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East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme

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e-Bulletin Issue 1

New Gas Safety website for landlords

The Health & Safety Executive have launched a new web based ‘One Stop Shop’ for guidance on gas safety to help landlords understand what they need to do to comply with their domestic gas safety duties.

The new guidance has been developed to provide a single source of relevant information for landlords. Four key areas are highlighted - repair/maintenance duties, annual gas safety checks, record keeping and dealing with tenants.

The aim is to improve awareness of gas safety requirements and to make it easier for landlords to find the information they need to carry out their duties.

Visit the new website gas safety guidance for landlords.

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Landlord & Letting Show

At EMLAS we are always being asked for leads on how landlords can get more experience and continual professional development. Decent & Safe Homes (DASH), our sister organisation, recently attended the Landlord & Lettings Show and has written the following review:

The Landlord & Letting Show is available to landlords/agents and housing professionals for advice and information on the private rented sector. The show hosted a comprehensive range of exhibitors. On our visit we were keen to find services which could offer benefits and discounts to EMLAS landlords. We are currently negotiating deals with Wickes and a supplier of fire alarms and we hope to bring these benefits to you soon.

The main attraction at this event is the Seminar Sessions - with 35 sessions on offer over two days.
Did You Know There Have Been Several Changes to Landlord Regulations? - was the presentation by Peter Littlewood. The seminar looked at the recent changes in law and what is in line for the future. From this presentation we have brought you two further news articles which may have an important effect on your property business:

  • HMO Planning Laws to Change in October 2010
  • New Rules on Tenancy Deposit Protection ~ 1 October 2010

All speakers were experts in their field and were later on hand to offer 1:2:1 advice at the Landlord Clinic.

The Landlord & Letting Show is free to attend for those who pre register. EMLAS would recommend it to all landlords and agents, and of course anyone who does attend would be awarded CPD points with the accreditation scheme.

Future Landlord & Letting Show dates are available

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HMO Planning Laws to Change in October 2010

In April 2010 changes to the Planning Use Classes Order were introduced to help control the spread of high concentrations of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The current rules impose a blanket requirement for property owners to gain planning permission in order to change the use of a property from a domestic house to a HMO.

Grant Shapps has announced the Government’s intention to amend these planning rules to allow changes of use between family houses and small, shared houses to take place freely without the need for planning applications.

However, Local Authorities will be able to use their powers to override this blanket consent in areas where they consider that there are excessive numbers of HMOs and that control over them is required.

This change will allow the free development of smaller shared housing, which is a vital component of our private rented sector, unless there is a serious threat to the area.

Please Note the proposed changes will not be introduced until 1 October 2010 meaning that the requirement to have planning consent still applies at the current time.

More information is available from the CLG website

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New Rules on Tenancy Deposit Protection ~ 1 October 2010

From October 1, new regulations mean that rental properties with an annual rent of up to £100,000 a year will now automatically fall under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy classification, and will need to meet the rules on tenancy deposit protection.

The new threshold means that any individual tenant paying up to £100,000 for a flat or house as their main residence automatically gets AST status on October 1. Currently, the threshold is £25,000 annual rent.

The new rules are likely to hit larger shared properties, including student HMOs, as well as rental properties in expensive cities.

The rules state that all tenancies with a rent up to the new threshold made on or after April 6, 2007, should have their deposits protected. However, it is unclear if the requirement for retrospective tenancy deposit protection can legally extend to existing tenancies. The CLG, the department responsible for the changes, is itself uncertain.

The three tenancy deposit schemes have all told that the requirement would affect only

  • new tenancy agreements on or after October 1,
  • together with renewals on or after October 1,
  • and new deposits taken on or after that date.

Our advice to landlords therefore is to stick to the original date of 6 April 2007, and protect deposits by October 1 2010 on the relevant existing tenancies. We see this as good practice and it cuts out the risk if you are ever challenged.

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Guidance on the letting of leashold flats

The Association of Residential Managing Agents has recently published good practice guidance on the letting of leasehold flats.

Their simple 14 page guide has been developed in association with a wide range of organisations including: LEASE, NLA, ARLA, RICS, UKALA and BPF.

The guidance will benefit anyone involved in renting out long leasehold flats and will help to avoid the common pitfalls. It explains the respective roles and responsibilities of the managing agent, letting agent, lessee and the tenant.

Download a copy of the guide to good practice and related issues when letting a leasehold flat.

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Nottingham Credit Union

The Nottingham Credit Union is a new scheme to private landlords who own properties within thier membership area - the City of Nottingham, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe boroughs. The scheme will entail processing Local Housing Allowance (LHA) payments from the Council/DWP to the tenant and then onto the landlord.

How will the scheme work?

Payment of LHA will be deposited into the tenants Credit Unions account by BACS payment, similar to any other benefit process. The LHA is ‘ring fenced’ so the money is not readily available to the tenant for withdrawal or used to cover a bank overdraft. For a fee of £5, a payment is made to landlords, with 10% discount offered to EMLAS members.

For more information contact Margaret Tingey on or Email:

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North East Derbyshire and Basselaw ~ Landlord Networking Event

Landlords with private rented properties across North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw are invited to attend a FREE networking and information exchange event on 5th October, 3-7pm at the B2Let Stadium in Chesterfield.

Landlords will be able to hear a number of presentations including an update on housing benefits and how to prevent properties from being used as a Cannabis farm. They will also be invited to give their views on setting-up a landlord-led forum and to consider how local councils can help support landlords and promote responsible letting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to browse round a variety of stalls offering information on subjects such as dealing with anti-social behaviour, fire safety, energy efficiency and electrical safety.

Representatives of national landlord associations and the East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme (EMLAS) will also be on hand to provide information and advice.

For more information or to reserve your place contact:
Carl Griffiths on or email

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Local Lettings Agency

DASH is proposing to set up a 'Local Lettings Agency' (LLA). The service will act in a similar way to commercial lettings agents except that tenants are in receipt of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) and the LLA recycles any 'profits' directly back into service delivery. For more infomation read the Executive Summary

LLA offer landlords a wealth of benefits both financially and ethically. These can include:

  • Below market average fees
  • No Hidden Fees or set-up costs
  • Access to a unique bank of tenants – minimum void periods
  • Access to grants, loans and other schemes
  • Unique access to local authority services – minimum hassle
  • Various financial incentives e.g. rent guarantee, free electric checks
  • Access to Housing Benefits specialists to reduce issues with LHA

We are keen to hear from landlords who have been involved in similar schemes throughout the country. We will also be presenting this concept at future EMLAS events to keep you updated on the status of the project. For more information please call Michelle Howell on .

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Housing Intelligence for the East Midlands (Hi4em)

Housing Intelligence for the East Midlands (Hi4em) produce a quarterly Housing Market report. Both August and November editions are available to download using the links below.

August Housing Market report.
Quarter 3 ~ November 2009 housing report

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DASH consultation into the Local Housing Allowance

Response to the Local Housing Allowance and the Impact of the Economic Downturn This research sets out to ascertain the landlords opinions of the LHA, their experience with it and their view of the private rented sector over the next 12-months (2009).

The Private Rented Sector (PRS) currently appears to be weathering the financial downturn well, but there are considerable variations from area to area. Whilst the outlook for the future is generally positive, the increase in new tenants negotiating market rent downwards introduced a note of caution, while some landlords had already noticed the rental decrease affect their income to a tangible degree. The full impact of the current scarcity of credit cannot be predicted at this time and should be reevaluated later in 2010 and possibly again in 2011. Many landlords seem to currently have a ‘wait and see’ attitude and are proceeding with business as usual.

Read the full report ~ The Private Rented Sector in the East Midlands

East Midlands Private Rented Sector Landlord Research ~ Local Housing Allowance This second report in the DASH series researches the broad picture of the Private Rented Sector in the East Midlands, and provides further data to accompany the initial DASH report on the introduction of LHA.

The results of this survey can be viewed by using the link: East Midlands Private Rented Sector Landlord Research ~ Local Housing Allowance .

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DASH Fire Safety Plans

A new National Fire Safety Guidance document was launched by LACoRS. The DASH guide and plans has now been revised to reflect changes in light of the national guidance and is now available in the same easy to access format as the original. The guidance provides advice on how to keep residential buildings safe from fire, explains how to carry out a fire risk assessment and includes a range of case studies.

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