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Caerphilly Private Landlord Forum - did you miss it?  Read our latest "Newsletter"
Caerphilly Private Landlord Forum Monday 26th January 2015

Greg Rowlands opened the forum by welcoming everyone. 
Greg informed the forum that he had recently had a meeting with the Housing Benefit Manager as a representative of the forum.  Clarification of two points - Housing Benefit on 2 Homes and Point of Contact were sought and a handout was distributed to attendees of the forum.  

For those not in attendance clarification of these points are detailed in this "Newsletter".


 

Our first speakers of the night were Christine Rutson from United Welsh and Richard Sheahan from Linc Cymru who both represented the Gwent Regional Collaborative Committee.


Their presentation firstly outlined the role of Supporting People.  Supporting People funding pays for Housing Related Support Services.  HRS is preventative, helps people to maintain tenancies, stay independent and is often delivered to people living in the Private Rented Sector.  

Secondly they outlined the purpose of the Gwent Regional Collaborative Committee.  These committees were established in 2012 as a result of a recommendation of the Aylward Review into the Supporting People Programme.  Their purpose is to make recommendations to the Welsh Government on Supporting People spending in their region.

There are six committees accross Wales made up of a number of bodies including the Local Health Board, SP Team, Probation, Public Health etc.  Christine states that Landlords are represented on the committee ad if anyone was interested in having a place on the committee to get in touch.

Christine and Richard finished their presentation urging landlords that if they have any tenants who are struggling to pay their rent, pay bills or generally struggling to sustain their tenancies to make a referral to Supporting People.  Referral forms can be downloaded from the CCBC website.

Christine confirmed that she would continue to liaise with Greg Rowlands the Chairman of the forum but would welcome any involvement from landlords.

 

 OTHER TOPICS DISCUSSED:


UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The expansion of UC was announced in September 2014.  The expansion will be in four tranches.  Tranch 1 (Feb-April 2015) includes Torfaen, Neath Port Talbot, Wrexham and Flintshire.  It was confirmed recently that Caerphilly will be in tranch 2 rolled out in the period may - July 2015.  Expansion into areas is still in a controlled manner with single new JSA claimants being first.

Advertising Properties on CCBC website

Donna reminded everyone that if they have an empty property to let they can advertise it for free on the Council's Housing Website.  Just contact Donna on 01495 235378 who can arrange for an advert to be placed.

New Welsh Water Regulations
The new legislation which came into effect in January this year was discussed.  Landlords expressed their surprise that this legislation came into effect without much publicity.  The first many heard was when Donna emailed them with the information.  The Chairman confirmed that it was not well publicised and that he would write to Dwr Cymru on behalf of the forum expressing his concerns re lack of consultation etc.


 
Date for your diaries!

Our next landlord forum is scheduled for Monday 13th April 2015 at Ty Penallta Council Offices starting at 6.00pm.  An Agenda will be sent to you nearer the time.  Thank you for your continued support.
Carla Welsh founder of Bayside Estates was the next to give a presentation.  Carla set up her company in 2011 having clocked up many years of experience.
Bayside Estates deal with all aspects of student and professional rentals from matching tenants to properties, to refurbishment and repairs.

Carla concentrated her presentation on their unique "Rent Guarantee Scheme".  Their scheme is not an insurance policy, it does not require you to make a claim, pay an excess or wait for a payout!  Bayside Estates simply GUARANTEE to pay your rent on time, every month.  This guarantee is available with their Platinum Management Service and Rent Collection Service.
For more information ring Carla on 01443 856261 or email them www.baysideestates.co.uk

 

 

Our last speaker of the evening was Lee Cecil from National Landlord Association.

Lee introduced himself to the forum.  Lee told the forum that he was the first ever representative for the NLA which has become the leading association for private residential landlords in the UK.

Lee has a vast amount of knowledge and experience of all aspects of the Private Rented Sector.  Lee outlined the benefits of becoming an NLA member such as: Accessing
on line Tenancy Documents Access to online Advice Library Fortnightly Focus E-Newsletter, Telephone Advice Line as so much more.

NLA also offer Landlord Accreditation Courses and on-line courses.

Lee stressed the importance for Landlords of becoming a member of a Landlord Association to keep abreast of all the changes coming our way in the Private Rented Sector.

For more information on the NLA check out their website.  Or email Lee direct lee.cecil@landlords.org.uk 
Information provided in the hand out

Housing Benefit on 2 Homes
If a tenant moves into a new property and is held to notice on the old property they can apply for Housing Benefit on both properties for up to 4 weeks.  In order to get this the tenant must move into their new property and claim the HB for 2 homes.  HB would need the tenant to confirm in writing the date that they moved into their new property and have evidence of the notice period they are liable to pay.

Point of Contact
If landlords find that their tenants are having problems with Housing Benefit then it is advised that they contact the benefit team via email.
www.benefits@caerphilly.gov.uk
This email account is monitored daily and they will endeavor to give a prompt response to any issues or queries.  Landlords must, however, ensure that their tenants have given authority to discuss their claims with them.  The benefit team will not be able to give any information or discuss any details of the claim without this authority



 
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