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Landlords! News you should read...

Landlord  Newsletter

UPDATING YOU WITH THE CONSTANTLY CHANGING REGULATIONS

Dear Landlord and Client

As many of you are aware there are increasing amounts of new regulation coming forward that makes being a landlord that little bit harder. For a private landlord keeping up to date with this regulation is difficult. We have the benefit of the RICS and NAEA who keep us up to date and it is still a struggle!

The following are some of the points you need to be made aware of;

New Section 21 Rules of Serving notice

Abolition of Section 21

Tenant Fee Ban

Data Protection of Tenants details

Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

MEES – Energy Performance Certificates

Legionnaires Testing

Electrical Testing Certificate

Mortgage Interest Payments

New Section 21 Rules of Serving Notice

These have been in action for a while now, but it is worth highlighting, as several landlords are being tripped up by this. There is one advantage in that after the 6-month term you can as a landlord give notice at any time, unlike the tenant who can only give notice on the anniversary date.

Notice cannot be served within the first four months of the original tenancy

Notice cannot be served if there is an enforcement notice in place.

Notice cannot be served if a deposit has not been protected.

A landlord must allow enough days for service.

You must make sure all the correct documents were served at the beginning of the term, EPC, gas safety and How to rent guide.

There has been recent case law where perfectly good, respectful landlords cannot evict their tenant as they simply forgot to provide one of these documents at the beginning of the term.

However, s21 is going to change;

Abolishment of the Section 21 ‘no blame’ notice - New Section 21 rules – this is a regular concern for landlords, please note this is not law yet and has not proceeded to consultation. However, it is highly likely this will happen. We suspect the section ‘no blame’ notice will be removed. Landlords will only be able to re-gain possession on certain grounds, similar to those of a section 8 notice, non-payment of rent, disturbance etc. But not on the basis that we don’t simply like them! This can be difficult as we all know some tenants can just be nasty but play the system. There are some rumours of 3 year leases, but these are just rumours and opinions at this stage.

This is some way off yet as Consultation has not yet started, so we will keep you posted.

Tenant Fee Ban

As of the 1st June, agents and landlords can no longer charge any up front fee to a tenant for any service, not even referencing. You cannot charge additional rent, or charge for any other hidden services.

This affects us significantly and as a result some costs will be borne by the landlords. To compensate for this, we are attempting where possible to increase the rents where we can. Reference costs etc will be borne by the landlords.

To be more environmentally friendly and to save costs we will in future send all our correspondence digitally. 

 

Data Protection of Tenants details

We will send you details of the tenants as its in your interest to receive such details. We will also keep a record on file for the duration of the tenancy. However, any detail that is not required must be destroyed. If you do keep data, please ensure it is kept in a safe place and destroyed when no longer required.

Smoke Detectors

These are required on all floors. Please ensure your properties have them.  Also note; smoke detectors have a “use by” date , these should be replaced. Please check. When replacing you may wish to consider hard wired detectors. This is not a legal requirement yet, but it is likely to be and is recommended.  We will check properties have smoke detectors installed when we have been instructed to do an inventory.

Carbon Monoxide detectors

A C02 detector is a legal requirement with an open fire or wood burner.  However, we do recommend that they are installed for any properties which are served by gas or oil.   These detectors also have a “use by” date and must also be checked regularly, that they are working. We test and check these with fully manged properties.

MEES – Energy Performance Certificates

‘The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (“MEES Regulations“) introduced the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES“), which aims to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of buildings via a restriction on granting new tenancies and continuing existing tenancies where the property has a sub-standard EPC rating’.

Properties available to rent on the market at this current time should be with an EPC -  E or above. We cannot act on any properties below these levels. We can advise you on this with partner companies. Please also note that existing lettings as of 2020 ALL properties should have an EPC rating of E or above.

 

 

Legionnaires Testing

This is not a compulsory test, but this is something that should be considered by landlords as a belt and braces health and safety check list. Most important if your property has been left vacant for a period. If you do not carry out a test you could be exposed if the disease is contracted.  

Electrical Testing

The EICR legal requirements in England and Wales are grey, the law requires landlords to prove equipment is safe to use, but doesn’t make certificates compulsory as is required for a gas safety certificate.

As a responsible landlord you should have this test carried out. It lasts for 5 years. If you do not have a tests and a tenant suffers an injury buy an electrical fault you will be potentially liable.

Tax Deduction Mortgage Interest Payments

Just a reminder, as of tax year 2020, as a landlord you will no longer be able to put your interest from your mortgage against your income. Below is the table on the government website.

Tax year

Percentage of finance costs deductible from rental income

Percentage of basic rate tax reduction

2017 to 2018

75%

25%

2018 to 2019

50%

50%

2019 to 2020

25%

75%

2020 to 2021

0%

100%

 

Looking for further advice please give us a call on 01271 329345. Or email David Edwards MRICS MARLA david@johnsmale.com.

John Smale & Co Propert

Mayfair Office Group See our properties on onthemarket.com