Many more landlords using Section 21 Accelerated Proceedings this year

Since we started in 1999, which incidentally is also the year the accelerated Section 21 procedure was introduced, we have never had so many instructions from landlords and letting agents wishing to proceed to court to obtain possession orders under Section 21. Last year, there were 34,080 claims issued under the accelerated procedure, which was an all time high since its inception in 1999. I believe 2014 will be even higher. In quarter one of this year, there were 47,220 claims issued at court for standard procedures with hearing dates and accelerated Section 21s.  In quarter two, there were 38,509 claims issued. The total number of claims issued for all procedures in 2013 was 170,451. This was 20,000 more than in 2012. Recovering Possession This trend of more and more landlords opting to recover possession using the section 21 entitlement, where a hearing date is not required, is because most...
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Extortionate court fee increases will impact landlords

Landlord Action has lambasted Government plans to increase court fees as “extortionate”.  The planned changes will take effect from 22nd April 2014, where fees for possession claims will see one of the largest increases at 60%, and could spark a stampede of possession cases in the next two weeks from landlords trying to beat the rises.   Currently the application for possession, which is used after service of a section 8 notice, costs £175, the same as an accelerated possession claim used after service of a section 21 notice. From 22nd April, this will increase to £280. The possession claim online (PCOL) service which can only be used after a section 8 notice on rent arrears grounds, currently has a substantially discounted fee of £100. This will rise by 150% to £250, making the discount for using the online system far less appealing. The Government has stated “the benefits brought...
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Landlords urged not to dismiss tenants on housing benefit

According to the poll of 1500 landlords, more landlords are turning away housing benefit claimants than ever before with almost six in 10 landlords (57%) refusing to accept anyone on benefits.
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Rate of repossessions lowest since 2007

he CMLs quarterly report on repossessions has shown that 2013 ended with the lowest level of repossessions since the down turn started back in 2007. With a repossession volume of 28,900, this represents a very small 0.26% of outstanding mortgages. Compared to 2012 this is very positive as that year ended with 33,900 repossessions and a 0.30% rate.
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Landlords urged to find the right tenant despite buoyant market conditions

Tenant eviction and rent recovery service Landlord Assist is encouraging landlords to prioritise their efforts in 2014 on finding good, reliable tenants rather than go searching for high rents despite the unusual prospect of a buoyant sales and rental market taking place at the same time.
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Landlord Discord: Thousands of Tenants Withhold Rent Over Delayed Repairs

Hundreds of thousands of private tenants a year are taking matters into their own hands and withholding rent from their landlords because of delays resolving emergencies like heating and electrical faults, new research reveals.1
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Tenants warned about rent arrears in run-up to Christmas

The impact of tenants falling into arrears at Christmas time should not be underestimated, as it can also directly affect a landlord’s ability to maintain their mortgage payments too. With many landlords relying on a tenant’s rent to supplement their monthly income it is clear that some would be unable to pay the mortgage on their property in the event that the tenant missed a payment of rent.
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Could Universal Credit Lead To Higher Rent Arrears?

  Could Universal Credit Lead To Higher Rent Arrears?   Landlords need to protect their interests as Universal Credit comes into force.   Patrick Butler pointed out in a recent Guardian article, Under the new system, tenants in receipt of housing benefit will have their money paid directly to them, rather than, as now, (with vulnerable tenants) direct to the landlord... Southwark council, which is one of six areas piloting the change, says that arrears have soared since it started testing direct payments.   Every savvy landlord knows that people who have difficulty managing money wont change just because Government wants them too.   Rising rates of rent arrears makes it even more important that landlords follow the rules under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Scheme. If they take a deposit from tenants, it is a legal requirement to secure it in a special account until the end of the tenancy and, to be able...
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Landlords welcome direct payment announcement

A Government move to allow automatic direct payments of housing benefit to landlords, has been welcomed by the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA).
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Paul Shamplina named amongst 25 most influential people in property by Daily Telegraph

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action and member of The Landlord Syndicate, has been placed fifteenth in a list of twenty-five of the most influential people in British property as reported by the Daily Telegraph. Other movers and shakers within the industry include well known property presenters Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, and even Prince Charles.
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Landlord Action welcomes Government clarification of the deposit protection law

Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, the leading legal services company helping landlords with problem tenants, comments on planned Government changes to the current deposit protection law. Mr Shamplina comments “These are very welcome changes to the tenancy deposit legislation allowing landlords and agents to file the deposit within 30 days of receipt, compared to the current 14 days.  Still at Landlord Action, we experience many landlords that do not know or understand the deposit scheme when instructing us to carry out an eviction of their bad tenant, but hopefully this will go some way to clarifying this to landlords. “I am also in favour of the abolition of the mandatory three month penalty to landlords if the deposit is not correctly registered. We have seen a huge rise in the number of tenants making applications to the court in an attempt to gain three times the deposit with one...
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101 Essential Tips for investing with high cash-flow

I’m always being asked how to make more money from property as this is something I’ve been specialising in, and I decided to give away some of my top tips to help investors do this. I have attached here some of my 101 Essential Tips for investing with high cash-flow, and this section is for use particularly with tenants claiming benefits. It’s not all bad, and if done in the right way then you can make much more money with less tenants.  We also have the opportunity to have some rent direct from the council and most tenants are happy to have the money paid direct to our bank account. The main difference is that it is paid every 2 weeks for job seekers allowance and every 4 weeks for housing benefit, so we’re really flexible and help the tenants to be able to pay the minute they get paid –...
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Landlord Action sees 11% rise in instructions against defaulting tenants

Landlord Action, a company specialising in tenant eviction, are starting to see the effects that rising unemployment and the increased cost of living are having on the rental sector as their number of instructions against defaulting tenants has risen by 11% year on year. A recent report from Templeton LPA suggested that although cases of severe rental arrears are up 13%, the impact of this has yet to filter through to landlords, with total buy-to-let mortgage arrears cases falling by 12% in the last year. However, Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, believes that landlords are in fact feeling the increasing pressure on their finances as a result of defaulting tenants, but are simply less tolerant than they might previously have been which explains the rise in instructions seen by Landlord Action. Paul comments “Tenants are stuck in a catch twenty-two situation.  Lending criteria requiring large deposits has locked many...
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Landlord Action sends warning to negligent landlords

Landlord Action, an organisation specialising in tenant eviction, is warning landlords that they too need to ‘play by the book’ for a hassle-free tenant eviction.  Founder Paul Shamplina, says despite being unaware of the state of a property at point of instruction or other deciding factors which may have led to the landlord/tenant relationship breakdown, he is all too aware that there are two sides to every story and that errors made by landlords who try to cut corners are one of the most common reasons for delaying proceedings. Attending to maintenance issues is a landlord’s obligation, regardless of whether the tenant is withholding rent.  Ignoring such issues can cause greater problems further down the line as one landlord from London, who sought the help of Landlord Action to deal with a rental arrears case, recently found out.  Describing the case, Paul Shamplina says “This particular landlord had rented out...
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Repossessions up 15%, but reality is little change!

[caption id="attachment_4341" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Home Repossessions"][/caption] The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports quarterly on the levels of repossessions and payment difficulties. In the 1st quarter of 2011 they reported a 15% increase in repossessions from 7,900 to 9,100. However although the news media, like BBC, like to make shocking headlines about a large increase, the underlying figures actually show little change, mainly due to: 10% lower than the same time last year equal to the average quarterly figure in 2010 represents only 0.08% of all loan agreements typically the 4th quarter does see lower reposseions, meaning the 1st quarter is always an increase Arrears The number of mortgages in arrears also continued to fall and now at the lowest percentage of mortgages in arrears since the 3rd quarter of 2008. 1.47% of all loans were in arrears to the equivalence of 2.5% or more of the outstanding balance. This repesents...
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