Category Archives: Uncategorized

Brushsrokes event this Thursday cancelled.

The Landlord-Tenant speed dating event at Brushstrokes that we blogged about last week has been cancelled due to the weather.

It will be re-scheduled for the new year and we will post the new details when we have them.



Landlord & tenant speed-dating and condensation?

Speed dating

Unfortunately – I can’t think of a clever of interesting link between these two subjects, I just wanted to do quick posts on both. Here goes …

Our friends at Brushstrokes (the excellent local charity for migrants) are having another one of their landlord / tenant events. These are a chance for landlords and people who are looking for accommodation to meet – share viewpoints and get updates on various issues around housing. Although they weren’t originally designed to specifically introduce tenants to landlords so that people found new homes – that’s how they have turned out for some people. So we like to think of it as speed-dating. If you are a landlord and come along – you might find yourself your next tenant. Megan, who is the Brushstrokes coordinator for the event tells me she already has several prospective tenants who will be at the next one. So if you are a landlord – they would love to see you come along too.

Its 5.00 pm to 7.00pm – 14th December 2017.

Brushstrokes , St Philips Parish Centre, Watt Street, Smethwick, B66 3DA

You can contact Megan for further details on 07464 497 416 or 0121 565 2234.

Next … a perennial subject for landlords – damp and condensation. This is the number one cause of tenant complaints and if not dealt with can cause serious harm both to your tenant’s health and to the condition of your property. We know though, that very often, damp and condensation can be caused by the tenant and what they do in the home. As we start getting into winter proper – this might be a good time to talk to your tenant about damp and some of the other cold and weather related issues they might face. Even good well intentioned tenants might not understand the issues if (like me) they are not practically minded. There is a leaflet on our website here about condensation you can point your tenant to and there is also a good website from the Northern Ireland Housing Authority that we have linked to before here covering cold weather and private housing.


Universal Credit FREEPHONE numbers and another plea for accommodation

Universal Credit - Contact

The DWP have now confirmed that the phone lines for Universal Credit have been converted to FREEPHONE numbers (effective from Wednesday 29th November. Not obviously an issue for landlords – but if your tenant needs to sort out their UC claim or apply for any advance payment to help them pay their rent it’s useful to know.

So here they are …

Service Line                                              Current Number            New Freephone Number
UC Live Service                                           0345 600 0723                       0800 328 9344

UC Full Service                                            0345 600 4272                       0800 328 5644

UC Housing Line                                         0345 266 0041                       0800 328 3844

UC Sanctions Line                                      0345 600 3081                       0800 328 9744

UC Live to Full Service Transfers               0345 606 9970                       0800 328 7844

UC Text Phone                                             0345 600 0743                       0800 328 1344

And we need houses again. If you have an empty property and want a tenant – we might be able to help you fill it. We need accommodation to house …

1)- A father with a 12 year old son – 2) –A mother with 2 sons aged 14 and 15 years – 3) –A mother with 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls all under 8 years –

And we ware also looking for a one-bedroom flat near Oldbury Council House. If you have any thing suitable – please contact Mandy Amos on our Housing Choices team




The Budget and Universal Credit – important information for landlords.

HM Treasury

If you missed it – there was an important change on Universal Credit in last week’s budget. This was to deal with concerns about how people would cope financially while waiting for their initial Universal Credit claim to be paid. This is important for landlords who might be worried about how budgeting issues in this period would affect rent arrears.

The text below has been taken straight from ‘’ so it’s as official as you can get …

“Households in need who qualify for Universal Credit will be able to access a month’s worth of support within five days, via an interest-free advance, from January 2018. This can be repaid over 12 months. Claimants will be eligible for Universal Credit from the day they apply, rather than after seven days. Housing Benefit will continue to be paid for two weeks after a Universal Credit claim. Low-income households in areas where private rents have been rising fastest will receive an extra £280 on average in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.”

The full budget announcement is on here

There is also a supporting document here on the main budget page of which gives details about some other UC changes. It is well worth having a look at. One point it contains that I’m sure landlords will be interested in, is that the government intends “making it easier for claimants to continue having their housing costs paid directly to landlords once they are on Universal Credit”

If and when more detail becomes available on this – we will of course update you.