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Residential Landlords Association
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The RLA is the national voice for landlords in England & Wales, representing over 14,000 members
The RLA is the national voice for landlords in England & Wales, representing over 14,000 members

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A new letter sent to all councils in England from the Department for Communities and Local Government has made it clear that they already have the power to ask tenants for information about a property’s tenure and landlord identity. This enables every local authority to build a register of landlords.
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RLA trainer, housing benefit (HB) and Universal Credit (UC) expert Bill Irvine returns with news of the Department Work and Pension (DWP) starting to get it right when it comes to Universal Credit payments. Bill has been working alongside RLA Policy Consultant (and Treasurer) Richard Jones and both are keen to commend DWP for acknowledging previous shortcomings and making the system work better..
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Commenting on today’s announcement RLA Policy Director, David Smith said:

“The RLA wants to see rogue* landlords driven out of the sector once and for all.

“We have long maintained that it is not the lack of regulations that has allowed criminal landlords to get away with causing misery for tenants, but the lack of enforcement. There is currently a tiny number of prosecutions taking place.
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The RLA E-News digest is on its way to members of the Association and professionals savvy enough to sign up!
In case you were wondering what is new and upcoming in the Private Rented Sector, but can't wait a week every week, head over to the RLA Landlords' News Hub. Regularly updated with RLA and industry specific news: http://news.rla.org.uk/
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A European Union Directive on Energy Efficiency was updated in 2012. One of the key elements of energy efficiency is ensuring that those people who are directly using energy can see what they are using and take steps to reduce their usage. It is this that the directive is targeted at.
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The Immigration Act 2014 introduced the concept of ‘right to rent’ to the private rented sector. Originally introduced in the West Midlands, right to rent requires landlords and agents check the immigration status of their prospective tenants at the outset of the tenancy. Under the previous coalition government, this introduction to the West Midlands was intended as a pilot scheme. National rollout was only expected to take place after consultation and impact studies had been completed. Sadly, this is no longer the case however and the requirements will come into force on February 1st 2016 for all landlords in England.
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The Local Government Finance (Tenure Information) Bill will receive its 2nd Reading on October 30 2015. Introduced by Dame Angela Watkinson, the bill includes RLA proposals to use Council Tax forms to discover rented properties.

The RLA called for the measures within this Bill to be introduced in its manifesto for the private rented sector published before the election.
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RLA Policy Consultant Richard Jones has written the below following an RLA member getting caught up in the business/consumer issue many landlords face. The article provides a warning when conducting business as a landlord and why being aware of consumer / business rights and legislation is an important aspect of being a landlord.
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The Level 2 Award in Letting and Managing Residential Property is a brand new qualification from CIH, which has been developed in conjunction with the Residential Landlords Association. It covers three units:

Tenancies and the law
Property and tenancy management
Customer care in the private rented sector
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In December 2014 landlords in the West Midlands were chosen to pilot the Government’s ‘Right to Rent’ scheme which made them legally required to check the immigration status of their tenants.

With the Home Office today confirming that the scheme will be rolled out across England from the 1st February next year, its analysis of the pilot scheme has undermined the central purpose of the 
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