Central Housing Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Central Housing Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Central Housing Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.centralhousinggroup.com

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | RESIDE MANCHESTER
reduction in these figures as home
movers will be excluded going forward.
With further fears over Brexit,
interest rate rises and the UK
economy as a whole, we are seeing
private rental stock being supplied
mainly by institutional investors and
pension funds. They market these
developments with an ever-growing
range of resident attractions and
amenities, not matched by the
individual landlord, and push rents
higher to attract tenants who want
this lifestyle. With these apartments
attracting a premium rent, however,
the ability to save a deposit to
eventually get on the housing
ladderdiminishes.
More than policy
There seems to be little thought or
consultation before these policies are
introduced. Anyone who has been in
this industry for a number of years can
see that policies such as the Tenant
Fees Act are initiated for the right
reason, but they are also perhaps used
to attract votes, and in reality often
have the very opposite effect than they
were intended to.
Policy alone cannot solve the housing
crisis; in fact, it often makes matters
worse. Instead we need radical
thinking and solutions, to include
affordable housing, Help to Buy and
investment in modular housing as well
as more green belt housing provision.
This ought to be coupled with sensible,
prudent banking and lending policies
and a change in national planning
policy so we may stand a small chance
of getting near to the government’s
own target of building 300,000 homes
per year, rather than the 165,000 in
2017 and similar in 2018 according
toONS.
Reside Manchester remains at the
forefront of the residential market
within Manchester city centre. We
will keep trying to offer sensible,
prudent and educated advice to all
our clients, in a residential climate that
continues to see much-needed stricter
compliance and regulation, as well as
keep operating within an uncertain
economic and political environment.
Reside
Manchester
remains at the
forefront of
the residential
market within
Manchester
city centre
Murrays’ Mills, Ancoats,
by Manchester Life
Development Company
21CENTRAL HOUSING GROUP |
HOUSING
Managing Directors David Feld
(right) and Romesh Muthiah (left)
Central Housing Group offices
in Barnet, Hertfordshire
As a well-established letting and management agency,
Central Housing Group procures properties from private
sector landlords and offers them guaranteed rental
income. Managing Directors David Feld and Romesh Muthiah
explain that Central Housing Group’s team then sublets
landlords’ properties to selected local authorities, with whom
the company has a contract. The local authorities in question
are then able to secure these properties to support those most
in need in their local area. David and Romesh explain why and
how this process works in greater detail.
Our local authority clients provide us with a secure monthly income which enables
us to guarantee our monthly rental payments to our landlords, even when their
properties are unoccupied.
We work closely with each local authority, adapting our provision and service to
their varying specifications. Prior to establishing the business, we both worked for
several years for Barnet Council, administering the procurement and management of
temporary accommodation. Our shared local authority housing experience enables
us to understand the specific requirements and standards of these local authorities
and this, in turn, means we have a greater intrinsic knowledge of the business and
a strong commitment to improving overall accommodation standards because we
have experienced both sides of the agency-local authority arrangement.
Although times have changed, the core principles of this interaction have stayed the
same. This all contributes to the expertise of the business and means that we are
better placed than the majority of agents to provide the most appropriate services for
FACTS ABOUT
CENTRAL HOUSING GROUP
»Managing Directors: David
Feld and Romesh Muthiah
»Established in 2000
»Based in Barnet
»Services: Residential property
letting and management
»No. of employees: 10
»CHG provides “guaranteed
rent” to landlords for more
than 400 properties in London
»CHG is an approved supplier
to various London councils
»Winners of UKLAP’s Best
Green Agent award in 2014
and 2019
»Trustpilot score of 4.9 out of 5
Central Housing Group
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | CENTRAL HOUSING GROUP
local authorities. We fully understand
our local authority clients’ concerns and
we are not simply driven by financial
motives but also by a genuine desire to
assist their tenants and help to manage
many of the housing issues they face.
Understanding leads to quality
This understanding was central to
our original decision to establish our
business. We fully understood and
shared the key housing objectives of
local authorities and we knew we could
procure higher quality properties than
our competitors but remain more price
competitive and we also knew that
as a consequence of the relationships
we had developed during our time
working for Barnet Council we could
be entrusted to deliver these services
to a superior standard. Drawing on our
collective experience, we recognised that
the letting process could be improved
and we wanted to lead the charge.
Our original confidence has been
validated by our company performance.
In 2014 and in 2019 we won awards
from the UK Landlord Accreditation
Partnership as Best Green Agent,
both awards that recognise our
work to improve the standard of our
property stock and our commitment
to engagement in a variety of green
initiatives. Our work has included the
extensive installation of loft insulation,
environmentally higher graded gas
central heating systems and the latest,
more energy efficient Dimplex electric
night storage heaters, all free of
charge to landlords, thereby improving
the overall energy standard of their
properties and also reducing energy bills,
to the financial benefit of our tenants.
These measures demonstrate our
commitment to both the landlords we
work with and to our tenants. Many
agents are not willing to go this extra
mile but we understand the wider
benefits and have therefore always
been committed to improving the
energy status of the properties we
manage. As the government continually
improves the required EPC standard,
we thought we would be proactive and
aim to ensure our properties meet and
even exceed environmental and safety
regulation well into the future.
We have instigated a regimented culture
of inspection for the properties that we
manage and every property is inspected
The Central Housing
Group team
The regulatory
environment
can be likened
to snakes and
ladders
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | CENTRAL HOUSING GROUP
local authorities. We fully understand
our local authority clients’ concerns and
we are not simply driven by financial
motives but also by a genuine desire to
assist their tenants and help to manage
many of the housing issues they face.
Understanding leads to quality
This understanding was central to
our original decision to establish our
business. We fully understood and
shared the key housing objectives of
local authorities and we knew we could
procure higher quality properties than
our competitors but remain more price
competitive and we also knew that
as a consequence of the relationships
we had developed during our time
working for Barnet Council we could
be entrusted to deliver these services
to a superior standard. Drawing on our
collective experience, we recognised that
the letting process could be improved
and we wanted to lead the charge.
Our original confidence has been
validated by our company performance.
In 2014 and in 2019 we won awards
from the UK Landlord Accreditation
Partnership as Best Green Agent,
both awards that recognise our
work to improve the standard of our
property stock and our commitment
to engagement in a variety of green
initiatives. Our work has included the
extensive installation of loft insulation,
environmentally higher graded gas
central heating systems and the latest,
more energy efficient Dimplex electric
night storage heaters, all free of
charge to landlords, thereby improving
the overall energy standard of their
properties and also reducing energy bills,
to the financial benefit of our tenants.
These measures demonstrate our
commitment to both the landlords we
work with and to our tenants. Many
agents are not willing to go this extra
mile but we understand the wider
benefits and have therefore always
been committed to improving the
energy status of the properties we
manage. As the government continually
improves the required EPC standard,
we thought we would be proactive and
aim to ensure our properties meet and
even exceed environmental and safety
regulation well into the future.
We have instigated a regimented culture
of inspection for the properties that we
manage and every property is inspected
The Central Housing
Group team
The regulatory
environment
can be likened
to snakes and
ladders
23CENTRAL HOUSING GROUP |
HOUSING
every two months at the very least. This
forms part of our contract with local
authorities but it also helps us to prevent
any maintenance problems before they
arise, identifying issues at an early stage.
Much like with our desire to improve
the energy ratings of our properties, we
focus on being proactive rather than
reactive, getting to the root of the issue
rather than waiting for it to develop
into something more serious. This focus,
and our commitment to carrying out
all improvements thoroughly, are key
aspects of our best practice.
Adapting to an ever-changing
regulatory environment
Over the last 20 years there has been
a constant flow of new legislation that
has been introduced by successive
governments. There are now in excess
of 175 different pieces of legislation
that affect property letting and we
have to continually adapt to ensure we
remain compliant. For a typical landlord,
with a few properties at most, it has
becoming increasingly complicated to
comply with this ever-changing and
demanding regulatory landscape. There
are many problematic requirements that
have been introduced. For instance, if a
landlord applies to court for possession
of their property, there are several new
details that must be satisfied and if
any are overlooked, the proceedings
can be dismissed by the court. The
regulatory environment can be likened
to snakes and ladders, so if you’re not
careful, you can easily fall into trouble.
These issues are exacerbated for
smaller landlords. When you own one
or two properties, keeping pace with
this changing legislative environment
can be particularly difficult: legislation
designed for larger concerns can often
choke their smaller counterparts.
We have worked hard to support
our clients through this. Fortunately,
because of the high standard at which
we work, we are able to routinely deal
with a lot of these issues. Furthermore,
some local authorities offer exemptions
on their landlord licensing schemes, in
their respective boroughs, for properties
that are let by specialist agents like us,
because we believe they recognise that
these properties already meet or even
exceed their required standards for use
as temporary accommodation.
As we look ahead, we remain firmly
committed to maintaining the high
standard of our properties and the
way in which we manage them. Every
property we procure must be of a
certain standard in order to maintain
this quality. Beyond this, each landlord
needs to understand the way we work.
This understanding helps to foster
long term relationships and this model
has proven to be a success: many of
our landlords have been with us since
our inception. Although our primary
focus is consolidating the progress we
have made, we also remain aware of
any growth opportunities that arise,
specifically seeking new properties
to replace lost housing stock when
landlords leave the sector.
We remain
firmly
committed to
maintaining
the high
standard of
our properties
and the way in
which we
manage them
Winners, Best Green
Agent, UKLAP awards
2019
»ACCREDITATIONS
»Members of Safeagent
»Members of the Property Redress Scheme
»London Landlord Accreditation Scheme Approved
»Members of the UK Association of Letting Agents
»ISO 9001:2015 certified – management standard
»ISO 14001:2015 certified – environmental standard

www.centralhousinggroup.com

This article was sponsored by Central Housing Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development