#ExpertView: The TDS Charitable Foundation Review 2017-18

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In this week’s #ExpertView article, Kelly Wallace, TDS’ Charitable Foundation Coordinator, discusses the TDS Charitable Foundation Review 2017-18.

Set up in 2014 to raise standards in the private rented sector (PRS), the TDS Charitable Foundation has published its annual review which shows that 13 different organisations across England and Wales have benefited from grants totalling £135,935 in the last year.

The Foundation is funded mainly by donations from The Dispute Service (TDS), the leading Tenancy Deposit Scheme which operates on a not-for-profit basis across the UK.

Grants have been made which encourage best practice in the PRS, educate landlords on their obligations, and ensure tenants are informed about their rights and responsibilities.

Projects to have benefited in the last year include Community Links Bromley which received £8,870 for an online toolkit for new tenants entering into the private rented sector and the Centre for Sustainable Energy which received £14,050 to support landlords in the South West to better understand their obligations around new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES).

Sutton Borough Citizens Advice Bureau received £22,181 to create a training package to give trainee volunteers the necessary skills to be able to give accurate, relevant and up to date information, and the Refugee Council was given a grant of £10,000 to help provide advice sessions for newly recognised refugees in searching, securing and maintaining tenancies.

Prof. Martin Partington CBE QC, Chairman of the TDS Charitable Foundation, said: “The diverse and far-reaching projects which the Foundation has given grants to this year show the importance of the private rented sector in so many people’s lives.

“By contributing to the work being done by so many worthwhile organisations we hope that these projects will have a real impact and help more people understand not only how the PRS works but what their roles and responsibilities are.”

To read the Annual Review report in full, please visit: Annual Review 2017

About the author:

Kelly Wallace has been responsible for the co-ordination of the TDS Charitable Foundation since its inception in 2014. Alongside her role with the Foundation, Kelly has more generally been part of The Tenancy Deposit Scheme for four years, initially within the Dispute Resolution team, progressing to a central role within the customer relations department and now the Senior Business Development Executive. Kelly’s focus within TDS is membership, business development and growth; this encompasses all aspects of new business across both the Insured and Custodial schemes.

About TDS:

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Technical Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits

TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.

TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.

TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.

TDS Northern Ireland: TDS is Northern Ireland’s leading and only not-for-profit tenancy deposit protection scheme.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.

These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.

ARLA|Propertymark: For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: join@propertymark.com. By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.

RLA: If you are a landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: info@rla.org.uk and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year’s membership.

 

 

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Final call for TDS Charitable Foundation funding applications in latest round

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Final call for TDS Charitable Foundation funding applications

  • Organisations encouraged to submit bids for the next round of funding before Friday 5th January
  • Foundation aims to top the half million-pound mark in its next round of funding

Organisations that support landlords and tenants to improve standards and educate those involved in the private rented sector have just over two weeks to submit applications for funding from the TDS Charitable Foundation.

 

During the last round of funding in August, over £94,000 was awarded to organisations to advance education on housing rights and obligations in the PRS. Groups undertaking projects in this field are being urged to submit their bids for the next funding round before the deadline on Friday 5th January 2018.

 

Prof. Martin Partington CBE QC, Chairman of The TDS Charitable Foundation, said: “The TDS Charitable Foundation goes right to the heart of the private rented market, with grants aimed directly at benefitting tenants and landlords in communities across England and Wales.

 

“I’d encourage any organisation or charity that educates and informs tenants, landlords or agents within the PRS to apply ahead of the January deadline. The application form can be downloaded from the website and submitted directly to the Foundation. With awards announced in early 2018, it could be the perfect kick-start to your organisations New Year.

 

“The PRS is often difficult to navigate but the projects we support will make sure both landlords and tenants across the country know their rights and responsibilities.”

 

To date, the TDS Charitable Foundation has provided over £400k in funding support for organisations across England and Wales and hopes to top the half million-pound mark in its next round of funding.

 

The Foundation was established in 2014 by TDS, the UK’s leading tenancy deposit scheme. As the only not-for-profit scheme in its industry, TDS is committed to raising standards in the private rented sector in England and Wales.

 

Organisations that have successfully applied for funding in the past include Bristol-based Centre for Sustainable Energy, which was awarded £14,050 to fund a project that will inform landlords across the region of how the introduction of MEES will affect them as well as supporting them in improving their property’s efficiency rating, if necessary.

 

Organisations wishing to apply for support must submit their bids online by 5pm on Friday 5th January 2018.

Further information on the application process and criteria are available under the ‘apply for funding section’.

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New Round of Bid Funding Announced for 2017

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With a new year looming, the TDS Charitable Foundation have launched a new application ready for a new round of bid funding.

More than £175,000 in grants has been given out by the TDS Charitable Foundation since it was established in 2014 by TDS, the UK’s leading insurance-backed tenancy deposit scheme. As the only not-for-profit scheme in its industry, TDS is committed to raising standards in the private rented sector.

Do not miss out on your opportunity to apply; the deadline for submissions is Friday 3rd February!

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Don’t miss out on £70K funding from TDS Charitable Foundation

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TDS Charitable FoundationOrganisations that support landlords and tenants have just four weeks left to apply for a share of a £70,000 funding pot from the TDS Charitable Foundation.

The amount of money available to fund innovative projects that benefit the private rented sector has been increased for 2016, and people are urged to submit their bids before the deadline on Wednesday 10th August.

In particular, the foundation is looking to make funding available to commission a feasibility study into establishing a dedicated research centre for the sector in England and Wales.

More than £175,000 in grants has been given out by the TDS Charitable Foundation since it was established in 2014 by TDS, the UK’s leading insurance-backed tenancy deposit scheme. As the only not-for-profit scheme in its industry, TDS is committed to raising standards in the private rented sector.

Organisations that have successfully applied for funding in the past include Designs on Property Ltd, which was awarded £15,000 to fund a series of 12 independent reports on the private rented sector, the first of which looked into the typical buy-to-rent landlord and was published earlier this month.

Industry expert and report author Kate Faulkner said: “Without the funding from the TDS Charitable Foundation we would not have been able to carry out this independent research, which I believe is vital if we are to fully understand the industry in which we work and start challenging the misperceptions surrounding the private rented sector.

“I’d never applied for funding before but there was plenty of support available at every stage of the process and I would really encourage anyone who thinks they have a project that meets the objectives of the foundation to apply.”

Prof Martin Partington, chairman of TDS and the TDS Charitable Foundation, said: “Our not-for-profit status enables us to use part of our surplus income to raise standards in the industry we serve by reinvesting in education and training and promoting best practice, and as an organisation this is something we are passionate about.”

More information on how to submit a bid before the Wednesday 10th August deadline. The successful applicants will be announced in the autumn.

 

Small organisations representing landlords or tenants that wish to deliver training about renting a property can access a train2rent free training course pack that has been produced thanks to funding from the TDS Charitable Foundation.

Funding enquiries

or please email: info@tdsfoundation.org.uk

A copy of the full ‘Who are the individual landlords providing private rented accommodation’ by Kate Faulkner is available to download.

 

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TDS Charitable Foundation funds landlords research

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Landlords need more industry and government support to stay on top of ever-changing regulations

Property Expert Kate Faulkner’s research has found that landlords are such a diverse group of people that it’s almost impossible to reach them to communicate rules and regulations.

Contrary to the popular misconception that landlords are ‘greedy’ entrepreneurs who ‘just sit back and watch the money roll in’, research Kate carried out with the support of the TDS Charitable Foundation found that many landlords are over 55s letting out their own former home, and some are not even looking for financial gain; just buying property to rent to friends or family to help them out.

The research of 205 landlords across the UK was carried out for Kate’s latest report: ‘Who are the individual landlords providing private rented accommodation?’, which she has just completed with the support of the TDS Charitable Foundation.

The full report can be accessed here

Kate found that landlords are as individual and varied as the homes they rent out, with the survey being completed by teachers, doctors, web developers, librarians, army officers and retirees. Up to 40% of them are ‘accidental landlords’, letting out a property that was not bought for that purpose. Some have inherited property, or needed to move but couldn’t sell, so rented it out instead.

Confusion reigns
But while these landlords may try to do the right thing for their tenants, many are confused about the ever-changing rules and regulations. And, most worrying of all, some are completely uninformed; the results showed that one in five landlords does no research at all before letting out a property.

This has obvious implications for their tenants. Most landlords who completed our survey are getting the right checks on their property before letting, but it is disturbing that 8.6% of them did not obtain a gas safety certificate, and 30.5% failed to obtain an electrical safety certificate.

The main conclusion we drew from our research is something Kate has been saying for some time: everyone involved in the private rented sector urgently needs to work more closely together to educate landlords about creating safer rented housing for everyone.

With 145 lettings rules and regulations on letting, which are not only changing all the time but which vary from one local authority to another, it’s no wonder landlords are confused and struggle to keep up with the law. It is even more challenging if they are letting out property in another part of the country to where they live, for example if they’ve relocated for work, or because of a new relationship, and are renting out their former home.

How can we help landlords let property safely and legally?
It’s time for everyone in the PRS – lenders, legal companies, letting agents, tenant organisations and local authorities as well as the government – to collaborate to give landlords the tools and incentives they need to let property safely and legally.

If everybody worked together, they could promote trusted and consistent sources of information about preparing a property to let legally, about changes in the law, property maintenance and, of course, where to turn for independent, qualified advice.

However, because landlords are such a diverse group of people, and with many self-managing their properties, it makes it extremely difficult to communicate with them, unless they actively seek out information for themselves.

Even if they do their own research about rules and regulations, it can be still be confusing and Kate’s report suggests that even experienced landlords struggle.

What can we do to help?
With many landlords renting out their former home (so without talking to a lender) and most over-55s self-managing rather than using letting agent – and with nearly 40% not joining any landlord association – it’s clear that many landlords are ‘slipping through the net’.

The only people likely to come into contact with this group are local authorities and insurance companies – and they need to find better ways to communicate with them on a regular basis.

Landlords need a clear source of information they can turn to, a ‘one-stop shop’ that is recommended by everyone in the industry, from lenders to insurance companies. This would be the ideal place to communicate information in a clear, concise and consistent way – which our research revealed to be vital in encouraging landlords to implement legislative and regulation changes.

And Kate comments “How about the government introducing incentives for landlords to stay within the law, such as tax breaks or special deals which reward those that are renting legally and safely? The carrot is often more effective than the stick!”

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Double funding round announced

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The Trustees of the TDS Charitable Foundation have extended the deadline for the current round of funding and are now welcoming funding applications until 10 August 2016.

The Foundation works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in the private rented sector and because of this extended deadline, available funding for bids has been increased to £70,000. The Foundation is looking to support bids which promote knowledge of landlord’s obligations or tenant’s rights and responsibilities, but also to look at the feasibility of establishing a dedicated research centre for the private rented sector in England and Wales.

The last round of funding saw a total of over £50,000 of awards made to:

  • 4 the community – a project to extend and improve the information, education, and support available to Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) tenants in Rhyl. The project will be to recruit and train a team of volunteers to deliver the service;
  • Cardiff Tenants and Residents Federation – a tenant education programme that specifically informs tenants about the key differences about renting in Wales, as well as wider rights and responsibilities;
  • EFA London – the delivery of a six-week housing rights and English language course to 120 students in four London boroughs – deepening student’s understanding of housing rights in the UK and of enhancing language learners’ ability to solve tenancy problems;
  • Law for Life – to develop and deliver training and information resources which will benefit both small and medium sized tenants organisations.

Professor Martin Partington QC, CBE, Chair of the TDS Charitable Foundation said;

“These four projects are a wonderful example of how, since we established the charity in 2014, we have been able to provide funding for a whole range of innovative projects that benefit the private rented sector.”

He continued;

“The Foundation is interested in receiving further innovative proposals before 10 August and we are making double the funds available.  We are particularly keen to see expressions of interest in relation to setting up a dedicated PRS research centre and will consider funding a feasibility study as to whether such a centre could be established for England and Wales.”

The TDS Charitable Foundation is currently welcoming bids for the current round of funding which is open until 10 August 2016.

Download an application form and view the bidding criteria

If you are a small organisation, representing landlords or tenants, and wish to deliver training about renting a property, there is a free training course pack that may help you. This is a project previously funded by TDS Charitable Foundation, details online at www.train2rent.co.uk

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Groundbreaking training partnership launched

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A groundbreaking new partnership between the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the TDS Charitable Foundation will help charities and other organisations offer free training on how to rent properties.

Developed by the RLA and funded by the TDS Charitable Foundation, the train2rent scheme will see groups such as housing associations, trusts and residents’ groups given access to specially created training packs, including all the materials needed to deliver a course about renting a property.

There will be separate packs for landlords and tenants, which will include the course presentation and workbook, a timetable for the trainer and practical exercises.
The landlord resource will include details of legal responsibilities, Right to Rent checks, protecting deposits and starting and ending a tenancy.

The tenant resource covers topics including the legal rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, how to find a property and different types of tenancies.

Robert Maccabe, training and development manager for the RLA said:

“The Residential Landlords Association is delighted to be working in partnership with the TDS Charitable Foundation on this project.

This is a great opportunity for small organisations and groups to raise standards and created better working relationships as the private rented sector grows.”

Commenting on the launch, Chair of the TDS Charitable Foundation Martin Partington said;

“It has been a common theme in the bids we have received that small organisations have wanted funding to produce educational materials or host a workshop. The Trustees felt that our money was better spent commissioning a set of materials that these groups could use, free of charge, to deliver the same outcome.

We are very pleased that tenant and landlord groups throughout England will now be able to benefit from the training packs, and approach their tenancies better informed.”

The course applies to properties located in England and the licence to use the resources will last for 30 days.

http://www.train2rent.co.uk/

 

About The RLA
The RLA is the leading voice for landlords in England and Wales, representing over 20, 000 landlords. We have extensive experience of delivering training courses on many topics and across various schemes.

About the TDS Charitable Foundation

The TDS Charitable Foundation is a charitable incorporated organisation, which works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in general, and in particular about:

  • Best practice in the management of private rented housing
  • Legal rights and obligations of those involved in the provision or management of private rented housing
  • Using alternative dispute resolution for more efficient and effective resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants.

The TDS Charitable Foundation is funded mainly by donations from The Dispute Service – a leading tenancy deposit scheme administrator which operates on a non-profit basis across the UK.

Media contacts:
The Residential Landlords Association
Sally Walmsley
0161 495 9318

TDS Charitable Foundation
Helen Lawrence
helen.lawrence@tds.gb.com
01442 218031

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TDS Charitable Foundation looking to back research centre

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The Trustees of the TDS Charitable Foundation have announced that the Foundation is seeking expressions of interest from organisations looking to establish a dedicated research centre for the private rented sector in England and Wales. The Foundation works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in the private rented sector.

Making the announcement, Martin Partington, Chair of the Charitable Foundation said

“Since we established the charity in 2013, we’ve been overwhelmed with organisations seeking funding for a whole range of projects, but it has become quite apparent that there is a real gap in proper research in the PRS.”

He continued;

“The Trustees are concerned that there isn’t a dedicated centre for research and often when information is available, it appears in quite a fragmented way.”

The TDS Charitable Foundation would be interested in receiving proposals for funding a feasibility study as to whether such a centre could be established for England and Wales.

The Foundation is currently welcoming bids for the next round of funding which is open until the end of March 2016. Organisations can download an application form and view the bidding criteria online at www.tdsfoundation.org.uk

 

Funding Enquiries

info@tdsfoundation.org.uk

01442 218 031

 

Media Enquiries

Andreas Yiasoumi

andreas.yiasoumi@tds.gb.com

01442 218 031

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Promoting knowledge and bettering the private rented sector for Landlords and Tenants

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We have some funds to give away! Bids must meet the aims of the TDS charity which are set out on the site – apply for funding here.

Deadline for application is the 12th December.

Key points:

The Rise of the ‘accidental Landlord’

These landlords tend to be inexperienced and do not fully understand the obligations that they have.

Tenants’ rights and responsibilities

This program will help educate and raise awareness of tenant rights and responsibilities.

Training materials

We will be commissioning learning materials for the training events and invite organisations and individuals who wish to be considered, to contact the Foundation and provide a brief outline of their relevant experience.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Law for Life report – Legal information and training for tenants

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Commissioned by the TDS Charitable Foundation, Law for Life has produced a short report assessing the legal information and training resources available for tenants in the private rented sector.

Their initial findings indicate that:

  • Information and training resources are needed which address the needs of the most vulnerable and least legally capable amongst tenants in the private rented sector;
  • While there are many information resources available generally, they can be difficult to locate.

Law for Life has recommended:

  • Producing targeted plain English resources focused on the self-management of problems;
  • Consolidating the best information resources for private tenants in a specially designated website.

This need for resources occurs in a context in which only “ 40% of people claim to know their rights in relation to housing” and 47% of people would attribute legal issues in housing to ‘bad luck’ rather than recognising them as justiciable issues, while 73% of people with rented housing problems would not seek legal advice or support.

Commenting on the report, Tara Mulqueen of Law for Life said:

“We wanted to address some of the gaps in information and training available for private tenants and community organisations working in the private rented sector, but without reinventing the wheel or duplicating efforts. We think there is a need to make information and training resources easier to understand and more readily accessible. ”

The report can be review in full here.

About Law for Life:

Law for Life works to ensure that everyone has the knowledge, confidence and practical skills they need to secure access to justice. We do this through community-based education and training, research and policy, and through the Advicenow website which provides easy-to-use information on rights and the law for the public. We also support other organisations around the world to help their users make sense of the law through our research, consultancy, and training.

About the TDS Charitable Foundation

Works to advance education about housing rights and obligations in general, and in particular about:

  • Best practice in the management of private rented housing
  • Legal rights and obligations of those involved in the provision or management of private rented housing
  • Using alternative dispute resolution for more efficient and effective resolution of disputes between landlords and tenants.

We are funded mainly by donations from The Dispute Service – a leading tenancy deposit scheme which operates on a non-profit basis across the UK.

Media contacts:

Law for Life

Tara Mulqueen

tara.mulqueen@lawforlife.org.uk

02074017566

www.lawforlife.org.uk

 

TDS Charitable Foundation

Andreas Yiasoumi

Andreas.yiasoumi@tds.gb.com

01442 218031

www.tdsfoundation.org.uk

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