Campaigning to Improve Electrical Safety in the Private Rented Sector

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First

With an estimated 9 million people living in private rented accommodation, the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is a major and expanding element in England’s housing market. But such rapid growth brings its own problems, with safety a key concern and electrical safety a particular priority.

Around half of all domestic fires in Great Britain arise from electricity, killing one person each week, and well over a quarter of a million (350,000) are seriously injured by electricity each year.

In the PRS, if a landlord fails to ensure electrical safety in their rented properties then they can face significant financial risks from fires and invalidated insurance claims. Yet the regulations surrounding electrical safety are piecemeal and ambiguous – and poor electrics are often ‘invisible’, lying undiscovered until a serious accident occurs.

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In Conversation With… Bill Hughes

Bill Hughes, President of the British Property Federation

Bill Hughes, President of the British Property Federation

We are regularly in conversation with a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate. The purpose of this feature is to get them to discuss the topics and issues that are currently affecting the Private Rented Sector.

If you would like to take part in an In Conversation piece then please do get in touch with us.

Today we are in conversation with Bill Hughes, President of the British Property Federation.

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Young Group at RESI 2014

RESI Café 2014

RESI Café 2014

Once again, Young Group was in attendance at the annual Property Week RESI Conference, and sponsor of the ever-popular RESI Café.

The event was a resounding success with around 1,000 of the residential property sectors’ good and great in attendance.

All of the conference delegates received a copy of the latest biannual PRSupdate publication. The overarching theme of this issue is ‘Delivering the Private Rented Sector’, which was received with great enthusiasm and complemented the themes presented by the event’s speakers.

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Landlords Lack Awareness of their Agent’s Professional Memberships

Property Academy Landlord Survey

Property Academy Landlord Survey

A Property Academy survey, which questioned 2,948 landlords, has turned up some interesting information in regards to landlord awareness of what professional memberships their chosen lettings agent hold.

Over half (55%) of the landlords that use a letting agent did not know whether that agent was a member of a professional body. Only 37% were aware if their agent was a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the largest membership body in the lettings sector.

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Revenge Eviction Bill Proposed

The government backs bill to end retaliatory evictions

The government backs bill to end retaliatory evictions

The Government, in the form of Communities Minister Stephen Williams and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis, recently gave their backing to a Private Members Bill, put forward by Sarah Teather MP (LibDem), which aims to end the practice of retaliatory evictions.

The Bill has been backed by a number of organisations, including the housing and homelessness charity Shelter who stated, “no one should face eviction for complaining about bad conditions. The government’s – and ultimately Parliament’s – support for Sarah’s Bill could end this practice once and for all.”

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Private Rented Sector ‘Code of Practice’ Launched

Private Rented Sector Code

Private Rented Sector Code

A new Private Rented Sector Code of Practice has been launched by 17* leading Private Rented Sector organisations.

The code, requested by the Department for Communities and Local Government, was created with the intention of driving up the quality of Private Rented Sector letting and management standards.

The document contains guidance for agents and landlords that outlines their mandatory obligations as well as recommended industry best practices.

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Supporting Gas Safety Week 2014

Gas Safety Week 2014

Gas Safety Week 2014

Yesterday the Gas Safe Register kicked off their annual ‘Gas Safety Week’, a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness of gas safety for the UK’s 23 million gas fuelled homes.

Gas Safety Week 2014 will be backed up with national advertising and media coverage as well as various events throughout the week.

The campaign hopes to get across its gas safety message as September is the time when many people will be turning on their boilers for the first time in preparation for winter.

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Time is Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme

Time Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme

Time Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has confirmed that October 1 is the deadline by which all letting agents in England must have joined an approved redress scheme (the Property Redress Scheme, Ombudsman Services Property and The Property Ombudsman).

It seems there will be no grace period, so agents operating in England (the obligations do not yet apply to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) that are not already a member of one of the three schemes should quickly rectify that.

In 18 days any agents that has not signed up to a scheme will be breaking the law and can be fined up to £5,000.

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Young Group Sponsor RESI Café

Young Group Sponsor RESI Café

Young Group Sponsor RESI Café

After a successful 2013 Young Group is again proud to be returning to The Celtic Manor today as the sponsors of the RESI Café.

If you’re attending the event we hope you enjoy the fare on offer. This year, to minimise queueing and to keep up with demand, the Celtic Manor has doubled the number of servers throughout the Café area.

Also, all delegates will receive a complementary copy of our latest PRSupdate publication – with articles from industry leaders who are all currently active in the PRS, talking about their experiences of delivering a new, larger scale, modern Private Rented Sector.

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Calls to Make Client Money Protection a Legal Requirement

SAFE Agent

SAFE Agent

SAFE (Safe Agent Fully Endorsed) Agent, the kitemark that denotes that a firm protects landlords and tenants money, has been urging ministers to use the Consumer Rights Bill to make Client Money Protection a legal requirement for all letting agents.

John Midgley, chairman of SAFE Agent, has written to the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, saying: “Currently, if an agent misappropriates clients’ funds or uses them fraudulently, there is no recompense if the agent is not covered by a CMP scheme.

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PRSupdate Autumn/Winter 2014 Has Arrived

PRSupdate has arrived

PRSupdate has arrived

The hard work has paid off and the 2014 Autumn/Winter printed edition of PRSupdate has arrived!

This invaluable publication is full of insightful articles focusing on Delivering the Private Rented Sector.

We are pleased that a raft of top contributors wrote articles for this issue and made it such a great success. We know you’re looking forward to reading what they have to say on topics that are fundamental to delivering a successful Private Rented Sector scheme, such as; financing, land acquisition, master planning and space planning, asset management, branding, and much more.

Our PRSupdate publication is a great resource for anyone developing, investing or operating in the Private Rented Sector.

Through PRSupdate, Young Group shares best practice and encourages discussion about the Private Rented Sector and we’re pleased that so many of you are continuing that conversation with us and helping to improve our sector.

Don’t miss out!

If you haven’t already, sign up here to receive a complimentary copy straight to your letterbox. It’s quick, easy and you get to control what you want to receive from us.

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Immigration Act Pilot Area Announced

Compliance Corner

Compliance Corner

The government has announced the pilot area and start date for the first stage of the Immigration Act.

The area, in which agents and landlords will have to check an immigrants ‘right to rent’, will be the West Midlands, with a start date of December 1. This area will include Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, but will not apply in Solihull and Coventry.

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Looking Ahead to RESI 2014

Young Group is again gearing up for the annual Property Week RESI conference, where we will again be sponsoring the RESI Café. We will also be providing conference delegates with a must read publication in the form of the latest edition of our biannual PRSupdate.

But we’re not the only ones looking ahead to the event. Cathy Fuller, Head of Events at Property Week, is here to provide us with a rundown of the latest preparations for, arguably, the most important date in the UK residential calendar.

Cathy Fuller, Head Of Events at Property Week

Cathy Fuller, Head Of Events at Property Week

RESI, the UK’s premier residential property market conference, is back for its eighth year and with our best line up yet.

I am proud to say that between September 10-12 the Celtic Manor, host location of the 2014 RESI Conference, will welcome more than 1,000 delegates from across the investment and development sectors; providing a forum for intellectual debate and unrivalled networking opportunities.

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Caution Needed in the Rent Setting Debate

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation

In May the British Property Federation (BPF), like many other organisations, heard alarm bells ring when Ed Miliband, realising the voting potential of ‘Generation Rent’, set out a range of rental reforms that included the possibility of what looked like ‘rent controls’.

Recognising the pressing need for more rental accommodation and the disquiet of many of those forced to rent, Miliband proposed that a Labour government would introduce three-year tenancies, ban letting agent fees, and put a ceiling on rent increases.

The latter part of the proposals caused particular unease amongst the property sector, which feared that a ceiling on rents posed a very serious threat to the health of the UK’s emerging Build to Rent sector.

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In Conversation With… Phil Buckle

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First

We are regularly in conversation with a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate. The purpose of this feature is to get them to discuss the topics and issues that are currently affecting the Private Rented Sector.

If you would like to take part in an In Conversation piece then please do get in touch with us.

Today we are in conversation with Phil Buckle, Director General at Electrical Safety First.

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