Posts with tag: eviction notices

Letting agents urged to ensure eviction notices are correct

Published On: May 19, 2017 at 8:57 am

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Letting agents are being urged to ensure that they serve eviction notices in the correct manner, as the so-called ‘peak eviction’ period looms.

Specialist tenant referencing service Rent4sure suggests that particular attention should be paid to both Section 8 and Section 21 notices, which are two of the most complex.

Eviction Notices

A section 8 notice can be served should a tenant be in breach of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement and is the most common way to combat rent arrears.

Luke Burton, Sales and Marketing Director at Rent4sure, noted: ‘A landlord or their agent should serve a Section 8 notice under grounds 8, 10 and 11 as soon as the tenant defaults on two months of rent arrears.’[1]

‘This differs slightly when the rent is paid weekly, or quarterly and in some instances, you may have to wait for a further period before serving a Section 8 notice under the mandatory ground 8,’ he continued.[1]

Mr Burton noted that if rent is paid weekly or fortnightly, eight weeks’ rent must be overdue before a Section 8 notice can be served.

For quarterly rent payments, there must be at least one quarter’s worth of rent outstanding- ie a tenant must be at least three months in arrears.

‘If the rent is paid yearly, at least three months’ rent must be three months in arrears,’ Burton added.[1]

Letting agents urged to ensure eviction notices are correct

Letting agents urged to ensure eviction notices are correct

Section 21

Meanwhile, a Section 21 notice should only be served at the conclusion of a fixed term, or as per an agreed break clause within the tenancy agreement. This type of notice should be served giving the tenant two month’s worth of notice.

However, if the tenancy agreement commenced before October 1st 2015, notice can be served at any time.

Burton explains that should a tenancy have commenced post 1st October 2015 agents are not permitted to serve a Section 21 until the first four months of the tenancy have passed.

Government Form 6A-only valid for six months from date of issue- should be used for all tenancies starting after this date. This includes renewals.

Letting agents and landlords can source more information in our Eviction Notice Guide for Landlords.

[1] https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2017/5/agents-told-ensure-eviction-notices-are-correctly-served

 

Cases of Serious Rent Arrears up 4%

Published On: May 21, 2015 at 11:22 am

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Improvements in regard to the number of tenants behind on rent stalled at the start of 2015, found a study by Your Move and Reeds Rains, which tracked tenant arrears.

In the first quarter (Q1) of 2015, there were 70,900 tenants in serious rent arrears, defined as over two months of unpaid rent. This is 1,500 more households than the previous quarter, when 69,400 tenants were in the same situation, a quarterly rise of 2.2%.

Since the same period of 2014, the amount of tenancies in serious arrears has grown by 4%, as 2,700 extra households fell into the most serious category of unpaid rent.

This lack of progress has caused a levelling off in the number of renters in the worst financial state. The highest level of rent arrears was seen in Q3 2013, when 116,600 households were two months or more behind on rent. In Q1 2015, there were 45,700 fewer tenancies in this situation.

However, growth has fallen back in the last 18 months, with Q4 2013 the best quarter on record, with only 63,500 cases of serious rent arrears.

Despite the lack of improvements since this period, the likelihood of a tenant falling into serious rent arrears is extremely low. Proportionally, only 1.4% owed over two months’ rent in Q1 2015, the same percentage as Q4 2014. Comparatively, 2.9% of tenants were in the same situation in Q1 2008, before the worst of the recession.

Cases of Serious Rent Arrears up 4%

Cases of Serious Rent Arrears up 4%

Although progress has slipped back, those falling only slightly behind on payments has improved. In March 2015, 7.4% of rent was in arrears of any length, down from 7.6% in February and 7.8% in March 2014.

Similarly to serious arrears, late payments of any length are much lower than in previous years, since the record high of 14.6% in February 2010.

Director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, Adrian Gill, says: “Tenants are now far less likely to be out of work than at this point last year; a low-paid job is clearly better than no job at all and this has had a massive effect on tenant finances as a whole. But the easy progress from a lower unemployment rate may now have been made.

“Earnings are at a crunch point too. Many tenants are still struggling to keep up with household expenses in the face of extremely modest wages. There are some signs on the horizon this will improve, but in the meantime, a small but significant minority of households are facing a real challenge to find the rent every month.

“Other factors are at play too. There are also more cases of severe arrears, in absolute terms, because there are more people renting their home overall. The chance of a given tenant failing to pay the rent within a couple of months is extremely low, and falling. The flipside to these figures are that more than 98% never get into serious arrears.”

Effect on eviction rates

Latest research from Q1 2015 revealed that 28,900 tenants faced a court order for eviction, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is an increase of 2.3% on Q4 2014. Annually, there has been a decrease in eviction orders of 7.9% since Q1 2014.

Mortgage arrears

The amount of buy-to-let mortgages over three months in arrears dropped by 4.8% between Q3 and Q4 2014, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of progress. At the end of 2014, the total number of cases was 11,900. This is the lowest figure since the start of 2008.

In annual terms, the amount of landlords in mortgage arrears has declined by 27.9% since Q4 2013 when it was 16,500.

Gill continues: “After the election result, many landlords will be grateful that certain policies are no longer an immediate threat. In particular, the long-term effect of rent controls would have only been to raise rents by squeezing supply, diminish the quality of rented homes and make life for tenants worse.

“Whatever the rather different uncertainties of a Conservative majority, it now looks like Labour’s rent controls are completely off the cards. A serious risk of disruption to landlords has evaporated overnight, and in the short term this will boost investment.

“However, in the longer term, tenant finances are the most effective limit on rents. Tenants must be able to afford their rent for any landlord to realise their financial plans on paper. In this way, landlords depend more on the prosperity of their tenants than on any particular policy or political environment.”

Gill concludes: “Given demand for homes to let is still surging and the financial position of most households is starting to improve, the big picture is increasingly optimistic for any landlord looking to grow their portfolio.

“The only caveat must be that there is still a very small chance that tenants will fall into financial difficulties. Landlords can’t discount them completely, and need to keep all lines of communication open and investigate any potential problems at an early stage.”1

1 http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/landlords/serious-rent-arrears-up-4.html

 

 

 

 

Rental Evictions in the UK Study

Published On: May 18, 2015 at 12:18 pm

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Rental Evictions in the UK Study

Rental Evictions in the UK Study

The amount of tenants evicted from their rental homes is at a six-year high as rents remain expensive and benefits are cut. If you have been evicted from rental accommodation, The Guardian would like to hear from you.

By visiting the link below, you can contribute to the study, or use the form to share your experiences. You can remain anonymous or alternatively email guardian.witness@theguardian.com.

Visit http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/may/15/have-you-been-evicted-from-rental-housing-in-the-uk to share your views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conservatives Could Help Landlords

Published On: May 14, 2015 at 2:05 pm

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It is believed that David Cameron’s Conservative Government could make life easier for landlords; however, this will include the rogue investors.

Conservatives Could Help Landlords

Conservatives Could Help Landlords

Labour planned changes to the private rental sector, such as rent controls and a national landlord register, but the Conservatives proposed little to aid the market.

The Mortgage Advice Bureau’s Brian Murphy gives his view: “This will arguably make life easier for landlords and remove extra administration time.

“However, this means there is little being done to stop landlords who are acting unlawfully and providing poor quality accommodation, possibly illegally. Rogue landlords are able to compete on price rather than abiding by the law, undercutting good landlords who have higher costs to ensure everything is above board.”

The Conservatives have proposed two policies that could affect landlords. One involves changes to section 21 (A&B) of the Housing Act, which could come into force this year.

Murphy says: “The changes proposed to section 21 of the Housing Act will make it more straightforward to evict a tenant, albeit placing some restrictions on how and when a section 21 can be given.

“However, landlords must ensure that they don’t carry out their own eviction in a way that is actually illegal.”

The second regulation relates to small print in the 2015 Budget, which would make it easier for tenants to sub-let their rental properties.

Murphy comments: “The biggest concern for landlords is that this will make it easier for tenants to re-rent the property or rooms to other renters. This also increases the risk of rent-to-rent scams, whereby a middle man poses as a normal tenant, converts shared living spaces into extra rooms and then charges rent on an individual basis at a much higher price than they are paying the landlord.

“Not only does this damage landlord profitability, it puts them at risk of breaking the terms and conditions of their mortgage, e.g. not letting the tenants on benefits and having maximum contract lengths, and invalidating any landlord insurance.”1 

1 http://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2015/5/conservatives-“will-make-life-easier-for-landlords