HMO plans for Bangor slammed by the council

More council HMO bashing is taking place in Bangor, North Wales as a health authority plan to turn to two large buildings in Bangor into houses of multiple occupation (HMO) have been slammed by councillors.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has submitted applications to change Bodfaen, on Craig y Don Road, into a seven-bedroom house of multiple occupancy (HMO), and 26 College Road into an eight-bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The plans were discussed at a meeting of Bangor City Council’s planning and amenities committee last week and councillors immediately dismissed them as “disgraceful” and claimed developments such as this were turning Bangor into “a ghetto”.

The city council has been very clear on its policy on HMOs with many recommended for refusal due to reasons such as over-development of the sites.

Cllr June Marshall said: “Plans for a HMO in Garth were refused and we need to be careful because we don’t want entire streets which are HMOs.

“I am very happy to propose this application is refused.”

Cllr John Wynn Jones said: “There is an effect on society if there are too many HMOs.

“It is very irresponsible (of the health board) – I think it’s disgraceful.

“I think we should write to them and ask them what their intentions are.”

Cllr Derek Hainge, chairman of the committee, asked councillors about writing to the health board and ask them if they are turning the city “into a ghetto”.

Cllr Keith Marshall said: “They should turn it (Bodfaen) into a family house and then put it on the market.

Town clerk Gwyn Hughes said he was concerned over parking amenities for the two sites and also stated his continued concerns over the amount of HMO applications the council was receiving.

Councillors voted unanimously to recommend rejection for the two applications which will now go before Gwynedd Council’s planning committee.

A spokesman for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We can confirm that Change of Use applications have been submitted to Gwynedd County Council Planning Service for two properties which are to be vacated shortly due to the transfer of staff to other health board sites in Bangor.

“The Health Board will respond to any material objections raised as part of the normal planning process; our understanding from Gwynedd County Council is that no objections have been received by them to-date.”

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@RoomsInCardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

HMO Landlord Fined for Unsafe, Overcrowded and Unlicensed Luton Property

Another HMO Landlord added to our “rogue Landlord” feature, a useful guide of how not to go about managing a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) and multi let portfolio.

HMO Landlord Khaled Ahmed, 36, failed to attend Luton Magistrates Court on 15 October where he was ordered to pay nearly £53,000 for operating an unlicensed, unsafe and overcrowded House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO).

This Luton HMO Landlord has gone for the hat-trick by managing a unsafe, overcrowded and unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and following a number of complaints from tenants living at the property at 35 Dunraven Avenue, officers from the Council’s Private Sector Housing team carried out an inspection of the eight-bedroom, four-storey house where a number of health and safety breaches were found the most serious being structure altered internally causing a number of potentially fatal fire safety hazards.

This rogue HMO Landlord provided poorly sub-divided rooms to gain additional smaller bedrooms so more people could live there. One bedroom measured just five square metres as well as a young female student living in the attic space, which could only be accessed by an unstable staircase, without windows, ventilation or heating. Other hazards related to obstructed fire exits, accumulations of rubbish, lack of fire doors, and lack of fire alarms and disrepair to the property.

The Magistrate described the property as a ‘death trap’ run for commercial gain and convicted Mr Ahmed for all breaches.

Mr Ahmed was fined £15,000 for failing to licence the property, a further £4,000 for each of the nine breaches of the Management of House in Multiple Occupation Regulations 2006 which totalled a further £36,000 and a £15 victim surcharge. The Council was also awarded £1,957 costs. Total fines and costs amounted to £52,957 which is one of the highest fines recorded in Luton.

As a further consequence the tenants can apply to the Residential Property Tribunal for a Rent Repayment Order to claim back all rent paid for the past 12 months.

When handing out the fines, the Court also took into account that Mr Ahmed had taken over £22,500 in rent and deposits from tenants.

Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for housing, said: “This is one of the worse cases we have ever seen with tenants being subjected to dangerous and potentially life threatening conditions. What makes it worse is that the actions of the landlord were deliberate and purely for commercial gain.

“I am glad that  substantial fines were imposed, as this serves as a strong warning to any other landlord who thinks they can get away with this illegal behaviour. HMOs need to be licensed to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the occupants and to prevent them living in overcrowded conditions with insufficient facilities.”

“The Council takes the condition of the private rented sector very seriously and we have recently embarked on a programme of inspecting all Houses in Multiple Occupation within Luton. We will not hesitate to take further court action should any other offences be committed.”

Anyone living near or knowing of such a property which they believe to be an unlicensed HMO should contact the council on 01582 54 72 22 or email HMO.Hotline@luton.gov.uk.

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@RoomsInCardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

Are UK House Prices set for a 15% fall?

At Rooms in Cardiff we aim to provide landlords, home owners and property investor’s detailed analysis of the property market in Cardiff, Wales and across the UK.

There has been a wealth of housing data released all hinting at which direction UK house prices are going over the next 12 months, but at Rooms in Cardiff we have been doing our own online research and wanted to share this with our readers.

 Net Mortgage Lending Growth

The Bank of England (BoE) provides monthly data on UK net mortgage lending growth (NMLG). Historically this has proved a handy guide to house prices.

September 2012 saw UK NMLG remain at 1.1%. That compares with annual growth of 1.9% two years ago, 5.7% in December 2008 and 11.1% in February 2007. Meanwhile, the October Nationwide UK house price index was down by 0.9% year-on-year.

What does this mean for UK house prices?

As you can see from the above graph, this long-term collapse in NMLG suggests UK house prices are standing at the cliff face. If they follow net lending trends, residential property values could slump by over 15%.

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@RoomsInCardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

The Court Process of Possessing a Property

We thought the following flow chart and information relating to the process of gaining legal possession of a property may be of use to all the landlords out there.  The flow chart and information is taken from the Ministry of Justice.

To obtain a court order granting the entitlement to take possession of a  property, a claimant – a mortgage lender or a landlord – must first make a claim which is then issued by a county court. Generally, the issuing process involves the arrangement of an initial hearing before a judge. At such a hearing, a judge may:

  • · grant an order for outright possession of the property at a date decided by the judge;
  • · grant a suspended order for possession of the property; or,
  • · grant no order for possession (e.g. after deciding the claimant has no legal right to take possession of the property).

The suspended order for possession of the property usually requires the defendant to pay the latest mortgage or rent instalment, plus some of the arrears that have built up, within a certain defined period. As long as the defendant complies with the terms of the suspension, the possession order cannot be enforced.

More than one order may be granted during the course of an individual case. For example, it is possible that after an initial possession order is granted, the defendant may make an application to the court for the order to be varied or set aside, which could then result in another order being made.

A granted order entitles the claimant to apply for a warrant to have the defendant evicted by bailiffs, so taking possession of the property. Only then does repossession occur. Actual repossession figures (including voluntary repossessions such as where the mortgagee or tenant hands back the keys) are only available for mortgages and are compiled by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Throughout the court process, even where a warrant for possession is issued, the claimant and defendant can still negotiate a compromise arrangement to prevent eviction.

A flow chart showing the court process of possessing a property for landlords and mortgage lenders

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@RoomsInCardiff.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

Cardiff HMO Landlord fined for Management Breaches

A Cardiff HMO Landlord has been successfully prosecuted by Cardiff Council following breaches of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regulations (Wales) 2006.

The landlord, Mr. Yazdan Kayhanian of Lake Road West, Cyncoed, Cardiff, was fined £2000; ordered to pay costs of £950 and a victim surcharge of £15

The house of multiple occupation (HMO) at 116 Richmond Road, Plasnewydd, Cardiff was initially identified to be a shared house in multiple occupation in October 2009. An inspection later revealed failures to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006. However, the landlord advised Cardiff Council officers that the property was shortly to be converted into self-contained flats.

In October 2010, a re-visit identified that the house of multiple occupancy (HMO) had not been converted into flats and remained a shared house. Mr. Kayhanian advised the case officer that the conversion would take place during the summer of 2011.

 

In February 2012, a further visit confirmed that the property was still a shared house in multiple occupation and a number of serious failures to comply with the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 were noted.

 

At Cardiff Magistrates Court, District Judge Charles believed that the defendant had deliberately misled the Council into not taking action when he said that he was going to convert the property into flats; that he had made a misleading statement that Keylet were responsible for the management of the property and that he had deliberately attempted to mislead the Council again by getting the tenants to sign a letter accepting some of the blame. The District Judge told the defendant that he was the ‘author of your own misfortunes’; that he was unscrupulous and that he took advantage of the fact that the tenants were students.

 

Mr. Kayhanian was found guilty of all of the charges against him. These were:

 

Offence contrary to Regulation 7 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that all common parts of the house are maintained in good and clean decorative repair and in a safe and working condition and kept reasonably clear from obstruction.

Offence contrary to Regulation 8 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that in relation to each part of the house that is used as living accommodation that the internal structure is maintained in good repair and any fixtures and fittings are maintained in good repair and in clean working order

Offence contrary to Regulation 5 of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that the drainage system serving the house is maintained in good, clean and working condition in that the gully to the annex side elevation was blocked and overflowing

Offence contrary to Regulation 4(2) of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that any fire fighting equipment and alarms are maintained in good working order

Offence contrary to Regulation 4(1) of the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Wales) Regulations 2006 – failure to ensure that all means of escape from fire are maintained in good order and repair

 

Councillor Lynda Thorne, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Housing and Social Justice, said:

 

“We know that there are lots of good landlords in Cardiff who manage their properties well and comply with legal requirements. We want to encourage those landlords and assure them and tenants living in HMOs that we will take appropriate legal action, including prosecution, for those who fail to comply with the law.”

 

“Our approach is to work with private landlords in order to help them meet the standards that are expected of them. We can offer a range of support including advice, an accreditation scheme, help with finding suitable tenants, help with deposits and rent advances, and property checks. But we are also clear that where landlords do not meet acceptable standards, then we will act.”

 

Rooms in Cardiff is a provider of landlord services across Cardiff and South Wales specialising in multi let property, Student housing, professional house share and house of multiple occupancy (HMO) and offer the following services:

 

Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  £120 Fixed Fee Tenant Finder (No Tenant No Fee)

Property Listing page to advertise your available rooms on Spareroom, EasyRoomMate, Gumtree and Zoopla until let for one Fixed Price.

HMO Rent Guarantee No Void Periods & No Fees

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@webletz.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

or by completing the form below to arrange a call from one of our team.

Cardiff Student Housing or Professional House Share?

With UCAS reporting student numbers down almost 9% on this time last year is Cardiff student housing still a safe bet for landlords with HMO’s and multi let property or should they be broadening their horizons and looking at an alternative market such as entertaining the idea of a professional house share.

You only have to look on Rightmove or Zoopla and it’s all too evident that there are a large number HMO and multi let property listed for sale and for rent, properties stood empty, deteriorating and more than likely missed the bulk of the Cardiff student housing market.

It is estimated that 1.5 million more young people aged between the ages of 18-30 will be looking to the private rental sector by 2020 to provide a roof over their heads, so is now a good time to switch from Cardiff student housing and consider maximising rental income via a professional house share?

It seems to make sense as Cardiff student housing may see a continued contraction in the short term, but the opposite can be said for the growing professional house share market which looks to continue its growth trend.  Another big plus of the professional house share market is full rental income for a 12 month period which is not always the case with Cardiff student housing.

If you are a landlord with a HMO or multi let and would like to discuss your options feel free to email info@webletz.co.uk or contact us via telephone on 0845 496 0000.

Rooms in Cardiff is a specialist provider of landlord services in the HMO and multi let sector. If you have Rooms to rent in Cardiff then why not try our fixed price HMO tenant finder £120 (NO TENANT NO FEE) or our £30.00 Property Listing service or find out about HMO Rent Guarantee service.