Recent News

Landlord fined after blaze in rental property

A property management company described by the local authority as a landlord has been fined following a fire in an outbuilding that left two people in hospital.

Ace Management, of Kings Avenue, Winchmore Hill, London, was ordered to pay £12,000 after admitting renting out a house in Melfort Road, Thornton Heath, without being licensed to do so. 

One in four landlords plans to expand portfolio

Almost a quarter of buy-to-let landlords are planning to purchase at least one further property over the next 12 months.

According to a study by agents Allsop and market research firm BDRC Continental, 23% of landlords plan to grow their portfolios over the next year, and 61% are confident about the future for their businesses.   

Welsh minister slams Universal Credit

The Welsh government's minister for tackling poverty has warned that the coalition's Universal Credit (UC) system has thrown a question mark over the state's ability to deliver support to most vulnerable people.

Huw Lewis told assembly members in the Senedd how UC will have a knock-on impact on Welsh government support such as free school meals. 

Work programme 'failing homeless & disabled'

The government's Work Programme (WP) has been slammed by the Works and Pensions Committee, which has concluded that it is "unlikely" to help the most disadvantaged long-term unemployed.

“The performance of the WP in its first 14 months was poor. There are signs that it is now improving significantly for mainstream jobseekers. However, it has proved much less successful to date in addressing the problems faced by jobseekers who face more serious obstacles to finding a job – people with disabilities, homeless people, and those with a history of drug or alcohol abuse," said Dame Anne Begg MP, the committee's chair. 

London rents rise 7.6% in 12 months

Private rents across the UK have risen to their highest level since last November, according to the latest figures published today.

The LSL Buy-to-Let Property Index for April shows the average rent in England and Wales has risen by 0.2% since March to £736 per month. Continued growth leaves rents in April 3.9% higher than a year ago. 

Universal Credit direct payment pilots to be extended for further six months

The Universal Credit direct payment demonstration projects will be extended for a further six months, Minister for Welfare Reform Lord Freud announced today, as new findings from the projects are published.

The Department for Work and Pensions says the extension will help to further develop the support needed for social housing tenants moving onto Universal Credit. The projects will now run until the end of the year. 

Lord Freud: Bedroom tax suicide 'desperately sad'

Welfare reform minister Lord Freud has described a suicide linked to his controversial bedroom tax policy as a "desperately sad event".

Giving evidence to the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee, which is investigating the impact of housing benefit reforms in Wales, Lord Freud extended his condolences to the family of Stephanie Bottrill, who left a note in which she blamed the government for her death. 

Migrants' access to benefits likely to be restricted

The government is expected to seek to restrict migrants’ access to social housing and benefits in measures to be outlined tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s Queens speech will include an Immigration Bill. This is expected to include measures to limit the access that migrants have to health services, benefits and social housing. There will also be measures to make it easier for foreign criminals to be deported. 

Shelter accused of 'scaremongering' in private rental sector

A new report from Shelter that claims to have uncovered the damage done to children who grow up in private rental homes has hit controversy.
The report, Growing up renting, claims that children pay the price for insecure tenancies, high rents and constant moves that Shelter says are standard in today’s market. Some tenants have nowhere to go between tenancies and families end up sofa-surfing. 

Demonstrators target letting agents in angry protests

Letting agents in London were targeted on Saturday in an angry city-wide protest by demonstrators.

Some who had got wind of the ‘Let Down’ demonstration beforehand decided to stay shut for the day while Foxtons, in Brixton, reportedly hired security officers. Others locked their doors as the protesters tried to enter and make agents answer their ‘survey’.