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East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme

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e-Bulletin Issue 3

Welcome to the third edition of the new eBulletin.

A service for EMLAS landlords bringing you news and information on housing issues, legislation and training opportunities which we think you may benefit from.

Not an EMLAS landlord 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.

EMLAS Customer Satisfaction Survey

The deadline is fast approaching for your views to be included in the EMLAS customer satisfaction survey.

EMLAS values the opinions of our members. We have created an online web survey for you to complete to give you the opportunity to tell us your views on the services that we are providing.

Feedback is essential to help us identify areas where we can improve our service and set our priorities for the future.

Please take the next 5 minutes to answer the survey questions, and make sure your response reaches us by
30 June 2011.

We appreciate your help.

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Warm Front Update

Issue 2 of the e-bulletin notified you that Warm Front was no longer taking on new applications for home improvements grants to make properties more energy efficient.

The scheme has now reopened. The overall budget has been cut and grants will now be targetted to household on certain income related benefits living in properties that are poorly insulated and / or do not have a working central heating system.

Other changes to the scheme which you should be aware of are:

  • the £300 Rebate Scheme is no longer available
  • Benefit Entitlement Checks are no longer available
  • CFL's will no longer be provided
  • LPG boilers will now be available in rural areas as a new system

The grant maximum will remain the same at £3,500, and £6,000 for properties off the gas mains network. There are no other changes to the measures available through the Scheme.

To check if your tenant qualifies for The Warm Front Scheme please ring: 0800 316 2814.

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Landlord handed hefty fine for ignoring legal notices

Newark & Sherwood District Council

A landlord who ignored notices served on her company to fix problems at two properties has been fined £2,000 and told to pay more than £11,500 in legal costs by a district judge.

Helen Haycox failed to complete remedial works at 105 and 105a Nottingham Road, Clipstone after the council served improvement notices between November 2008 and June 2009, ordering that the work be done.

District Judge Diana Baker gave her judgement following a trial at Mansfield Magistrates Court on March 16 2011. District Judge Baker said

"When I considered the level of knowledge Mrs Haycox had regarding the notices, the length of time the matter went on, the importance of duties in law on owners and partners and her own personal responsibilities as an articulate and intelligent woman to comply with clearly drafted legal notices, I am not satisfied that she had any reasonable excuse for not complying with each or any of the improvement notices. I find her guilty on all four counts."

Mrs Haycox and her husband, who has yet to stand trial because of ill health, are partners in a property management company, Wielm Land. The company has a portfolio of 78 properties, including the two properties in question at Clipstone.

Although she aknowledged that she'd received all the notices, Mrs Haycox's defence was that she had trusted her husband entirely to run the business and had no reason to doubt that he was not carrying out the work in accordance with the notices. Other than receiving the formal notices she had never corresponded with, or been in contact with the council directly.

District Judge Baker commented that those in a business partnership have a joint and several liability and the the work simply has to be done.

Following the successful prosecution by Newark & Sherwood District Council, Mrs Haycox was ordered to pay £11,505 in legal costs and the cost of the council's environmental health investigation.

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Exclusive products for Accredited Landlords

In recognition of the fact the Accredited Landlords have chosen to set the standard for residential letting in the UK, and to reward you for your dedication, EMLAS would like to introduce you to a set of benefits exclusively available for Accreditted Landlords Only .

NetRent.co.uk are offering Local Authority and EMLAS Accredited Landlords an exclusive deal on three exciting products.

All three products have a clear financial advantage for Accredited Landlords and are exclusive to NetRent.co.uk.

Find a Tenant Service for Accreditted Landlords - benefit from a 5% discount on property advertising.
Landlord Insurance Offer for Accredited Landlords - 2 for 1 offer. Take out an insurance and receive one extra package FREE.
Rent on Time for Accredited Landlords - save £200 per property, whilst receiving guaranteed rent payments.

You can take a look into these offers at NetRent.co.uk

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New Software calculates LHA changes

The first changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) started in April as the Government began to implement their programme of 11 seperate changes to the Housing Benefit (as reported in issue 2).

Landlords will need to pay close attention to these changes as they will immediately affect new LHA claimants, whils existing LHA claimants who's claims are coming up for renewal, or where there is a change in circumstances will also be affected.

A new piece of software has been launched which will be of interest to landlords who let to housing benefit tenants.

The Local Housing Allowance Calculator will enable landlords, letting agents and housing advice teams to see at a glance how the changes to housing benefit and the LHA that the Government has introduced will affect a cailmant's LHA entitlement.

In seconds the desktop aid provides current LHA rates and also forecasts the impact that the changes to the LHA system will have on individual claims and when the changes will affect them. The software has been designed to be easy to use while offereing a range of useful additional features that will enable landlords to maintain rental inncome and provide greater certainty about the impact of LHA changes before they happen.

You can find out more about this service at Settled Housing Solutions

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TenantID providing a service for landlords

The ability to identify good tenants from bad could help you reduce the risk of taking on a tenant who will default on their rent, damage your property or breach their tenant agreement. With £276 million pounds in unpaid rent in the UK (fig for Febuary 2011), it has never been more important to identify your next tenants history.

TenantID can help you find out if a propspective tenant has a good or bad track record whilst renting houses. Their service can also help you check a prospective tenant's records by using a unique and easy to navigate system.

TenantID is NOT a referencing company, they store a tenant’s letting history which will tell you:

  • Who they are
  • Where they have been living and when
  • Whether they paid on time
  • Whether they were evicted
  • Any reports of antisocial behavior
  • Whether they looked after a property
  • If they kept within the terms and conditions
  • And if any legal action was required

Join TenantID today and receive everything FREE. That includes FREE membership, FREE reports, FREE searches, FREE benefits and exclusive deals. This offer is open until July 2011

To register and find out more information visit TenantID.

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New Guide to Deposit Disputes and Damages Available

Landlords and tenants locked in disputes over keeping rental deposits can take advice about negotiating a settlement from a new guide, jointly published by the three deposit protection agencies. The guide pools information that the schemes have collated from 47,000 disputed deposits since the governement launched deposit protection laws in April 2007.

Guide to Tenancy Deposits, Disputes and Damages explains what evidence adjudicators look for when considering a complaint and the principles that underline their decisions. The content discusses how to avoid disputes, the types of evidence accepted by the adjudicators and how to deal with common problems such as wear and tear.

All three deposit schemes follow the same principles and standards when dealing with deposit issues. Landlords and tenants should be able to understand the process regardless of which scheme they use, and expect a fair outcome to their dispute. This document aims to provide a transparent and consistant approach to dispute resolution by all three schemes for the benfit of everyone in the private rented sector.

Download a FREE copy of the guide from mydeposits.co.uk

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Dates for your diary……..

(please note attendance at any of the events listed counts towards your continual professional development)
  • Thursday 23 June. South Holland Landlord Forum 6pm at Broad Street Busiess Centre, Spalding. No booking required for this free event for landlords.
  • Thursday 23 June. EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at Denewood Centre, Nottingham. Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.
  • Tuesday 28 & Wednesday 29 June. Landlord & Lettings Show Manchester. A free landlord event. See the website for more information and to get your tickets.
  • Thursday 30 June. Nottingham NLA branch meeting . 7.30pm at Westgate Suites, Long Eaton NG10 4EP. For more information contact the NLA.
  • Monday 4 July. East Midlands Property Group . The Derbyshire Hotel, South Normanton, DE55 2EH. For more information and to book your place visit EMPG.
  • Tuesday 5 July.EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at Kettering Conference Centre. Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.
  • Thursday 7 July. EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at Kedleston Road Training Centre, Derby. Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.
  • Monday 8 August. East Midlands Property Group . The Derbyshire Hotel, South Normanton, DE55 2EH. For more information and to book your place visit EMPG.

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