West Midlands Private Landlord and Letting Agent Conference 2015


Over 400 landlords and agents attended the sell-out West Midlands Private Landlord and Letting Agent Conference at Walsall Football Stadium on the 2nd October 2015.

Change seemed to be the underlying theme of the conference. Change in:

  • The regulations and legislation controlling the sector
  • The demands of the housing market
  • The innovations and new ways of working that landlords will need to adopt.
  • The welfare support that many tenants depend on and their responsibilities to manage their rent.

With Sandwell’s Stephen Gabriel as MC, we had some first rate speakers, with presentations from Gerry Lyng of the Department of Work and Pensions on Universal Credit,  David Cox, the Managing Director of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents giving his round-up of the state of the sector and Gary Wright introducing the innovative, new app for tenants ‘Check Before You Rent.’

In addition, we had Lord Best, a leading and respected expert across all aspects of housing and the unmissable Mary Latham of the National Landlords Association. The conference highlighted just how important it is for landlords to keep themselves informed, up to date and in touch with both other landlords and the council officers who deal with their issues.

If you attended the conference and have any comments or feedback you would like to share … its not too late. Drop an email to Liz Mooney at Elizabeth_mooney@sandwell.gov.uk

Letting Agents -Property Redress Scheme


From the 1st October all Letting Agents must be members of a Property Redress Scheme which gives landlords and tenants a cost free method of taking action against an Agent if they are dissatisfied with their services.

Landlords should be given proof of membership of one of the three Government approved schemes before offering or continuing to use your services in line with the Code of Conduct for all schemes.

What happens to an agent who hasn’t joined a scheme by October 1st 2014?

The local authority wherever they are based has the power to enforce and issue a mandatory £5000 fine. If an agent persists on not paying then the local authorities can continue to fine them before seeking an injunction to close the agent down.

Please note that this legislation applies to formal Letting Agents, informal Letting Agents, those who source properties or sub-let properties to tenants through services such as Rent to Rent schemes or similar.

As a member of MLAS you MUST comply with our Code of Conduct which can be downloaded here or by visiting the LANDLORD RESOURCES page.


  • 6.1.11 I will comply with the laws relating to residential property letting including deposit protection legislation, licensing requirements under Housing Acts, Planning and necessary certifications relating to health and safety issues.
  • 6.1.8 I will acknowledge promptly all written communications received from the tenant or MLAS; and will appropriately to telephone or other verbal messages. I will be respectful to the tenant/complainant or members of MLAS in all these communications.

Please note that this legislation applies to formal Letting Agents, informal Letting Agents, those who source properties or sub-let properties to tenants through services such as Rent to Rent schemes or similar.

If you are offering any of the above services, in order to continue to be a member of MLAS you need to provide us with details of your membership of a Redress Scheme no later than close of business on TUESDAY 2ND DECEMBER 2014.

Any Letting Agent that fails to provide this evidence by the date above will be suspended from MLAS from 3rd December 2014 and may not claim membership as part of their marketing information or as access to any scheme, discount or organisation for which membership of MLAS is required.

A copy of this email is being sent to all MLAS partners to ensure that they check the MLAS website to ensure that an Agent has not been suspended from membership before offering them access to their services/discounts/scheme.

If you are a landlord member of MLAS you must now ensure that you do not engage the services of a Letting Agent who is not a member of a Redress Scheme because you will be exposing yourself and your tenants to potential problems for which no free redress will be available. If MLAS receives a valid complaint that a member has done this it will result in suspension of your membership and possible complete loss.

Please send your updated information through to:

Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme (MLAS)
Highfield House Business Centre,
1562-1564 Stratford Road,
Birmingham B28 9HA
Tel:            0121 288 2008
Email:       talk@mlas.org.uk

West Midlands Police – Security Advice


Home Security Advice – Self-Locking Doors

West Midlands Police have issued security advice concerning door locks on PVC or double glazed front doors. Certain types of doors are ‘self-locking door meaning the handle on the outside will not open the door even if it has not been deadlocked using a key or turn of a lock. However, if the door is not deadlocked after it’s been closed it is vulnerable to being ‘popped’ open using a tool or specially designed article.

Dead locking the door by lifting the handle up and turning the key or lock means the locking system fully engages and secures the door from top to bottom and not just at the door handle.

Download the attached information for security advice on Self Locking Doors.

Immigration Act 2014


Security Minister James Brokenshire today announced the new measures in the Immigration Act would be launched in Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton as part of a phased introduction across the country.

The new law will mean private landlords will have to check the right of prospective tenants to be in the country if they want to avoid potentially being fined up to £3,000.

Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “We are building an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system or flout the law.

The right to rent checks are quick and simple, but will make it more difficult for immigration offenders to stay in the country when they have no right to be here.

They will also act as a new line of attack against unscrupulous landlords who exploit people by renting out substandard, overcrowded and unsafe accommodation. 

Landlords in the West Midlands will have all the advice and support they need in advance of the checks going live on 1 December.”

Landlords will need to see evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, for example a passport or biometric residence permit. Many responsible landlords already do this as a matter of routine, and most legal renters will have the correct documentation ready to hand. In most cases landlords will be able carry out these simple checks without need to contact the Home Office.

Copies of the documentation will need to be taken as evidence the checks have been carried out and retained for one year after the tenancy ends. Children under 18 will not need to be checked. More information about how to carry out a right to rent check is available online at www.Gov.uk including eligibility for a free online Home Office checking service to confirm whether someone has a right to rent. A helpline (0300 069 9799) is also available.

Following an evaluation of the implementation in the West Midlands next spring, the Home Office expects to continue with the phased introduction of checks across the UK next year.

The Immigration Act 2014, which became law earlier this year, is a landmark piece of legislation which builds on the government’s ongoing reforms to make sure the immigration system works in the national interest. The Act is focused on stopping illegal migrants using public services to which they are not entitled, reducing the pull factors which encourage people to come to the UK for the wrong reasons, and making it easier for the Home Office to remove people who should not be here.

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