MINUTES OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING FORUM HELD ON 25 January 2017

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Feb 9th, 2017
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PRESENT: The following members signed the attendance record for the meeting.

Leslie Green Landlord
Robert Reading Landlord
Neil Turner NLCE Accredited Landlord
Drew Elkins Hilton Properties
Grahame Middle Landlord
K Bennett Landlord
Sam Jackson NLCE Accredited Landlord
D Swords NLCE Accredited Landlord
S Swords NLCE Accredited Landlord
K.W Blay NLCE Accredited Landlord
David Heal Landlord
Ruth Heal NLCE Accredited Landlord
Howard Evans NSC
Andy Mackenzie Landlord
A.Dishkin Plaister Properties
K Harrison NLCE Accredited Landlord
Jason Orme NLCE Accredited Landlord
Jane Barron NLCE Accredited Landlord
Margaret Keeshan Landlord
Sharon Laws NLCE Accredited Landlord
Di Saunders Landlord
Christopher Dunn
Alze Fulco NLCE Accredited Landlord
Ami Patel NLCE Accredited Landlord
Penny Ashby Ashby Properties
C. Woodbury NLCE Accredited Landlord
H.Manion NSC
Amanda Searle
R Southcombe Alliance / NLCE Accredited Landlord
Sadie Wells Alabare
M.D.Murphy
K Neilson Firststep Housing
Noella Morris Landlord
Maria Reeve NSC
Martin Wride NLCE Accredited Landlord
Maggie Lyons Key Steps
Debbie Sharkey Time for Paperwork
Sharon Routledge Cadogan House
R. Urch
Mike Reading NLCE Accredited Landlord
K.M.Huxtable NLCE Accredited Landlord
Karam Badhen NLCE Accredited Landlord
James Morrissey
Roger Crouch
Tony Mason
Darren Geoff
Monica Hitchings
Jackie Strachan
Gerry Laws NLCE Accredited Landlord
Richard Osborne NLCE Accredited Agent
Clair Weber NSC
  1. 1 • Apologies – Harriet Stephens, Terry Gilbert, Dan Kilpatrick
  2. 2 • Minutes from previous meeting – deemed to be correct
  3. 3 • Matters arising – none
  4. 4 • Presentation: Sam Jackson –National Landlords Code of Excellence (NLCE)

NLCE currently have 57 shareholders, all of whom are local landlords. NLCE have been working closely with NSC with regard to the development of the scheme.

Sam often gets asked “why should I join NLCE if you can’t promise to stop any future discretionary licensing schemes the council may implement” Sam’s response was that “no one can promise to stop a Local Authority implementing a discretionary licensing scheme however, we can have a stronger voice together the next time the Local Authority propose to implement a licensing scheme. The alternative is to do nothing and get licensed anyway, it is better to be on the inside than outside.”

Another frequently asked question is “why should I join if my property is already licensed?” Sam states that “the accreditation day in its own right is worth joining the scheme, after attending the training day one landlord said “after 17 years of being a landlord I thought I realised what was needed” The training day is a great opportunity to network and learn how to save thousands of pounds. The course is ran by a professional trainer who also trains landlords for the National Landlords Association.

Membership of the scheme lasts for 5 years there is no annual fee, there will be an opportunity to gain CPD points which is a requirement of the scheme. Members will benefit from access to the NLCE website including maintenance tracking, use of the reporting system and the Landlord Referencing Scheme portal, there are now 31 accredited landlords.

Question: Do you have an assurance that North Somerset Council will support NLCE?
Answer: NLCE are currently working with the council on a weekly basis.

NLCE stats:

  • • 50 people have joined NLCE (44 landlords and 6 estate agents)
  • • Currently 57 shareholders
  • • Over 200 followers on Facebook

If you would like any further information about the accreditation scheme please contact the NLCE on 0800 9994 994 (Option 6) or enquiries@nlceuk.co.uk alternatively you can visit the website: http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/nlceuk/

5. Lisa Osborn – Proposed extension to mandatory licensing of HMOs

Lisa discussed the definition of a house in multiple occupation, which types of properties are required to license, HMO and other residential property reforms consultation paper and the consultation paper on proposed banning order offences under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The notes for Lisa’s presentation are attached at the end of the minutes.

6. Paul Routledge – Would you take benefit tenants if I could guarantee your rent and eviction costs? Introducing The Ark Passport; a proactive way to stop homelessness in North Somerset.

The Ark Passport is a tool to encourage landlords and housing providers to house benefit tenants with an aim to reducing homelessness. Currently many landlords are reluctant to house benefit tenants due to the minority of those tenants who do not pay their rent on time or at all, leaving good benefit tenants finding it extremely difficult to find property in the private rented sector.

Paul asked the forum “how many of you take on benefit tenants” roughly half of the forum raised their hands. Paul then explained the details of the Ark Passport to the group.

The Ark Passport offers landlords a rent guarantee and a Legal Expenses Policy as one policy. This policy will cover landlords for loss of rent and the cost of the legal expenses involved in the event of needing to evict a tenant. Tenants who are involved with the Ark Passport will have a “Change Account”, the account is a banking tool which allows tenants to separate and prioritise rent and other important payments ensuring rent is paid on time.

Paul asked the group again “how many of you would house benefits tenants who were involved with the Ark Passport” More people raised their hands this time than to the previous question. Paul explained that this scheme could provide properties to Local Authorities and private tenants which would not otherwise be available.

If you would like any further information about the Ark Passport please visit http://arkpassport.co.uk/ or call 0800 999 4 275.

7. Update

A question did arise about the repayment of council tax, one landlord asked how far back the Council can chase a Council Tax payment?, the landlord is being chased for a bill from 2007.

Liberata have confirmed “As long as the Landlord was billed at the time and a liability order obtained within 6 years of the bill being sent then the Council can seek the amount owed without a time limit.

If there are any queries regarding Council Tax please contact the revenues team on 01934 888 144.

Date of next meeting is Wednesday 26 April, Old Council Chamber, 6:30 pm.

Please make your way in for the meeting through the main Town Hall entrance, a member of staff will come and collect you.

Many thanks to North Somerset Council Private Sector Housing Forum for providing these minutes.

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Senior PR Officer at TenantReferencingUK.com & Admin at NLCEuk.co.uk Any queries email me at: samii@landlordreferencing.co.uk or give me a call on: 0800 9994 994.

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