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www.islington.gov.uk Private Landlords’ Newsletter ISSUE 9 Spring 2009 Empty promise In February 2009 Islington Council The three demands of the campaign: made a pledge in support of the Empty Promise campaign run by the social 1 VAT maintenance to 5repairs and - a cut in VAT on per cent. This would make it more housing magazine Inside Housing. attractive for owners to invest in an empty home to make it The aim of the campaign is to fill There are three main points to the habitable, or for a potential empty homes across the United campaign, which will be put forward buyer to make an offer. Kingdom. They are expected to number over one million by the end as demands to the chancellor ahead of his budget in April. 2 Grant - use cashand the existing Homes from of the year. Communities Agency budget for social landlords to buy and repair long-term empty properties. Below is an image being used to promote the campaign. 3 Guidance - clearer advicecouncils the government to help from use empty dwelling management orders. To get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT For further information on any subject featured in this newsletter or suggestions please contact Goran Tadic on 020 7527 6089. Procurement and Development Team Room 111, Town Hall, Upper Street, London, N1 2UD E email@example.com Spring 2009 NEWSFLASH Landlords event Digital TV switchover coming up Do you want a chance to What is digital changeover? Tenants are responsible for upgrading meet other landlords and Between 2008 and 2012 the current their own personal TVs and recording find out about the issues analogue television signal will be equipment. However, it is worth that affect you? Then come changed, region by region, to a digital finding out when the switchover is along to the north London signal. The changeover in London is happening in your area so you can keep sub-regional landlords' scheduled for early 2012. After the your tenant informed of the change forum that is to take place changeover, unless the television is (and remind them that it is their on 29 April 2009 at the adjusted to receive a digital signal it will responsibility to adjust their TV). Alexandra Palace. The forum not be able to receive television signal The tenancy agreement should indicate is an excellent opportunity at all. whether the landlord or tenant is to promote good practice Who is responsible for adjusting responsible for paying the TV licence and developments within the television sets? and any subscriptions to cable or private sector. If you, the landlord, are providing a satellite TV. The inventory should Further details about the television as part of the tenancy then include the make, model and serial event will be made available you will be responsible for ensuring number of any TV sets that are closer to the date. that it can pick up a digital signal after provided. the switchover. Business success in Method of receiving signal Equipment required challenging times Through an aerial Digital set top box or a new television with built in digital adapter. These are The council has Some aerials may need to be extraordinary times dedicated town replaced. Most aerials will be able to for businesses. The centre managers in get digital channels. If, however, UK has officially place for Angel, signal strength is poor or the aerial is entered a recession Archway, Nag's Head corroded or damaged you may need and 2009 will be a and Whitecross to replace it. You will be able to tell challenging year. Street who support that you need to replace it if your Islington Council is local businesses in set-top box does not work. committed to doing those areas and help Alternatively a qualified engineer can its part to support promote the local test your aerial. local businesses and economy. Through a satellite dish Satellite dish and receiver provided the council's Business For more information by satellite broadcaster. and Town Centres or to find out how team is here to help. the council can help Through a cable A connection to a cable system and The team run and your business please indoor decoder box provided by the promote a number of contact Islington cable company. training events and Business Partnership seminars throughout by emailing the year to help your businesspartnership@ business reach its islington.gov.uk or Where to go for more information? potential. They also call the coordinator, The government has given the task of managing the switchover produce a quarterly Katie Steele on to a not-for-profit body called Digital UK. business newsletter 020 7527 3185. Call 0845 6 505050 or visit www.digitaluk.co.uk 'Update' to keep you abreast with what is Islington Council supports the happening in the local business community. Spring 2009 Private Landlords’ Newsletter Ban for unregulated letting agents f From 6 April 2008, all deposits paid by tenants to landlords for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be safeguarded by a mandatory deposit protection scheme. Landlords have a choice between custodial and insurance based schemes. The main difference between the deposit and dispute resolution The National Association of two is that in a custodial scheme scheme, which is run by an Letting Agents (NAEA) the landlord pays the tenant's independent company The Dispute deposit directly into the scheme The Royal Institution of Service. and in an insurance-based scheme Chartered Surveyors (RICS) the landlord retains the deposit and The TDS has announced that pays a premium to the insurer. If the agent is not a member of following an advice by their insurers these organisations (unregulated) On 22 November 2006, the from 06 April 2009 it will provide the deposit must be protected via government awarded contracts to deposit protection and dispute three service providers, which are: either DPS or mydeposit.com by 6 resolution only to regulated letting April 2009. Mydeposit.com is not 1 The Deposit only custodial (DPS) - the Protection Service agents and corporate and individual landlords who are members of the following the TDS decision to withdraw protection from protection scheme. following recognised professional 'unregulated' letting agents. The bodies: 2 Mydeposits.com scheme. insurance-based - an The National Approved Letting agents concerned should advise their tenants and landlords of what Scheme (NALS) they intend to do on their behalf. 3 The Tenancyinsurance-based (TDS) - an Deposit Scheme Getting Housing Benefit backdated Any awarded Housing and Council Tax Benefit will carefully considered before a decision can be made. normally be given from the Monday after the council receives the claim from the tenant. Sometimes it is Claimant did not claim immediately after leaving possible to award benefit from an earlier date. This is hospital. called backdating. Claimant was ill and had no one to make a claim on From 6 October 2008 the maximum period for which their behalf. Housing and Council Tax Benefit claims may be backdated has changed to: Claimant was wrongly advised by an official person that they were not entitled to Housing Benefit or Six months for claimants under the age of 60 (and Council Tax Benefit. men aged 60-64 on income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance or on an income-related Claimant was unable to manage their own affairs employment and support allowance) if they can and did not have an appointee. show that there is 'good cause' for not claiming Claimant could not have reasonably been expected earlier. This may be reduced to three months in the to know their rights; for example, where there had future. been a relevant change in the law. Three months for people aged 60 and over (except Claimant did not claim because of a combination of, as above). These claimants do not have to have for example, their age, health, inexperience of the 'good cause' for making backdated claims. benefit system or language difficulties. Below are some examples of 'good cause,' however the For further information contact Housing Benefit on circumstances of each individual backdate request is 020 7527 4990. Spring 2009 Robert Cole is a Housing Officer at Pathmeads Housing Useful Contacts Association, which is one of Islington council's largest The Rent Service T: 0207 023 6000 providers of temporary W: www.therentservice.gov.uk accommodation for homeless National Inspection Council for families. Pathmeads currently Electrical Installation Consulting provides the council with (N.I.C.E.I.C) around 400 self contained T: 0870 013 0382 homes leased from private E: firstname.lastname@example.org sector. W: www.niceic.org.uk Gas Safe Register How long have you been working as a housing officer is assisting T: 0800 408 5500 at Pathmeads? tenants with needs who may have W: www.gassaferegister.co.uk I have been working at Pathmeads otherwise not been able to live in for nearly three years, one as a temporary accommodation. The National Approved Letting trainee and two as a housing Scheme (NALS) What is your vision for the future? officer T: 01242 581712 I feel that social housing is going to F: 01242 232518 What do you like about your job? have more investment and E: email@example.com The most enjoyable part of my job partnership with the private W: www.nalscheme.co.uk is inspecting properties and sector, and that this will move resolving any issues tenants may away from government funding. The Association of Residential have. Letting Agents (ARLA) How do you find working with T: 0845 345 5752 What is the hardest part of your Islington's Private Sector F: 01494 431530 job? Partnership? E: firstname.lastname@example.org Dealing with the paperwork around I find that the Private Sector W: www.arla.co.uk my role. In addition to inspecting Partnership team do a great job properties, I also have to ensure under a lot of pressure from National Landlords Association that rent arrears and leases are up tenants and housing associations. National enquiry line - to date. T: 0870 241 0471 Would you change anything? F: 0871 247 7535 What is the most successful I would like to see more E: email@example.com achievement of your career? professionals in the social housing The most successful achievement sector. Residential Landlords Association T: 0845 666 5000 F: 0845 665 1845 Landlord fined for failure to carry out repairs E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.rla.org.uk A social landlord has been ordered to pay £6,000 in fines and costs for failing to carry out repairs in a prosecution brought by Islington council. London Landlord Accreditation Scheme The Peabody Trust admitted failing to comply with two improvement notices issued by the council on homes in Islington. Legal action was T: 020 7974 1970 taken on behalf of residents after delays to required work with regards to W: www.londonlandlords.org.uk dampness at Pemberton Terrace, N19, and Redington House, N1. Consequently on 20 January 2009 the Peabody Trust was fined at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court £2,000 for the Pemberton Terrace case, with £2,000 costs, and £1,000 for the Redington House case, with £1,000 costs. With a court surcharge, the total cost came to £6,015.
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