Month: May 2019

ELECTRICAL INSPECTIONS

In January, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced that mandatory five-year electrical installation checks on private rented housing in England will be introduced in a phased approach.

Whilst the implementation date has not yet been clarified, MHCLG has stated its intention to introduce legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows, with letting agents and landlords being given at least six months to familiarise with the new legislation before it comes into force.

A transitional period will apply for two years. In year one, all new private tenancies will be affected and in year two all existing tenancies will come within scope.

Properties that already have a valid electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not need to replace it until five years have passed since it was issued.

Agents must ensure that any inspectors hired to issue an EICR hold the correct qualifications and are competent to carry out the inspection. Tough financial penalties will apply where this isn’t complied with.

It became known how to safely buy medicines in online pharmacies. The instruction was issued by the authoritative edition of East Sussex. Specialists of this organization posted material about online pharmacies on their page. You can read this material at this link: https://your.eastsussex.gov.uk/2017/11/24/online-pharmacy/

SECTION 21 NOTICES

The government announced that they intend to put an end to ‘no-fault’ evictions.  This comes out of the response to the Government’s own 2018 consultation entitled ‘Overcoming the Barriers to Longer Tenancies in the Private Rented Sector’.   The consultation identified that there was no tenant consensus around ‘mandating a certain tenancy length’. It additionally noted that the response from landlords was for no change to the current position.  The alternative to giving the tenant the security of a longer term tenancy is to remove the ability of the landlord to end a tenancy without a genuine and evidenced reason. 

The Government will launch a consultation in the summer with regard to issues surrounding the repealing of section 21.  At this point most commentators will identify improved section 8 processes and a thorough review of Grounds available to landlords who, for instance wish to sell as an absolute must.

TENANTS FEE BAN

This came into force with effect from 1st June 2019 and effectively prohibits Landlords and Agents from making charges to tenants.   Further information about the Tenants Fee Ban can be found at:-

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791273/TFA_Guidance_for_LandlordsAgents.pdf

Prohibited Payments:

  • Application Fees
  • Tenancy set up costs
  • Referencing of tenants and referencing for future landlords
  • Contract negotiation
  • Inventory/Schedule of Condition

A breach of the fees ban will be a civil offence with a financial penalty of up to £5,000.

Permitted Payments:

  • Rent
  • A capped refundable Tenancy Deposit
  • A capped refundable Holding Deposit
  • Payments in the event of a default
  • Payments on variation of a tenancy
  • Payment on early surrender of a tenancy
  • Payments in respect of utilities, including council tax, telephone/television/internet services
  • Green Deal charges.

Tenancy Deposits: The deposit will now be capped at the equivalent of 5 weeks rent where the annual rent is less than £50k and 6 weeks rent where the annual rent is greater than £50k.Agents will not need to refund the existing deposits held that are over five or six weeks rent and can hold this for the duration of the existing tenancy.

Under the Tenants Fee Act, landlords and agents will no longer be able to take higher security deposits for tenants with pets or insist that carpets are professionally cleaned at the end of a tenancy.  The Tenants Fees Act does not prevent landlords fluconazole otc and agents claiming damages for breach of the tenancy agreement, so damage done by the pets can still be claimed for.  If the deposit isn’t enough to cover the damage, landlords will have to consider legal proceedings.

A property can be advertised at two different rents, one for tenants with a pet and a lower one for tenants without a pet.

There are some organisations offering ‘Deposit Free Renting Schemes’, this is something that we may investigate at a later date but at the moment these schemes are very new and have not been established for long enough to know if they are working well.

Holding Deposits: The holding deposit is the payment made by a tenant to a Landlord or Agent to reserve the property. This has now been capped at the equivalent of 1 weeks rent.  From taking the Holding Deposit, the tenancy agreement must be entered into before the Deadline for Agreement. The Landlord or Agent who received the Holding Deposit can keep it if:-

  • The tenant fails a Right to Rent check
  • The tenant provides false or misleading information to the Landlord or Agent, which the Landlord is reasonably entitled to consider in deciding whether to grant the tenancy because this materially affects their suitability to rent the property.
  • The tenant notifies the landlord or agent before the deadline for agreement that they have decided not to enter into a tenancy agreement.
  • The tenant fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement.

Review 3

Thank you so much for the excellent copy of the Minutes recently received. They are so clear and comprehensive and efficient and I find it hard to express how fortunate we are to have you with us. I really appreciate how hard you work on our behalf and the wonderful feeling I have of everything being under control. I think you are amazing!

Review 2

Dear Dream Team, I would like to thank you so much for all the great efforts you do to make us happy. Your work is indeed much appreciated.

Review 1

We wanted to write a ‘proper’ thank you to say how much we have appreciated all that you have done for us during the nearly two and three quarters years you have managed the rental of our property.

Your thorough, reliable and professional services have meant that we have had every confidence that our property was in ‘safe hands’ which has been particularly important to us when we were potentially ‘unreachable’ in a remote part of Asia for considerable periods of time!

From the start, we were impressed by your friendly and knowledgeable approach and for all the helpful and practical advice you gave us, as ‘rookie’ landlords! In particular, of course, we are thrilled that you have found us such lovely tenants in record time (1) and that the tenancy has been trouble-free throughout, culminating in a perfect outcome….!

…and the toast is ‘Team GSL, Mere: you are all stars’!!