Blogs and advice on Residential Property Management London
UK Government has issued detailed guidance for the private rented sector to consolidate the various regulations that have changed, and guidance that has been given, in the last weeks.
The measures set out in the guidance are in force until the end of September 2020, but can be extended if necessary.
Tips on issuing a service charge demand
updated guidance on moving home during the pandemic
the latest recommendations for Property inspections, maintenance and repairs
the changes to Evictions and possession proceedings set out in the Coronavirus Bill
Details of the Government help available for businesses
An incorrect service charge demand is one of the most common reasons given by leaseholders for non-payment of their service charge contribution.
Read and understand the lease
The first step is to check the lease. This is the legal contract that exists between landlord and leaseholder and it will set out (in varying levels of detail) the who, when, what, where, and how you should be making your service charge demands.
The lease will dictate the format of the service charge and will usually prescribe the dates of the service charge period, and how often payments should be made – annually, half-yearly, quarterly, in advance or in arrears.
The lease may state that demands are to be served by first class post or recorded delivery, along with explanation of how the demands are to be addressed.
Get it wrong and you need to be prepared for leaseholders to use it as a valid defence for non-payment. It is important to read your leases.
If you strictly follow the lease and statute/legislation then the demand will be deemed correctly served, and the leaseholder will be contractually liable to pay their service charge.
Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect cannot be detected by testing alone.
Where a landlord provides an electrical appliance as part of a tenancy, the law expects the appliance to be maintained in a safe condition that will not cause harm to the tenant. Failure to do so could lead to the landlord being sued for negligence. Portable appliance testing is always best practice for landlords but it is not a legal requirement.
Government announced its proposed new regulations for electrical safety in the private rented sector in England. The regulations are due to come into force from 1 July this year for new tenancies, and 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies.
The regulations are to be passed by both Houses of Parliament before they are finalised and come into force.
Regular inspection of electrical installations – at least every five years – will be mandatory for all properties privately rented in England.
There are some exceptions, for example lodgers living in shared accommodation with a landlord or their families though the vast majority of private rented properties will come under the new regulations.
Electrical installations must be inspected by a ‘qualified person’ at least every five years, and more often if the most recent safety report requires it.
The new regulations will replace the existing section of the HMO Management Regulations on fixed electrical installations, to ensure consistency across the sector.
What can you claim for
Check the terms of your cover,depending on your cover, you can claim for:
Damage to your building
Lost, damaged or stolen contents
Property owner’s liability
Loss of rent and rent guaranee
Home emergency and boiler breakdown
You can either handle the insurance claim process yourself or use a loss assessor. When claiming yourself:
Call the claims number
Explain the details of your claim
Follow their advice of cover details
Send necessary paperwork or pictures
You may need to meet an assessor
If you are a landlord, letting a residential property, then you are at a risk of rent default by your tenant. Even if you have had the best checks and references carried out, you can never predict a tenant falling on hard times or losing their job or becoming ill and then not being able to pay the rent.
Would you be in a position to cover your expenditure and costs over a period of time if this happened to you?
In the current economic climate, many landlords are finding their rent default rates increasing, as many tenants struggle with unemployment, lower salaries and increased bills. Rent Guarantee Insurance will cover you against your residential tenant defaulting or failing to pay the rent, taking away some of the stress associated with being a landlord.
Landlords must ensure mandatory electrical inspections are carried out in rental homes by qualified inspectors as of 1st July 2020. Landlords can face tough financial penalties if they fail to comply with the new regulation, which is part of the government’s commitment to drive up standards in the sector.
This is to put measures in place to identify the minority level of landlords who rent out unsafe properties. A transitional period will apply in the first two years, where the new rule will affect all new private tenancies in the first year and then extend to all existing private tenancies in the second year.
Properties with an existing electrical installation condition report (EICR) will not be required to replace it for five years from the date they were carried out. For new and fully rewired properties, an Electrical Installation Certificate can be presented in place of an EICR provided the date of the next inspection mentioned on the certificate has not elapsed.
For landlords, experiencing occasional void periods is inevitable. However, there are actions you can to tempt tenants to stay for longer, extend tenancies and hopefully reduce void periods.
As a landlord, when your property is vacant, not only are you not collecting rental income, but you could also still be paying certain costs such as mortgage instalments, ground rent and insurance, as well as council tax, gas and electricity bills.
It is therefore critical to minimise void periods where possible, especially if your buy-to-let properties are single tenancy. While the end of all tenancies cannot be avoided – people move on, buy their own home and circumstances change – there are ways to keep tenants for longer and reduce void periods.