In a month where the weather and social media platforms took centre stage, we continued to discuss the key media issues facing the private rented sector.
The Government is still discussing tenant fees
A report into the draft Tenant Fees Bill was released this month with recommendations that were not quite as we would like. We campaigned for the tenant fee cap to be set at six weeks (although we argued there should be no cap at all), but the report writers felt this was one week too much. We provided comment for the BBC, and appeared in The Times also.
Housing Benefit discrimination
At the end of February the BBC ran a story about a woman who won an out-of-court settlement for indirect discrimination by a letting agent. The argument was that as she was a single mother receiving a housing benefit, and single mothers are the more likely than single fathers to be on housing benefit, the agency was indirectly discriminating against single mothers by refusing to let to anyone on housing benefit. However, because this was settled out of court it did not set a legal precedent. The Huffington Post and several trade media ran follow up articles over the month.
PRA changes are making it harder to get a mortgage
On the 20th, we released our findings about the Prudential Regulation Authority’s changes to buy to let mortgage requirements making it harder for landlords to get finance - a massive 63 percent of landlords who are aware of the changes believe it is. The Financial Times included our findings in an article about buy to let, while The Independent had a brief in its print edition. This was also covered by most of the main trade media.
Article 4 charges are a money grabbing exercise
In the March current affairs edition of our Inside Housing podcast we looked at a range of topics including the rise in councils levying Article 4 Directions. At the same time, we highlighted the issue to the media which ran in trade publications such as Letting Agent Today.
Finally we advertised for new regional representatives in March, and sent out a press release in search of the best and brightest in the property industry to join us. This gained a fair amount of coverage by trade media, such as Estate Agent Networking, and in regional papers.
Applications close at midday on 23rd April and the job descriptions are available to read at landlords.org.uk/about-nla/jobs
Until next month…