Welcome to our first blog post of 2020, a new year, a new decade and the dawn of a new era of tightening legislation within the UK lettings sector!
At Newquay Property Centre we continue to embrace the legislative changes which aim to provide safer, better housing and more professional landlords and agents. Landlords must ensure that they are fully legally compliant; failing to do so can result in large fines, criminal proceeding and even prison sentences. Never has there been a more important time to ensure your property/investment is professionally managed!
Our skilled lettings team works closely with the RLA (residential landlords association) as members of this highly regarded professional body we receive ongoing support and training, that allows us to perform at the highest legal level within the sector, resulting in Newquay Property Centre being named by independent review site allAgents as the “Best Lettings Branch in Cornwall” for the second year running (2018 & 2019)
In 2020 and beyond we will continue to build on our success from the last couple of years…we are now actively seeking new landlords to join us.
Whether you have a single property or a large portfolio it is imperative you understand the industry and all the changes currently being discussed and passed through parliament.
Energy Performance Certification
Landlords should already be aware that from 1st April 2018 the government made it compulsory for all rental properties in the UK to have a valid EPC with a rating of “E” and above before allowing a tenant to move in.
So far this legislation hasn’t applied to rented properties where the tenant moved in before 1st April 2018. However, the government has now set a deadline for the 1st April 2020 whereby all tenancies must have valid EPC at all times with a rating of “E” and above, regardless of when the tenant moved in. This single change potentially will mean post 1st April 2020 tens of thousands of private landlords will be instantly in breach and liable for criminal proceedings.
DON’T PANIC, WE CAN HELP!
We have a superb, local DEA (Domestic Energy Assessor) who can visit your property. Should your property’s EPC fall below an “E” rating, our assessor will offer advice on how to cost effectively improve your property to a suitable legal level. Once the upgrades are complete the property will be retested, and a legally compliant EPC will be produced.
Proposals have been approved and a draft bill is currently passing through both houses of parliament which will make EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Reports) a legal requirement for all new tenancies within the UK from 1st July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.
These new regulations will require pre-tenancy and five yearly ongoing checks of all fixed appliances and wiring, with compulsory obligations to upgrade/improve as recommended within the EICR. Landlords failing to comply with the new rules will face fines of up to £30,000!
AGAIN, DON’T PANIC WE CAN HELP!
We will be on hand to offer advice and assistance with qualified local electrical contractors implementing tests and organising remedial works as required. We can do all of this for you, so you can relax knowing your investment is being carefully looked after.
Tenant Maintenance Reporting System (Fixflo)
We have some great news for both tenants and landlords! We have teamed up with Fixflo. Fixflo is a market leading software package that allows tenants to report any issues direct through our website.
WHY IS THIS USEFUL FOR OUR LANDLORDS?
On average a rental property requires 3.67 repairs per year, with on average each repair costing £194.46. Fixflo resolves approximately 1 in 5 maintenance issues through a built-in advice service which has instructional videos to assist tenants in repairing minor issues themselves. This fixes smaller issue without cost. Which mean that Newquay Property Centre landlords will potentially save £128 per annum on maintenance costs!
For tenants Fixflo allows maintenance issue reporting 24/7 with instant online support, advice and tutorials, plus the opportunity to upload photos, appliance models, serial numbers etc, so that we can react quicker to maintenance repairs.
Free landlord compliance check
What we’ve mentioned in this blog is only a small proportion of the legal obligations a landlord must adhere to. There are several important documents that must be issued at the start of a tenancy and various ongoing obligations. Getting this wrong will have serious legal consequences.
For the month of February Newquay Property Centre is offering free landlord compliance checks. If you’re a private landlord worried and need some advice and support, get in touch for a free, no obligation chat. Call the lettings team on 01637 875161
by Alex Piper - Senior Lettings Negotiator – Newquay Property Centre