Category: Money

Government announces changes to support tenants

The government has announced emergency legislation that will help support tenants over the winter months.

Eviction notice periods have been increased to six months. This means that tenants who are served notice will be able to stay in their homes until the end of March 2021. This will allow them extra time to find alternative support or accommodation.

Some exceptions remain, including where a tenant has demonstrated anti-social behaviour or committed fraud, and the landlord would like to rent the property to an alternative tenant.

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Citizens Advice: help for renters worried about eviction

The ban on evictions comes to an end this weekend, and Citizens Advice suggests its new figures show concern is building amongst renters about the possibility of losing their home.

Amy Hughes, housing expert at Citizens Advice, shares the top five ‘need-to-knows’ for renters* in England worried about staying in their home.

1. Find out where you are in the process
2. If you haven’t received notice yet but are worried about eviction
3. If you’ve received a notice
4. If your notice is expiring and you’re due to go to court
5. If you’ve had a possession order and are facing eviction

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TUI UK to complete refunds by the end of the September

The Competition and Markets Authority has been investigating TUI UK after receiving thousands of complaints from people that they were not receiving refunds for their cancelled holidays within 14 days. Consumer protection law requires refunds within 14 days.

TUI UK has engaged constructively with the CMA throughout the investigation and while the vast majority of people have already received their refunds or rebooked during the CMA’s investigation, any outstanding refund requests for people who had their package holiday cancelled as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) will be paid by 30 September 2020.

Some customers may have accepted Refund Credit Notes. It is important they know they are entitled to a cash refund as an alternative.

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Watchdog opens probe into leasehold practices

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said today (4 September 2020) that it is opening enforcement action involving four leading housing developers it believes may have broken consumer protection law in relation to leasehold homes.

The CMA said that it had uncovered evidence of potentially unfair terms concerning ground rents in leasehold contracts and potential mis-selling.

It is concerned that leasehold homeowners may have been unfairly treated and that buyers may have been misled by developers.

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Eat Out to Help Out – look for the logo

More than 53,000 outlets across the UK have so far signed up to the UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme – and a new official government online finder is available to help diners locate them.

The logo means diners who eat-in will benefit from a 50% discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on food and non-alcoholic drinks, any Monday to Wednesday in August 2020 – and no voucher is required. Diners can take advantage of the offer as many times as they like during the month.

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Consumer centre could close if EU Exit agreement not made

The UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) could face closure and thousands of UK consumers could be left unprotected if an agreement between the UK Government and the EU is not made before December 31.

The centre, founded in 2007, is part of a network throughout EU member states plus Iceland and Norway. It offers UK consumers support with queries about companies and products purchased in those states.

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Don’t get Petfished: Warnings against opportunist lockdown pet sellers 

Vets, charities and animal-loving celebrities have joined forces with a government campaign to warn prospective pet owners against unknowingly buying puppies, kittens, cats and dogs from unscrupulous sellers amid a rise in demand for pets since lockdown.

An open letter, signed by celebrities including Kirsty Gallacher, Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden and David Gandy, and supported by charities including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the Blue Cross, Cats Protection , Dogs Trust and the RSPCA, is calling on the public to research sellers thoroughly online before buying.

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) said that vets are dealing with ongoing cases where owners have been sold sick puppies and kittens by unscrupulous dealers as a result of new owners not researching sellers before buying their new pet.

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New Lasting Power of Attorney online service

The Office of Public Guardian (OPG), has unveiled a new digital ‘Use a lasting power of attorney’ tool. It said that the tool will help those acting as an attorney to contact organisations like banks and healthcare providers more easily.

Adding that this will improve the speed with which they can make important decisions, such as those related to their loved ones’ care or property.

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Thameslink staff embrace the outdoors in support of Autism Bedfordshire

Staff from across the Thameslink network joined forces to run, walk, jog and cycle throughout the month of June to raise money for Autism Bedfordshire.

Hailed ‘Challenge 50,’ each fundraiser had to complete 50 kilometres of their chosen form of exercise. With usual community events on hold due to the pandemic, Bernie Lee – station manager for Bedford, Flitwick and Harlington – thought it was more important than ever to raise awareness and vital funds for the charity and is thrilled that the team have beaten their £1,000 target

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Universal Credit: What you need to know as job-hunting rules restart

From today (1 July 2020) people claiming Universal Credit will begin to see a return of job-seeking requirements. These have been paused since 30 March due to COVID-19.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said work coaches will be calling all claimants to help them prepare for work, although what people will need to do will depend on their Claimant Commitment. This is a document people need to agree to as part of getting Universal Credit.

The types of job-seeking activities people will be asked to do will vary depending on factors. Such as their health, current circumstances and which “conditionality” group they have been placed in.

There are four groups, which set out the tasks they’re expected to complete to receive their full benefit payment.

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