Sandwell Council Landlords New Blog

SANDWELL COUNCIL LANDLORDS NEWS BLOG LAUNCHED

sandwelllandlords

KEEPING YOURSELF INFORMED….

Housing is facing some substantial changes, everything from landlord responsibilities under the Immigration Act to the end of Housing Benefit and the new Universal Credit.

Sandwell MBC has launched a news blog for landlords to keep them up-to-date with all the latest information affecting the private rented sector across the borough. Visit Sandwelllandlords.wordpress.com.

Visit the blog and sign up as a ‘follower’ to receive the latest updates direct to your email address! Simply visit the site and enter your email address in the box provided.

About the Sandwell Landlords Blog

Private landlords in Sandwell provide an essential service, supplying homes to tens of thousands of people in the borough. We know it’s a role that is often difficult and complicated; not just sitting back and collecting the rent.

One of a landlord’s biggest challenges is keeping informed about a long list of issues, often involving complex legislation and constant change. Just looking ahead to the next 12 months sees new responsibilities with the Immigration Act 2014 and the ‘Right to Rent’ rules, the uncertainties about tenants on benefits with the roll-out of Universal Credit and the new compulsory Property Redress Schemes for lettings agents.

We want to help you were we can with these challenges by sharing information and helping you stay up to date. Up to now, we have relied on the ‘Bugle’ magazine from our Housing Quality team and occasional newsletters from our Revenues and Benefits service. However, these are rapidly becoming an out of date format. They don’t always let us get the information you need out quickly enough or give you the right opportunities to respond. So we are very pleased to welcome you to the first post on our new landlord blog.

Your blog editors are Oliver Wright from Revenues and Benefits and Liz Mooney from the Housing Quality team. We very much want to hear from you, whether it’s a comment on something we have posted or a suggestion for a topic for us to cover. Either way, please email us and let us know. We aim to be informative, relevant and up-to-date.

WMBUS Conference 2014

FEEDBACK – WEST MIDLANDS PRIVATE LANDLORDS CONFERENCE

13th November 2014 – Walsall Football Stadium

With major changes which will affect Landlords across Birmingham and the Black Country from December, local authorities and associations from across the West Midlands recently held the second West Midlands Landlord Conference.

Feedback on the Conference from the over 250 landlords who attended was very positive and over 98% of those that came along found the event to be very good or excellent.

Available to download below, as PDF files, are several of the Keynote Speeches from the event:

 

‘Right to rent’

NEWS: IMMIGRATION ACT 2014 –  WEST MIDLANDS TO BE FIRST LANDLORD ‘RIGHT TO RENT’ CHECK AREA

Security Minister James Brokenshire today announced the new measures in the Immigration Act would be launched in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton as part of a phased introduction across the country.

The new law will mean private landlords will have to check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country if they want to avoid potentially being fined up to £3,000.

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law.

“The right to rent checks are quick and simple, but will make it more difficult for immigration offenders to stay in the country when they have no right to be here.

“They will also act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out substandard, overcrowded and unsafe accommodation.

“Landlords in the West Midlands will have all the advice and support they need in advance of the checks going live on 1 December.”

Landlords will need to see evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, for example a passport or biometric residence permit. Many responsible landlords already do this as a matter of routine, and most legal renters will have the correct documentation ready to hand. In most cases landlords will be able carry out these simple checks without need to contact the Home Office.

Copies of the documentation will need to be taken as evidence the checks have been carried out and retained for one year after the tenancy ends. Children under 18 will not need to be checked. More information about how to carry out a right to rent check is available online at www.Gov.uk including eligibility for a free online Home Office checking service to confirm whether someone has a right to rent. A helpline (0300 069 9799) is also available.

Following an evaluation of the implementation in the West Midlands next spring, the Home Office expects to continue with the phased introduction of checks across the UK next year.

The Immigration Act 2014, which became law earlier this year, is a landmark piece of legislation which builds on the government’s ongoing reforms to make sure the immigration system works in the national interest. The Act is focused on stopping illegal migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, reducing the pull factors which encourage people to come to the UK for the wrong reasons, and making it easier for the Home Office to remove people who should not be here.

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