Blogs and advice on Residential Property Management London

Landlord Insurances

Landlord Insurances

As a lanldord it is important to have the right protection in place.

Being a landlord can be an costly, and if you haven’t got the right cover you’ll have to pay large bills if anything goes wrong. A thorough landlords’ policy can include buildings insurance, accidental damage cover and financial protection against loss of rent.

Landlords’ buildings insurance

Building’s insurance is the main cover that a landlord will need. It is important because it protects the bricks and mortar of your property.

 If your property suffers a flood or fire, buildings insurance will cover the rebuilding costs.

This usually includes replacing kitchens units and bathroom suites and some policies may also cover sheds, garages and other outbuildings.

Before you take out buildings insurance you’ll need to know the rebuild sum of your property.

Tenancies during Covid-19

Tenancies during Covid-19

The Government provides protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords can start proceedings to evict tenants. The provisions
of the Coronavirus Act 2020, that increased the required notice period length, were initially due to expire on 30 September 2020 but have now been extended through legislation to 31 March 2021.
This means that from 29 August 2020, with the exception of the most serious cases, landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings unless they have given their tenants six months-notice. These serious cases include those in relation to anti-social behaviour including rioting, domestic abuse, fraud and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of over six months’ rent.

Recent Repossession Rules

Recent Repossession Rules

New rules

Coronavirus: repossessions are on hold

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that mortgage lenders must not start or continue court action for repossession until at least 31 October.

Government says landlords must follow strict procedures if they want to gain possession of their property, depending on the type of tenancy agreement in place and the terms of it.

The new rules mean:

Landlords seeking possession of their property to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on a tenant’s vulnerability or social security position.  These rules will apply to all possession proceedings either new or existing, including accelerated possession proceedings. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.  These changes will be in place until the end of March 2021 but could be extended.
Landlords will need to notify the Court and their tenant of their continued desire to seek repossession before the case will proceed using a reactivation notice. This rule includes accelerated possession cases and the government says it will ensure that the Court’s time is spent on the right cases. However a reactivation notice will NOT be needed for any claim where a possession order has been granted, suggesting landlords can move to execute the warrant via bailiff services.

Tenant Eviction Ban

Tenant Eviction Ban

The ban on evictions has been extended for a further 4 weeks and new 6 month notice periods to be in place until at least 31 March 2021. Ban on evictions continues for 4 weeks taking the total ban to 6 months. New 6 month notice periods to be in place until at least 31 March 2021. Once eviction hearings restart, the judiciary will carefully prioritise the most serious cases including those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.

Government also intends to give tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice in all cases with serious issues such as those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse victims, until at least the end of March.

Government will keep these measures under review with decisions guided by the latest public health advice.

When courts do resume eviction hearings they will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, ensuring landlords are able to progress the most serious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes, as well as where landlords have not received rent for over a year and would otherwise face unmanageable debts.

Stamp Duty Holiday until 31st March 2021

Stamp Duty Holiday until 31st March 2021

The stamp duty holiday holiday applies until 31st March, that means anyone completing on a property purchase after that date will have to pay the full normal stamp duty. Stamp duty is payable upon completion.

The Chancellor has announced that from 8 July, the stamp duty threshold will be temporarily raised from £125,000 to £500,000. The immediate increase in the stamp duty threshold will help sustain the rebound in housing market activity across England. The immediate increase in the stamp duty threshold will help sustain the rebound in housing market activity across England. The government will expect the change to stimulate more housing sales over the second half of the year and that savings made by buyers will be reinvested in home improvements, white goods and furniture, rather than bidding up the cost of housing.

Property Maintenance Tips for Landlords

Property Maintenance Tips for Landlords

Decide essential maintenance vs. non-essential

All landlords are legally required to provide a safe and suitable home for their tenants for health and safety reasons. Therefore there are basic maintenance tasks that should be carried out regularly.

A properties must have the appropriate smoke alarms and heat detectors. They also need to be tested on a regular basis and if they need replacing, do so on a regular basis.

One good way to determine what needs dealing with as a matter of urgency is to list of all possible tasks and separate them into priority and non-priority. Anything that concerns your tenants’ safety and is a legal requirement and is a top priority.

Categorising your tasks will make your overall workload feel much more manageable.

Blue Crystal awarded Most Progressive Property Management Firm in London

Blue Crystal awarded Most Progressive Property Management Firm in London

Blue Crystal is delighted to share the exciting news that we have been awarded Most Progressive Property Management Firm, London in the 2020 UK Enterprise Awards.

Host SME-News says: “Blue Crystal Property Management, like all of our victors, has demonstrated excellence, commitment, dedication even in the face of uncertainty. For this, we humbly commend you.”

We would like to extend a special thank you to our colleagues and customers for their continued support and collaboration. It is our pleasure to work in this invigorating arena, and we aim to do so for a long time to come.

Your responsibilities as a tenant

Your responsibilities as a tenant

As a tenant, you are expected to occupy the property in a ‘tenant-like’ manner. It’s an odd phrase though it means that you should behave in a usual manner that a normal householder should do.  Such as:

Changing lightbulbs
Changing or testing batteries in smoke or carbon monoxide detectors
Not putting anything down sinks that might lead them to block
Keeping the garden tidy if you have one
Regularly cleaning the property
Not allowing baths and showers to overflow

What are the most common landlord mistakes