The procedures in this country for enforcing debt are less than satisfactory in many ways. The only thing to do is to claim what you can from your insurance and put it down to experience Renting property is a business activity and we all know that there are risks in business. Losing money due to rent arrears and damage done by bad tenants is one of them.

If you would like to put a question to our panel of experts - then email . We will feature at least one per issue of the e-Bulletin

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Buy with Confidence

Landlords often ask us about leads for supplies and services, so I though I would introduce you to Buy with Confidence. This is a service that more and more companies are joining throughout the East Midlands, and I know that Derby had a service launch in October for the city.

What is Buy with Confidence?

Buy with Confidence is a nationally recognised Trading Standards initiative. The aim of the Buy with Confidence scheme is to provide a reliable source of trustworthy local businesses vetted and approved by Trading Standards to ensure they operate in a legal, honest and fair way.

To be members, traders must understand consumer law, provide a quality service and give good customer care. The register is made public so people can choose which company they want to carry out work on their property knowing they are "trusted".

How can I get a list of approved traders?

To find an up-to-date list of builders, plumbers, installers, gardeners, painters, alarm systems, electricians and many other types of businesses, visit the Buy With Confidence website.

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Landlord & Letting Agent Expo

Tuesday 19 March
10 - 6pm
East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham NG7 2RH

Visit this FREE landlord event coming to the East Midlands.

Organised by EMPO - the first East Midlands Landlord & Letting Agent Expo features an extensive timetable of property related seminars, highly respected guest speakers and Graham Penny’s monthly residential property auction event. The event will host over 50 exhibitor companies ranging from suppliers to professional advisors and local authorities.

Register to attend this event and gain CPD points for your Accreditation.

Landlords prepare for the welfare changes

April sees the introduction of the household benefit cap (phased) and the under-occupation rules in the social sector meaning those tenants of working age whose rent is currently fully paid for by housing benefit could have to pay a substantial part of the rent themselves.

The changes kick in six months before Universal Credit begins which will gradually see tenants switched to a system of receiving most income-related benefits – including housing benefit – directly within a single monthly payment, therefore being responsible for paying their own rent.

In addition, the Government’s 10% reduction in council tax support could see working-age claimants across Great Britain currently exempt from a bill having to pay council tax for the first time from April.

The key to weathering the forthcoming threat to landlords' income collection is to set in place solid foundations, before attempting to tackle the myriad of welfare reforms. Social sector landlords will need to find the right balance between operating as a business whilst still supporting vulnerable tenants – get it wrong and the consequences will be dire.

One of the most important parts to building a solid foundation is to know your tenants.

Landlords need to have or obtain the information necessary to assess tenants' readiness for direct payment and support needs. Landlords need to take into account data protection issues and need to remember that it’s also very important to profile all tenants, not just tenants in receipt of housing benefit – remember, no-one’s job is secure in a double dip recession.

Now is the time to think about what new information landlords need in order to help you pro-actively plan for the introduction of the unprecedented changes to the benefits system.

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Dates for your diary……..

(please note attendance at any of the events listed counts towards your continual professional development)
  • Tuesday 12 February 2013. NLA & Lincoln City Council landlord meeting 6.30 – 8.30pm at Holiday Inn, Express, Ruston Way, Brayford Park LN6 7DB. See Lincolnshire Landlord Electronic Newsletter for more details.
  • Thursday 14th February. EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at the Chamber of Commerce, Northampton Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.
  • Wednesday 13th & Thursday 14th March 2013. Landlord & Lettings Show, Barbican, London. Visit the website to find out what speakers are appearing at this event and book your free tickets.
  • Tuesday 19 March 2013. Landlord & Letting Agent Expo, 10am – 6pm at the East Midlands Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2RH. Register with EMPO to attend this event.
  • 27 March 2013. Derby Landlord Forum, 4.30pm – 8.30pm at Pear Tree School, Derby. For more information contact

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