Posts with tag: buy-to-let legislation

Landlord told to pay over £10,000 for breaches in regulation

Published On: October 17, 2016 at 1:19 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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A private landlord from Norwich has been told to pay over £10,000 in fines and costs after breaching regulation for private accommodation.

Mr Piang Fui Pun admitted 13 breaches of regulations regarding HMO’s. These included not providing adequate safety certification for electrical and gas installations in his property.


David Lowens, prosecuting on behalf of the city council, informed Norwich Magistrates Court that council officers first visited the property in February. After pointing out issues, they returned three months later to find that many of these issues had still not been sorted.

Mr Pun argued that his sister usually looks after the property, but had been distracted by family affairs. He said that the defects had now been rectified.

Despite this, Chairman of the bench, Geoff Dyett, fined Pun £5,500 and told him to pay £4,600 in investigation costs.

Dyett told Pun: ‘If there had been an accident or worse there could even have been a fire, you could well have been facing more serious allegations.’[1]

Landlord told to pay over £10,000 for breaches in regulation

Landlord told to pay over £10,000 for breaches in regulation


Following the case, Bert Bremner, Norwich city council’s cabinet minister for private sector housing, noted: ‘keeping our residents safe and ensuring all housing is of a good standard are top priorities for the council.’[1]

‘This particular case required a high level of partnership working and is another excellent example of the work being done to tackle landlords who operate outside the law,” he added.[1]


Landlords Discuss New Investors in the Market

Published On: February 26, 2015 at 4:51 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Landlords have taken to the Landlord Referencing forum to discuss the changes to the private rental sector, and how newcomer investors will deal with these responsibilities.

One user begins by highlighting the strength of the buy-to-let market at present. They explain that loans increased by 37% in January, and that 2015 is expected to be a “boom year” for investors.

They continue: “An increase in the number of products being offered to landlords at very attractive rates is encouraging more investment.”

However, the user then questions whether this will continue with changing legislation in the sector, including the Deregulation Bill, which will make the section 21 notice to evict tenants more difficult. They ask: “Have the major lenders taken this into consideration, or will the penny only drop when landlords begin to default on their loans because of delays in evictions and difficulty in recovering rent arrears?”

They also bring up Universal Credit, which is expected to be rolled out nationwide this year.

They conclude: “Buy-to-let landlords are riding the crest of a wave of increased demand at the moment, but there are several changes coming which might have a negative impact on the market, and therefore the growth.”1

Landlord Mary Latham is quick to respond, saying: “The big problem is that most people go into buy-to-let without knowing what is really involved; they don’t know the legislation or regulation never mind the ongoing issues or rent arrears, property damages and anti-social behaviour.

“Most tenants are good tenants and many landlords get away with winging it for years, but when the trouble does start they have no idea how to deal with it nor how to pay their loans without income.

“I really dread the fact that many people will be investing their pensions in buy-to-let soon; they think it is passive income and it just isn’t. They will ruin their retirements after working all their adult lives.”

A user in West Yorkshire, Adam Hosker, offers his advice: “Or, they could get a good letting agent and it becomes hands-off again.”

He says that landlords can appoint work to their agent, and if they want to go it alone, it is the “risk they take.”

Landlords Discuss New Investors in the Market

Landlords Discuss New Investors in the Market

Hosker does believe that Universal Credit could cause problems, but he does not expect it to go badly. He also explains that rent controls would be bad for the sector, but that “no party” supports them.

He predicts landlords in London will move away from the market if house prices continue increasing. He says: “We should see higher landlord investment up north as rental yields are more investor friendly.”

Latham replies, saying that although letting agents can be a good option, landlords “cannot devolve their legal responsibilities…to anyone.”1

Hosker then agrees, stating: “It’s still you stood up in court.”1

A landlord named Geoff enters the conversation, saying: “I usually agree with Mary’s opinions. I fear that there are many who will come a cropper purely through lack of knowledge.

“Getting a good letting agent being crucial to those going down that route.”

A user named Patricia A explains her thoughts on agents: “If letting agencies do have qualifications, it does not mean that they look after the landlord’s interests before their own.”

Geoff goes on to comment on the figures in the buy-to-let market. He says of the high lending: “Obviously a lot of this borrowing will be by experienced existing property guys taking advantage of the low interest rates and knowing the market.

“Unfortunately, many of the newcomers will see the headlines and think that it’s easy.”

He adds: “Borrowing the money and buying a property is the easy bit.”1

Patricia says that she has noticed: “These newbie landlords are listening to the get rich quick guys who are selling their expertise.”

She then says: “One thing I have learnt is that tenants who have problems go to the private landlord first. So a private landlord on his own has to be pretty savvy.”

She concludes the discussion: “It is right that all new landlords should be taught about the pitfalls and the legislation. It would save them so much grief. The sooner all tenants know their obligations and responsibilities, and the bad tenants learn that small landlords are not naïve and are well-educated in the letting industry, the better it will be for all.”1




Landlords need more Advice on Increasing Regulations

Published On: May 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Leading buy-to-let lender Paragon has released a report that suggests landlords are not getting sufficient help in maintaining their investment.

The survey from Paragon indicates that 78% of landlords questioned said that they believe there is significant requirement for advice on landlord matters. For landlords owning a portfolio of 11 or more properties, this figure rose to 89%.[1]


There have been calls from the private rental industry for some kind of regulation in the letting sector for a number of years. Complaints to the Property Ombudsman from both tenants and landlords alike rose by 9% in the previous year.[1]

The Government has introduced a crackdown on rogue agents, with agents responsible for repaying tenants or landlords who have been treated unjustly.

Eligibility checks

In last month’s Queen’s Speech, her majesty announced the proposal that landlords are to become responsible for background checks on all of their tenants, to ascertain their eligibility to live within the UK. Landlords subsequently found to be renting to illegal migrants will face hefty fines.

The proposal has been met with disdain from landlords, who believe that the plan to get them to combat immigration is unfair and will add more complications to the buy-to-let industry.

Landlords need more Advice on Increasing Regulations

Landlords need more Advice on Increasing Regulations




Following this angry response, the Government is looking at ways to adapt their proposals and Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, is reportedly in continued discussions with the Prime Minister.

A Whitehall source recently told the Daily Express that the Government want to bring in regulation “that does not inflict red tape on millions of people.”[1]

The source went on to say: “What we want to avoid is disproportionate regulations on the private rented sector. If you are British, we don’t want a bureaucratic check, the cost of which is passed on to the landlord and then the tenant.

“It is a question of getting the balance right and targeting the regulations at high-risk areas.”[1]


Unsurprisingly, Paragon’s report found a high majority of landlords were opposed to the changes. 90% said that they thought the potential added workload, on top of taxes and existing regulation, would lead to it being even tougher as a landlord moving forwards.[1]

Furthermore, 46% of private landlords stated that they were already finding changes in legislation difficult to follow. 43% said that they were concerned about the impending impact of Universal Credit on the sector. 54% of landlords said that additional licensing would affect them the most.[1]

Help and Advice

Paragon’s Director of Mortgages, John Heron, said that the findings made for interesting reading. Heron stated that it is “interesting to note that although many of the landlords surveyed were greatly experienced, having owned buy-to-let properties for a considerable time, there is still a need across the board for information, help and advice. Of course the buy-to-let landscape never stays the same, and new regulations affect professional landlords just as much as they do those who are relative newcomers to the market.

“Paragon would always advise our customers, experienced or otherwise, to do their homework before they commit to buy a rental property; research the market, the area and also their obligations as landlords.

“Buy-to-let isn’t a short-term investment; many of our customers have been landlords for more than two decades, and see their portfolios as an alternative to a pension when they retire.”[1]