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News Archive : Jan - Jun 2007



DASH's 9th Conference

Achieving Housing, Health and Community Objectives Through the Private Rented Sector

In excess of 40 delegates, including elected members, attended the 9th DASH conference which was held at the Marriott Breadsall Priory Hotel, Derby on 28th & 29th June 2007. Speakers from diverse backgrounds entertained the audience with new ideas and perspectives on many issues involving the Private Rented Sector.

Tom Toumazou, DASH Project Manager, opened the conference in the evening of the 28th, with an overview of DASH, designed to bring delegates from outside the East Midlands region up to date with DASH successes and progress. See Tom's presentation.

Jim Grundy's presentation 'Housing Strategies in a Regional Context', gave examples of how the East Midlands is working towards a new approach in housing strategy. See Jim's presentation.

Janet Dean from the IDeA Strategic Housing Programme explained the principle of 'Place Shaping' and its aims, and the partnerships that the Strategic Housing Programme is forming to deliver these objectives. See Janet's presentation.

For the final presentation of the evening, Stefan Atkinson from Park Simms Associates gave an entertaining presentation on the importance of plain English. See Stefan's presentation.

One of the aims of the conference was to increase the amount of member involvement in issues within the Private Rented Sector. With this in mind, Councillor Richard Williams from the London Borough of Merton opened the main conference on the morning of the 29th, by explaining why members should be more involved and the benefits this involvement could bring. See Councillor Williams' presentation.

Sarah Davis from the Chartered Institute of Housing gave a presentation entitled 'Visionary Leadership in Housing' putting 'Place Shaping' in a national context and explaining the strategic housing function and why the Private Rented Sector should be a national priority. See Sarah's presentation.

Adrian Brown, Lead Housing Inspector from the Audit Commission, explained why the Private Rented Sector is important for Local Authorities to achieve their Key Lines of Enquiry, and analysed Local Authority respone to date. See Adrian's presentation.

Maggie Fennell from Derby City Council spoke about her work within the Respect Agenda. As one of 40 Respect Action areas throughout England and Wales, Derby can show other Local Authorities the way forward in this area. Maggie explained the Respect Action Plan and its context and objectives to the delegates, highlighting what can and has been done differently to achieve results. See Maggie's presentation.

Theresa MacDermott explained the Private Renting Project Plan that has been launched by Shelter, the aim of which is to promote excellence in tackling homelessness and in the provision of housing, and related support services. See Theresa's presentation.

Tom Toumazou then highlighted the relationship between housing and health, using Maslow's hierarchy of needs which places housing as central to achieving health and well-being. Tom also gave evidence showing health improvement following housing interventions, and suggested potential ways forward. See Tom's presentation.

Finally, Ruth Hammond-Laing, from LACoRS, ended the day by highlighting the LACoRS Member Champions Scheme to the delegates. See Ruth's presentation.

This conference proved to be the most successful event that DASH has organised to date, with an average satisfaction rating of 4.7 out of 5. The DASH team would like to personally thank the speakers, delegates and venue staff who made this event such a success.

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The 2nd DASH East Midlands

Landlords' Summit 2007

Housing Exhibition & Conference

Landlord Summit flier

Tuesday 2nd October 2007, Free Entry, 12noon 'til 7pm

Derby Pride Park Stadium

DASH are pleased to announce the 2nd Regional Landlords Summit. This is a FREE event that provides valuable information to the regions Private Residential Landlords and encourages cooperative working with Local Authorities to improve housing standards.

The Summit will feature seminars and experts who will be on hand to offer advice to anyone from first-time landlords to those managing property portfolios. Organised by DASH, the East Midlands Landlord Summit 2007 is open to all landlords and associated professionals, and promises to be an essential event for all landlord needs.

DASH's manager Tom Toumazou said: "A lot has changed for Landlords and Local Authorities recently and more changes are coming. Whether a first time Landlord or managing an existing portfolio, Landlords throughout the region will benefit from advice about new and existing legislation which will help them become better landlords.

The Summit will host over 70 exhibitors ranging from suppliers to professional advisors, public services and grant schemes. Additionally, the event will host a series of free seminars dealing with a variety of good practice and legislative issues. See the proposed timetable below.

. . .
Seminars
Toyota Suite
Time
Assa Suite
Room 1
Room 2
Room 3
Exhibition
12:00
Welcome
.
.
.
1:00
.
A
B
D - fully booked
2:00
.
F - fully booked
B
E
3:00
Question Time
.
G- fully booked
.
4:00
Buffet (session 1)
.
G
.
5:00
Buffet (session 2)
A
C
D
6:00
.
F
C
E
7:00
Close
.
.
.

Seminars:
A - Housing Benefit Reform
B - Rent Reform
C - Landlord Associations
D - Defaulting Tenants: a solution
E - Deposit Protection Service
F - Tenancy Deposit Protection
G - Investment Advice

Due to the large volume of attendees, the buffet will be divided into two sessions. Delegates will receive a voucher enabling them access to one of the buffet sessions.

Chairman of the National Landlord Association, David Salusbury said, "I believe the occasion will provide a unique opportunity for Landlords and Local Authorities to meet together to discuss a wide range of matters of mutual concern. It will also provide an excellent opportunity for associations like the NLA to promote the work we do on behalf of landlords and the private rented sector."

To ensure fast track entry, free buffet and pre-booking of seminars, book your place using our On-line Booking Form or phone 01332 715780.

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Accreditation Best Practice Guides

May 2007

DASH have commissioned the research and production of two best practice guides relating to accreditation. Accent Regeneration carried out extensive research of over 140 accreditation schemes throughout the country in order to establish best practices. ‘How to develop a Landlord Accreditation Scheme’ and ‘How to Develop a Tenant Accreditation Scheme’ are availabale for free download from our downloads page.

An extract from the guidance reads:

"Landlord Accreditations Schemes have developed over the last ten years as a means of recognising good landlords and encouraging the raising of standards in the Private Rented Sector. They are voluntary schemes which have higher standards than required by law and could recognise a higher standard of management or physical standards, such as the increased provision of amenities or a higher standard of health and safety. These schemes are a means by which scheme operators can work with landlords in their area to ensure the housing needs of an area are met and can contribute significantly to the health, safety and welfare of residents and neighbourhoods. They are flexible and adaptable and can also help in dealing with specific problems including area regeneration and antisocial behaviour. These Best Practice Guides are detailed accounts of how to develop accreditation schemes."

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Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme is Launched

April 2007

The tenancy deposit protection schemes were launched on 6 April 2007 when the legislation came into force.
This is a process that will ensure the safeguarding of deposits in the event of a dispute, and requires the landlord to protect the deposit using one of the following schemes:

For further information see our guide on the downloads page

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Migrant Worker Conference
EMMTEC Theatre, Lincoln University March 29th 2007

In excess of 100 delegates attended the first national migrant worker conference on 29th March 2007. Delegates from across the country and from a wide range of backgrounds enjoyed presentations given by representatives from the TUC, Gangmasters Licensing Authority, the Commission for Racial Equality, Boston Borough Council, Citizens Advice Bureau, Government Office of the East Midlands and the Lincoln Community Development Project. Alona Tirzite gave testimony of her own experiences as a migrant worker, and David De Verny, migrant worker chaplain in Boston, told the conference how things actually are for migrant workers at 'ground level'.

The aim of the day was to gather information on migrant worker housing and welfare issues from as many sources and perspectives as possible. This aim was achieved, with delegates making new contacts and learning how separate agencies may be able to work together to combat this issue. Delegates were invited to give suggestions on the direction they would like future conferences to take. The suggestions centre around working together and offering practical advice and case studies. DASH will analyse the feedback fully and consult with delegates on the best way forward from this very successful first event.

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The DASH 6th Local Authority Conference ~ Licensing & Accreditation

The 6th DASH local authority conference took place on 30th January 2007 at the Quality Hotel in Northampton.

View agenda from the day [85kb]

Over 40 delegates from East Midlands Private Sector Housing attended the event which began with an update on current projects from the DASH team. Tom Toumazou. Project Manager, discussed transitional licensing and the introduction of tenancy deposit schemes. Anne Honey, Project Administrator, spoke about DASH publicity and planned website improvements. Tony Briggs, Project Officer, updated the delegates on the migrant worker conference and Fire Safety Project. Finally, Bex Brown, Project Officer, launched the new HMO Licence database, HiLDa.

View the DASH update presentation [926kb].

Shaw's and sons provide standardised forms to participating East Midlands authorities, through an agreement with DASH. The forms are designed to aid standardisation of regional practices, one of the key aims of the DASH project. The presentation by James Primorolo and Nigel Twiddy showed delegates how Shaw's forms could assist them and also demonstrated improvements that are in development. The presenters revealed that forms designed by DASH are now being used by local authorities throughout the country through the Shaw's service.

View the Shaw's and Sons presentation [333kb].

Following lunch, Sue Gardiner from Amber Valley District Council gave a presentation on Empty Dwelling Management Orders. Sue described the voluntary lease scheme that operates in Amber Valley.

Tom Toumazou updated delegates on the new Landlord accreditation scheme that will shortly be launched in the East Midlands. Landlords rather than properties are accredited, so landlords must prove they are 'fit and proper', have competent hazard awareness and property management skills and have at least applied for any licenses that they should hold by law. This accreditation scheme differs from many such schemes as it has a strong quota of landlords on the steering group.

View Tom's presentation on the new Landlord accreditation scheme [175kb].

The final presentation of the day was given by Gill Murray from Accent Regeneration. Gill described the tenant accreditation scheme that she operates in Burnley. The scheme uses references and police checks to award accreditation, but does not simply leave bad tenants to rent bad houses. Gill's project currently handles over 30 applications for accreditation per week. Local Police and community leaders have praised the project as anti social behaviour has fallen since the scheme was introduced.

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