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Private sector landlords and letting agents newsletter


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West Lothian Council
  May 2016  
     
  Welcome to West Lothian Council’s Private Sector Housing E-Newsletter!  
 

Please forward the newsletter to any colleagues or private landlords. It is important to us that all Agents and Landlords in West Lothian are kept up to date.

 

 
 
  LANDLORD FORUM
 

West Lothian Council will be holding a Landlord/Agent forum on Thursday 19th of May at 2pm at West Lothian Council, Civic Centre, Howden South Rd, Livingston.

Speakers Include:

  • SAFE DEPOSITS SCOTLAND
  • MID LOTHIAN COUNCIL PRIVATE RENTED SERVICES 
  • WEST LOTHIAN HOUSING STRATEGY & DEVELOPMENT TEAM
  • WEST LOTHIAN REVENUES UPDATE  
  • EAST LOTHIAN COUNCIL LANDLORD REGISTRATION
The representatives can offer invaluable advice and assistance to you as an agent/landlord.

For more information please contact the West Lothian Home Choice team on   01506 283500 or email westlothianhomechoice@westlothian.co.uk

 

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   LANDLORD/AGENT TRAINING
 

LAS is a voluntary scheme promoting best practice in Scotland's private rented sector. Landlords and letting agents can assure tenants that the tenancy arrangements they have adhere to the high standards outlined in the Scottish Core Standards for Accredited Landlords. For more information please visit Land Accreditation Scotland

More information can be found about courses in West Lothian and surrounding areas here.

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   HOME ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMME FOR SCOTLAND (HEEPS)
 
 

There have been some changes recently to the HEEPS loans, with the amount that people can borrow increased from £10,000 to £15,000.

A separate scheme is also open for Private Sector Landlords. More information about the loans can be found here:

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/heeps-loan-scheme

 

 

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  UNIVERAL CREDITS UPDATE

Scottish Government considers direct payment of benefit to Landlords

Universal Credit (UC) is the UK Government’s new benefit system which is replacing Local Housing Allowance (LHA) payments for rent.

Implementation of UC is continuing across the UK although volumes are low at present and cases are mainly single unemployed people with no children. There is not expected to be a significant rise in UC cases in Scotland until 2017.
 
As you will probably be aware the Scotland Bill is currently going through the parliamentary process. When passed this will give Scottish Ministers flexibility over when and to whom Universal Credit (UC) is paid. So far the Scottish Government has focussed on the first two priority Scottish flexibilities, enabling UC to be paid more frequently than monthly and giving social landlords the choice of receiving direct payment of the housing element.
 
Ministers are keen to explore with stakeholders their views on offering tenants in the private sector who are in receipt of UC the option of direct payment of their housing costs to their landlord. At present landlords can ask for direct payments if there are rent arrears and DWP can also instigate direct payments to the landlord where the tenant is considered vulnerable, e.g. through debt or addiction issues, and these options will remain.
 
The Scottish Government would like to hear the views of landlords on offering tenants the option of direct payment to their landlord. ~

Would providing the tenant with a choice on this help or hinder you? Do you foresee any particular issues or risks that would arise? 

If you wish to send in your views please email them to futurewelfarepowers@gov.scot
 

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