Advice

Star Lettings & Property Management

DEPOSITS

Deposits must be placed in A Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Any deposit funds must be placed in one of the designated government backed TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEMES. The deposit must be registered within 30 working days of the tenancy commencement or the deposit being received (whichever is the soonest). Failure to do so is a criminal act and make you liable for a fine of up to three times the deposit. Failure to do this will invalidate a Section 21 Notice which you wish to serve later on.

As part of the registration Prescribed Information must be given.

DEREGULATION ACT 2015

Principle areas:

  1. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
  2. Tenancy Deposit Protection
  3. Section 21 notices and disrepair issues.

To serve a Section 21 you must prove these documents were provided at the commencement of the tenancy. (Tenancies commencing on or renewing after 1st October 2015) :-

  1. With a valid EPC
  2. Current Gas Safety Certificate
  3. “How to Rent” Guide
  4. Deposit has been registered, information leaflet and prescribed information given.

Any reported repairs issues (in writing) the landlord must respond within 14 days. If no repair is made and ten tenant reports the matter to the local authority this could prevent a section 21 being issued.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC)

All landlords need to provide tenants with an EPC.

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and I valid for 10 years.

From April 2018 landlords with an EPC with a rating of F-G will not be able to let to someone else or renew a contract until it is bought up to an E rating.

When advertising a property the advert must contain the EPC rating and SAP rating where the EPC is available.

Proof that the EPC has been given to the tenant is now required. Failure to do so may invalidate a Section 21 notice you may wish to secure later on.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

 

This piece of legislation hasn’t been amended for a long time. There is talk of a change that a new gas safety certificate will be required every change of tenancy, so for those if you who have 6 month tenancies only, this will effect you.

 

At the moment however, a Gas Safety Certificate is due every 12 months. You must have record that you have issued the certificate at the beginning of the tenancy and for 2 years after. Letting agents have to keep records of tenancies for 6 years and I personally think this is good working practise to adhere to.

 

If you do not have the evidence that you issued the certificate at the beginning of the tenancy and you want to give notice to your tenants at some point in the future, you could run into difficulty.

 

If letting to more than one tenant, for example you have a HMO tenancy you must give a copy to each of your tenants. Displaying the certificate in the property is good practise but not good enough.

 

If you have a boiler in a bedroom we strongly recommend that you have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in the room.

 

When it comes to renewing the certificate, you again must have proof that you issued the new certificate to the tenants. I know tenants can sometimes be difficult allowing access and sometimes go on holiday, but if you let the certificate expire or over lap you are in breach of the regulation. If you have difficulties with your tenant, document and log what you have done to try and get the certificate renewed.

 

Non complaint of Gas Safety Regulations is a £5000 fine or 6 months in jail. It is a criminal offence.

 

Remember proof of issue.

 

 

 

RIGHT TO RENT

Requires landlords to check I.D. of all prospective adult occupiers, whatever their nationality.

Original documents must be seen so that they can prove they can live in the U.K. for example a biometric residence permit or a birth certificate with a council tax bill.

Check that the documents give them the Right to Rent your property.

The documents must be genuine and belong to them, the tenants must be present. Make copies and keep them. Record and date that you made the check.

If you rent your property to someone who is not allowed to rent a property in England you can be fined up to £3,000.

You must do a follow up check to make sure your tenant can still rent property in the U.K. if there is a time limit on their permission to stay.

 

GDPR

Landlords! Does GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) effect you?

 We were recently at a landlord seminar with over 120 landlords present. A question was put to them ‘do you hold data on your tenants? Do you hold a telephone number, an email address or maybe even bank details?’  Of course you do, you are a landlord this is the basic information you need to set up a tenancy.

 You are therefore required to have a Data Policy in place, you need to explain what information you hold, how you hold it and what you do with that information and how it is protected.

 Do your homework, have a GDPR policy in place. Don’t get caught out


ARTICLE 4 & HMO's

 

 

What is an HMO and what is article 4 direction?

 

 

 

An HMO in simple terms is a house of multiple occupation of three or more un related sharers.  A house share.

 

 

 

Article 4 direction permits the development in a specific geographical area

 

 

 

Put these two together and things can get quite complicated.

 

 

 

If you have an HMO currently let to 3 or more sharers in an article 4 area, then you have no problems.

 

 

 

If you are looking to purchase an HMO property in article 4, you need to ensure that the house is already set up as an HMO.

 

 

 

You would be unable to purchase a property to convert into an HMO if it was in article 4.  You would need to get planning permission from your local council.

 

 

 

Here in Exeter we have many potential new clients coming in to See us Looking to invest in the student market.

 

 

 

They come to see us with sales particulars from local estate agents, often these houses would make great student properties in some great locations which normally mean article 4. Many of these houses for sale are family homes, where planning permission to convert to an HMO and planning would be required.

 

 

 

Do your homework first. Don’t get caught out owning a property where you will not be able to get the Income you originally set out to get.

 

 

 

You don’t want to own a house in the middle of a highly populated student area, when the only tenants you can find our families. It is rare to find a family that will want to live in the middle of a student area

 

 

 

We at Star Students love to talk about The student market, we love to find good properties for landlords, and we love it when we have happy tenants in happy houses. 

 

 

 

If you are a potential landlord looking to own a property in the Exeter student market, then look no further and give us a call or pop in and see us

 

 

 

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