Posts with tag: Landlord Action

Survey finds landlords denied access for important checks such as gas safety

Published On: September 20, 2022 at 9:12 am


Categories: Landlord News,Property News

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A recent survey revealed nearly half of landlords have at some point been denied access to carry out property checks.

Landlords letting properties with gas appliances are legally required to have a gas safety inspection carried out each year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A copy of the gas safety certificate must then be issued to the tenants.

However, a recent survey of 1,100 landlords carried out by Landlord Action has found that 46% of landlords have been denied access to their rental property to carry out routine checks or gas safety inspections.

In support of last week’s Gas Safety Week (Monday 12th – Friday 18th September), Landlord Action is reminding landlords of the importance of carrying out annual gas safety checks and requesting that tenants ensure they grant necessary access to landlords to facilitate this. 

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says: “Gas safety checks are not only a landlord’s legal obligation, but they are also imperative to ensuring the safety of the property and the tenants living there. Of course, sometimes it comes down to when is convenient, but when tenants continually deny access, it becomes a real problem.”

Landlord Action is currently in the process of putting forward a case for introducing a discretionary ground for possession of unreasonably refusing landlords access for inspections. This would help give landlords the necessary authority when requesting access.

Paul adds: “As the market evolves and the balance of power shifts towards the tenant, landlords are contacting us with increasingly complex legal challenges, which are likely to broaden in the future as the sector reforms. We already offer access injunctions to complete gas safety checks and are currently looking at what other support landlords may need.”

Survey shows over a quarter of landlords evicting tenants are doing so to sell up

Published On: September 1, 2022 at 9:01 am


Categories: Landlord News

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26% of landlords who issued a Section 21 notice to evict their tenants in the last 12 months did so because they plan to sell their property, research from Landlord Action shows.

Similarly, 24% of those who plan to evict tenants in the next 12-18 months say they will do so because the increasing legislative burden means they have decided to sell.

These results came from the housing law specialist’s survey of 1,537 landlords.

34% responded that they had served a Section 21 notice in the last 12 months. The most common reasons given were rent arrears (31%), landlords selling their property (26%) and anti-social behaviour (22%). Just 2% said it was in order to move back in.

28% of landlords said they planned to issue a Section 21 notice of eviction to their tenants in the next 12-18 months, before the Renters Reform Bill abolishes this method. A further 28% stated they were not yet sure. 42% said the reason for this is based on concerns that they will be unable to gain possession easily in the future. 24% said increasing legislation is driving their decision to sell up. Just 10% of landlords stated that it was because their tenants are already in rent arrears, 6% are currently experiencing anti-social behaviour, and 2% of landlords said they wish to move back into the property.

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, comments: “The response to our latest survey paints a very clear picture of the unintended consequences of abolishing Section 21. More than a quarter of tenants who have or will be asked to leave their rental properties (via receipt of a Section 21 notice), are in such a position not because they have done anything wrong but because landlords fear they will be unable to gain possession of their property easily in the future, if their circumstances change.

“Competition for rental properties is already at an all-time high, and we could be heading towards a rental stock crisis. It has been reported that in some parts of London, for example, tenants are offering up to a year’s rent in advance. But for most, this simply isn’t feasible.

“Whilst we don’t know how many of the properties sold will remain in the buy to let sector, it’s clear that tenants will ultimately suffer as the combination of pressures forces rents to continue to rise.

“Landlords need reassurance and clarity on the future of evictions soon if the sector is to avoid a deluge of evictions and homelessness.”

Rise in number of landlords seeking to recover rental debt

Published On: May 3, 2022 at 8:56 am


Categories: Landlord News

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Eviction specialists Landlord Action has had a sharp rise in landlords requesting to use their debt recovery service.

Instructions for the last year, April 2021 to March 2022, were up 180% compared to the pre-pandemic year, April 2019 to March 2020.

According to Landlord Action, the restrictions placed on landlords over the last two years have led to the value of rent arrears becoming higher than ever.

Responding to the English Housing Survey 2020-21, 4% of private renters reported being in rent arrears.  With an estimated 13 million people in the UK renting from a private landlord, this suggests approximately 52,000 were in rent arrears between 2020 and 2021.

Landlord Philip Robinson had tenants who stopped paying rent in October 2019, four months prior to the national lockdown. They remained in situ throughout the pandemic but would not communicate with him or the letting agent. They finally left without surrendering the keys or informing him that they had vacated. Having caused significant damage, Philip decided to pursue the tenants’ arrears through Landlord Action’s debt recovery service. In October 2021, the team recovered £14,950.

Philip Robinson comments: “I have always been very fair and taken my tenants’ personal circumstances into account, but this tenant ran a company which had £250,000 in the bank. They abused the restrictions put in place by the Government which were designed to help those in need.

“The tenants purchased a property, renovated it and managed to pay the mortgage, all whilst living in my property for free. If more tenants like this knew there would be repercussions, such as a County Court Judgement, I believe they would cooperate much earlier in the proceedings.”

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, comments: “We currently have hundreds of live debt recovery cases, ranging from a few thousand pounds right up to one where the arrears have reached £200,000. Admittedly, this is an extremely rare case, but what many of our cases have in common is that the tenants had the means to pay. For example, one case is against a practising doctor who owes £42,000.

“If there are substantial arrears and the tenant is employed with a steady level of income, therefore has the means to pay, but has simply stopped paying, it is worth pursuing the money that is legally and rightfully owed to the landlord.

“There are many ways to enforce an outstanding debt such as appointing a High Court Bailiff who can seize goods, apply for a Third-Party Debt Order (freeze bank account) or apply for an order for an attachment of earnings. If a landlord wishes to seize goods on the eviction date this can only be done if a High Court Bailiff is appointed.”

Property industry charity event ‘Rumble with the Agents’ returns in December

Published On: August 6, 2021 at 9:27 am


Categories: Events

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The charity white collar boxing event ‘Rumble with the Agents’, organised by Landlord Action, will be back in December this year.

After having to cancel the May 2020 and 2021 events due to the pandemic, Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says he hopes this will be a Christmas party for everyone to look forward to.

The charity event looks to raise funds for Cherry Lodge Cancer Care in Barnet. This is an independent charity committed to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer, their carers, family, and friends. It is particularly close to Paul and his family, and works alongside the clinical care of the NHS in an area centred on Barnet and covers much of North London and South Hertfordshire.

To date, the ‘Rumble with the Agents’ events, run by Paul and his wife Rita, have raised in excess of £100,000 for various charities.

Paul Shamplina comments: “It has been a tough 18 months for many businesses and people, in particular those who were categorised as vulnerable due to an existing health condition and therefore had to shield for many months.

“Charities like Cherry Lodge have also suffered immeasurable loss because of lockdown, having to modify and even suspend services, and this in turn has had a devasting impact on the families they support. Less than 5% of Cherry Lodge’s running costs are covered by NHS and local government grants, meaning they rely almost entirely on fundraising, volunteering and donations.

“If restrictions continue to be lifted, I hope to make this the biggest Rumble event we have hosted to date and would like to call on my fellow property professionals or help us raise as much as possible.”

As in previous years, participants from the property industry do not need existing experience, as they are provided with a fully structured and supervised boxing training program to teach the correct techniques and ensure optimum physical fitness. Several boxers are already signed up and ‘Rumble with the Agents’ is looking to fill the remaining places before training commences in the autumn.

The event comprises of five fights, a sit down three-course meal, charity auction and raffle, celebrity guests, and a DJ. It is open to all property professionals (agents, suppliers and landlords) who wish to take part, attend or simply donate.  The event will be held on Thursday 9th December 2021 at Holiday Inn, Avenue Banqueting, 58 Regents Park Road, London, N3 3JN.

Paul adds: “I know I’ve had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra but, at the age of 50, I’m going to put myself in the ring once more. Cherry Lodge is a fantastic charity, and I want to do everything I can to get behind them.”

You can find out more about the event at

Landlords considering eviction due to lack of access to Universal Credit APAs

Published On: February 8, 2021 at 9:07 am


Categories: Landlord News,Tenant News

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Landlords with tenants in receipt of Universal Credit are struggling to set up Alternative Payment Arrangements (APAs), Caridon Landlord Solutions reports.

The online Universal Credit landlord portal is closed to new claimants, possibly due to the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) being overwhelmed by the number of new claims. Caridon Landlord Solutions reports that landlords are saying this issue is forcing them to consider serving notice on their tenants.

Last year, the DWP launched an online landlord portal system to allow social rented sector landlords to verify rent and submit managed payment requests online. This meant if a tenant was having difficulty meeting their rent payments, the landlord could request to set up an APA, meaning the housing element of the tenant’s Universal Credit payment would be paid directly to the landlord. 

The landlord service provider highlights that the number of people claiming Universal Credit across the UK has risen from 2.9 million in February 2020 to 5.9 million in January 2021. They believe many will be tenants who previously signed up to private tenancies based on their income at the time, but due to COVID-19 are now facing changes to their employment status and finding that Universal Credit simply does not cover their rent.

Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director of Caridon Landlord Solutions, says: “It is an extremely difficult situation. The pressure that DWP must be under due to the rise in claimants is enormous, but when tenants are struggling to meet their rent payments, we know that APAs not only have a significant impact on limiting arrears, they also help to sustain the tenancy. The Government wants landlords to support tenants, but there has to be a middle ground.  

“The landlords we are speaking to say they are going back and forth on the phone, only to be told they will be called back by a case manager, then hearing nothing. We’ve seen a 20% uplift in landlords wanting our assistance to set up APAs, and all were at the point where they were considering serving notice to their tenants because they had no other choice.”

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says: “Universal Credit faces heavy criticism from landlords and tenants at the best of times.  If landlords are now confronted with yet another barrier to access direct payments, it is inevitable that many more landlords will be encouraged to serve notice on those tenants in receipt of Universal Credit, which goes against the Government’s intentions.

“Clearly the Government needs to provide more resources to facilitate the onboarding and management of the Universal Credit system so that landlords and tenants can work together.  Many landlords with tenants who have suddenly had to start claiming Universal Credit are aware that their tenants cannot meet previous rental payments, but if a portion of it is allocated to the landlord then that provides a temporary solution for both parties, helping to sustain the tenancy for longer.”

Government defines ‘substantial’ rent arrears in new eviction ban regulations

Published On: November 17, 2020 at 9:13 am


Categories: Law News

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New regulations that came into force today mean possession cases in England related to rent arrears can be enforced where the arrears amount to nine months or more of rent built before 23rd March.

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action, says: “This is very welcome news for those landlords whose tenants had stopped paying rent months prior to the pandemic and, until now, had been given carte blanche to continue living rent free.

“However, there are concerns about how long it will take those landlords, whose arrears cases fall short of the Government’s definition of ‘substantial’, i.e. nine months, to regain possession.”

Landlord Action is currently acting on behalf of dozens of landlords who have severe pre-COVID possession cases. Vanessa Thorn, a landlord whose tenant has not paid rent since November 2018, sought Landlord Action’s help. After a long battle to get to bailiff stage, a date was finally set down for April 2020, only to be cancelled as result of court closures during lockdown. She is now out of pocket by £25,000 in rent plus her legal fees. 

Vanessa Thorn comments: “The case has been mentally exhausting. It took until the end of 2019 to get a court order for repossession because the tenant filed a defence of disrepair. We then had to go through the whole process of proving otherwise and then wait a further four months to get a bailiff date, only to have it cancelled. 

“It has now been another eight months, and all the while my tenant, who is a business owner in Camden, is living rent free. If we cannot rely on the UK courts to uphold the simple contract signed by the tenant, to pay rent within a reasonable period of time, how can we be expected to operate as landlords in this country?

“Even before COVID, it took too long to gain possession. Landlords do not need any more disincentives. It is the good, honest tenants that will suffer as it means landlords will be far more cautious of who they let to, putting for example, self-employed people, at greater risk of being overlooked.  As a landlord, I would always show compassion and help a tenant if I could, but I simply cannot afford to pay rent for someone else for two years.”  

Paul Shamplina adds: “Put simply, landlords are not banks or the welfare state.  In fact, banks get their money back, but landlords are expected to swallow these losses.

“How is it fair that a landlord should be covering the rent for someone who was already failing to pay rent long before the pandemic started? What’s more, the likelihood of Ms Thorn, or other landlords in a similar situation to her, being able to collect monies owed is very slim.

“Whilst this is a positive step forward, there is a long way to go in clearing the backlog of cases and my concern now is for those landlords who have cases with, for example, seven months of rent arrears prior to March. 

“With the current lockdown and then the Christmas amnesty, evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until 11th January 2021 at the very earliest, so even in the best-case scenario, those landlords will be facing more than 17 months without rent.”

Despite Landlord Action seeing this announcement as welcome news, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) argues that the new regulations are a missed opportunity to help those tenants in financial difficulty due to COVID-19.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “In trying to arrive at a compromise, the Government has failed to help those in genuine need whilst rewarding those whose arrears have nothing to do with the pandemic, and in some cases are wilfully not paying their rent.

“This is doing nothing to help those tenants who are trying to do the right thing and seeking to pay off their debts.

“Instead of prolonging the problem with short-term fixes, the Government needs to urgently bring in a financial package to enable tenants to pay off rent arrears.”