‘Right to rent’ and Free West Midlands Landlord Conference



There are some major changes coming that will affect landlords in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton from 1 December 2014 concerning “right to rent” checks for new tenancy agreements to determine whether residents have the right to live in the UK legally.

Local authorities and associations from across the West Midlands are holding a FREE West Midlands Landlord Conference on 13 November 2014 at Walsall Football Stadium, where there will be a series of keynote speakers and briefing sessions covering the latest news that landlords need to know.

The event will be introduced by Stephen Gabriel, Sandwell MBC, WMBUS Private Sector Sub Group.

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Lee Farrington, Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) - ‘Expanding the Private Rented Sector’
  • Eddy Montgomery, Home Office – ‘Right to Rent – Immigration Enforcement’
  • David Cox, ARLA – ‘ The Private Rental Market’
  • Christine Graham, Consultant and Trainer – ‘Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014’
  • Bob Mayho, CIEH  – ‘CIEH Update’

There will also be a series of workshops which landlords can attend:

  • Dealing with Legal Changes – Mary Latham (NLA)
  • Illegal Money Lending – Christopher Connor (England Illegal Money Lending Team)
  • Buy to Let Mortgages – Jason Wilde & Moray Hulme (Paragon Mortgages)
  • Managing Rent – Ollie Wright, Liz Mooney & Malcolm Keyte (Sandwell MBC, Six Towns Credit Union)
  • Tax Efficiency – KPMG (To be confirmed)
  • Fire Risk Assessment – Gary Callaghan (Procompetent Fire Safety Solutions)

At the end of the day, there will be an open panel for questions and discussion.


To register your interest for this FREE Conference contact Androulla Moore:
Tel: 01922 650927
Email: mooreAndroulla@walsall.gov.uk


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.


The Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme will be running a series of CPD Workshops open to MLAS members and non-Members in October and November 2014 in advance of the 1st December implementation dates. Workshops are now available for booking.

To find out more visit: www.mlas.org.uk

Read This First

Read This First! Homestamp’s Comprehensive Guide to Renting Property!

***UPDATE 2014***

If you are looking to rent property from a private landlord – don’t forget to use Read This First.

Homestamp’s  comprehensive guide to renting property includes advice on on both landlord and tenants rights, private renting in general, housing benefit, tenancy deposit schemes, crime and fire safety advice, plus much much more.

Read This First 2014 has been updated to include the latest information – especially on welfare and benefits changes, finance and illegal money lending advice.

Also available to download is the Read This First 2014 ‘Important Checklists’. This way you can keep a record of properties you have looked at and use the checklist in helping you reach a decision!!!



The England Illegal Money Lending Team, which works in partnership with local Trading Standards departments around the country to tackle loan sharks, is launching an awareness campaign to reach private rented sector tenants throughout July 2014. In the West Midlands the campaign will be run in partnership with Homestamp, a partnership consortium with a direct interest in private sector housing, comprising of Local Authorities, the private rented sector, Universities, Police and Fire Services.

Whilst anyone can be a victim of a loan shark, this month’s campaign will focus on helping those who live in private rented accommodation.  These tenants might not be aware of support that is available to them from local authorities and charities if they are struggling to make ends meet.  Quite often councils, agencies and Credit Unions can provide bonds or deposits but few people realise this and can get into debt to move home and start their new tenancy on a back-foot. The team is advising people never to use a loan shark for rent or a deposit, and fear that this is a currently hidden and under-reported problem.  The team will also be working with private landlords to help them provide support and advice to any tenants who have got into financial difficulty with loan sharks prior to taking on a tenancy.

In the West Midlands, the team is working with Homestamp, to:

  • Put articles in local newsletters aimed at landlords and tenants
  • Advertise at customer service centres where Housing benefit forms are collected
  • Run a poster awareness raising campaign in hostels
  • Use DVDs to educate hostel residents about the dangers of illegal money lenders
  • Train homeless teams, hostel staff and Housing Benefit sections so they can spot the telltale signs of someone who is a loan shark victim
  • Launch “A Free Guide to Renting Private Property” to ensure that tenants know their rights and have all the information they need to avoid getting into unmanageable debt, especially with illegal money lenders.

Illegal money lending is an issue all across the country with an estimated 310,000 individuals affected.

Loan sharks will typically appear friendly at first but their behaviour can quickly change with some resorting to threats, violence and intimidation to enforce their debts. They operate illegally, without the correct permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority and rarely give paperwork, keeping borrowers in the dark as to how much they are paying back. Some will even take items such as passports as security or even bank cards with the PIN in order to withdraw directly from borrowers’ accounts.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the National Trading Standards Board, said: “The process of moving home can be expensive and loan sharks take advantage of this, striking just when people feel under real financial pressure. It is crucial that people know that, even if they’re renting privately, there is help available to them if they get into financial difficulty. Loan sharks are illegal, predatory and should never be considered as an option.

National Trading Standards are committed to tackling loan sharks and we look forward to making a real difference for private tenants across the country over the next month.  If anyone suspects an individual of loan sharking or has been a victim themselves then I would urge them to call the hotline or email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.”

Mary Latham, Chair of Homestamp, said:  ”It is important to get this message out to both landlords and tenants and to ensure that they know how to safely and anonymously report suspected Loan Sharks who are operating in their area. Many people live in fear of these people and it is that fear that enables Loan Sharks to thrive. Homestamp partners are happy to help to remove the fear and prevent these people from thriving in our communities.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said “During the month our aim as a national team is to make a difference locally.  Whether a community is urban, inner city or rural we understand that loan sharks lend to those in private, social and council tenancies and indeed home owners.  Our aim is to tackle any current illegal money lending issues whilst sending a preventative message to all – loan sharks are not a safe or cheap way to borrow money, even if you’re doing so to move home.

We would urge anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark, or knows of someone who has to contact us in the strictest confidence on 0300 555 2222. Lines are open 24/7 and callers can remain anonymous if they wish.”

For updates on the campaign visit www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject or twitter: @loansharknews


Call the 24/7 confidential hotline: 0300 555 2222

Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 600003

Email: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Private message on: www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject


New crackdown on loan sharks offers lifeline to private housing tenants - Birmingham Mail - 6 July 2014

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