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Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Warning

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation Warning

New Smoke And Carbon Monoxide
Alarm Legislation 
Comes Into Force
On 1st October

On October 1st 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations are supposed to come into force meaning that landlords or their appointed lettings and property managing agents must install a smoke alarm on every floor of a rental property used for accommodation and fit Carbon Monoxide alarms in any room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, and all alarms should be in good working order.

However, there are calls for this legislation to be delayed due to lack of notice and ambiguity of the actual legislation.

The introduction of the new legislation is intended to save lives, we are already aware of the dangers that a potential fire in a residential rented property can cause, however, many landlords remain oblivious to the danger posed by Carbon Monoxide.

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Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Will Your Property Be Affected By Fracking?

Fracking Concerns Ignored By Local Authorities And Government

There is a great deal of speculation and controversy surrounding the latest methods for extracting natural gas from under our feet, a process known as “Fracking” where a toxic mixture of chemicals are pumped into well heads to release gases trapped in the underlying bedrock.

The process is designed to fracture the rock strata, allowing gas to escape and rise to the surface and the controversial method is already being exploited widely in some states in the USA, with alarming results. Minor earth tremors are being caused and ground water is becoming saturated with methane and other flammable gases and some residents living near the remote drilling sites have to rely on bottled supplies to be able to drink and water cattle, however the companies controlling the drilling are happy to pay people off and ignore what they are being told.

Here in the UK, gas companies have identified potential sites that they reckon hold enough natural gas reserves to last for the next 30-40 years, unfortunately these areas are also heavily populated, not like in the USA.

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Green Deal Is A Joke

Green Deal Is A Joke

Bad Business Practices, Long Term Debts, Unqualified assessors – Green Deal getting bad press

The Government heralded the launch of the “Green Deal” in January this year as a groundbreaking flagship initiative that would help struggling families cut energy bills, however, it appears that the general public are 99.9% against the idea.

The intention of the Government was to encourage millions of UK home owners to take out “Green Deal” loans in order to pay for money saving improvements to properties, such as; loft insulation, double glazing, boilers and other energy efficient measures with the aim of cutting a typical family’s energy costs by as much as £50 a month.

The loan would be repaid over an agreed timescale of up to 25 years, but the debt is attached to the property rather than the current owner, which means the debt could be passed on to any new buyer. As a result, property vendors could face demands from prospective buyers to clear any outstanding debt, which could also see them facing a charge or early repayment penalty of up to £6,000 (GBP).

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Two Day HMO and LHA Presentation with Arsh Ellahi

Arsh Ellahi

Hi all, Arsh Ellahi here!
People often ask me about how I set up my HMO’s (Houses of Multi Occupancy) so my tenants pay all outgoings such as Council Tax, Water Rates, Electricity and Gas (where applicable). It may seem surprising to some that my only outgoing for a HMO property is merely the landlord’s supply, which pays for the communal lighting and fire alarms.

With this in mind I am holding a 2 day course which will assist you in maximizing your income from your HMO properties and LHA Tenancies. Not paying large utility bills will form part of the course alongside other essential hints and tips from a Landlord with a wealth of HMO experience.

Day 1 Saturday 20th April 2013 – This day will consist of a visit to 4 high cash generating HMOs in which tenants are responsible for their own utility. See a successful HMO in action!

Day 2 – Sunday 21st April 2013 LHA Masterclass– How to skyrocket your cashflow without converting to HMOs

Find out more details and book onto this course by clicking the link below:
www.arshellahi.com/web/ae-events

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Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer

Carbon Monoxide Is A Silent KillerWhen letting a property equipped with gas appliances all landlords must have an annual gas safety check (CP12) carried out by a gas safe registered engineer, this check will ensure the gas appliances in your property are safe for your tenants to use. Once you have had your gas safety check conducted you must ensure your tenants have a copy of the gas safety certificate within a maximum of 28 days.

It is vital that all gas safety certificates are kept on file for a minimum of two years. Even if a property is only rented on a short term basis you must still have a valid gas safety certificate for your tenants.

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 Obey Gas SafetyLaws Or Face Prosecution – Landlords Warned

Gas Safety Is A Legal Responsibility

Gas Safety Is A Legal Responsibility

UK Landlords need a better understanding of the many laws and regulations regarding the safety of tenants in private sector rental accommodation, or they may find that non compliance with any of the prescribed regulations can make them liable for prosecution and will render their Landlord Insurance invalid.

UK Landlords have moral and legal responsibilities regarding the safety of all tenants living in private rented sector (PRS) rental accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence, which includes, but not exclusively:

  • Residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
  • Rooms let in Houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s), private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels
  • Rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 outlines the landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for use by tenants comply with all the latest UK safety regulations and are not hazardous to the health of the tenant.

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Landlords need to be aware of the energy efficiency of their rental properties

Landlords need to be aware of the energy efficiency of their rental properties

UK PRS landlords are being urged to check the energy efficiency of their rental properties that they want to let out before tenants commit to rent them, as it could save their tenants a substantial amount of money in the long term.

Landlords have stated that their tenants are becoming increasingly concerned with the extortionate cost of utility charges and many tenants have even used the information displayed on EPC’s to make the decision to go ahead with the let of more energy efficient rental properties.

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UK PRS Rental Yields Increase

UK PRS Rental Yields Increase

In the UK the combination of high tenant demand, increasing PRS rents and realistic vendor pricing of properties for sale has been a major driving factor behind the increase in Buy To Let rental yields.

Buy-To-Let rental yields increased from 6.1% to 6.7% over the last quarter of 2012, with the biggest jump in the private rented sector (PRS) coming from houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) up from 9.2% to 11.1%.

A much needed increase in the availability of buy-to-let mortgages, as well as property investors seeing the benefit of buying high yielding low priced properties for rental purposes, outside of central London and the South East where rental yields had previously been squeezed, has been fuelling the growth.

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The British Property Federation (BPF) handed a bit of good news to UK landlords who may have been struggling to make ends meet, after it was revealed that the UK coalition government may review imposing powers forcing landlords to share information on changes of tenancy with water companies, as well as making them liable for a defaulting tenant’s debts.

The failure of tenants to pay water bills for the property they are renting costs landlords and other home owning customers around £15 extra per year.

The new Flood and Water Management Act would mean that the government could make landlords and property owners pay water and sewerage bills if specified details of tenant occupiers are not forwarded to the relevant utility company departments.

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, explained: “Government policy in other areas is pushing for personal responsibility and the same should apply here that landlords should not be held liable for their tenants’ debts, which is simply unfair. We therefore welcome this review and agree that water companies could do more to limit bad debts. Landlords already provide a lot of information voluntarily, though this could be much easier and transparent with the right systems in place”.

Legal 4 Landlords advise all UK landlords to inform all utility companies (Gas, Electricity and Water) at the start and end of every tenancy as normal practice for all tenancies.

Don't become a rogue landlord

Don't cut corners when renting out property

The downturn in UK property valuations has lead many existing homeowners, some of whom are desperate to sell up, to consider alternative ways to cash in on their current property, without having to sell it below their expected valuations.

A fairly noticeable proportion of these vendors are choosing to become first-time landlords, rather than settling for a below market offer.

The prospect of more reluctant or accidental landlords entering the private rental sector (PRS) is not such welcome news for the UK rental property market. Ill advised or inexperienced landlords often make mistakes or cut corners in order to preserve cash flow or increase rental yield.

Any bad business practices can be perceived by some to be the actions of a rogue landlord, prompting Legal 4 Landlords to issue some general guidance advice for new, first-time and inexperienced landlords

All landlords need to comply with the current UK regulations and the following points are highlighted as essential:

• All prospective tenants should be thoroughly referenced and credit checked by a reputable agent, to ensure financial ability to pay the rent and gain an insight into the suitability and character of the tenant.
• Provide a proper Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST) signed by both Landlord and the tenant, outlining the length of the tenancy, amount of rent, date rent is due, and details of which government deposit protection scheme is to be used.
• At the start of the tenancy walk round with the tenant and conduct a detailed inventory describing the condition of all the fixtures and fittings of the property in detail, along with the furnishings.
• Gas appliances must be checked annually by a registered Gas Safe engineer and the landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (CP12).
• The landlord should take out comprehensive Buy-To-Let or Landlord insurance to protect their property asset.
• All repairs should be fixed promptly and only use reputable tradesmen that you know and trust to tend to the property, this is extremely important if emergency repairs must be done at short notice.
• If using a lettings or property management agent remember to conduct Due Diligence on them thoroughly and make sure as a landlord that you are happy with their terms and conditions before appointing them.

There are currently a record number of people searching for suitable rental properties in the UK, meaning that would-be landlords should have no problem finding a willing tenant, providing their properties are fit to rent.

New and first-time landlords should note that letting a property can be stressful and time consuming, as well as a very financially and personally rewarding experience, and is an effective way of providing an additional income.

Prospective landlords will need to remember they are effectively starting a business that centres on property and must remember to treat it as such.

Legal 4 Landlords are the UK’s fastest growing Tenant Eviction specialists who also offer a wide range of useful services for landlords including Tenant Referencing, Landlord and Tenant Insurance policies and Rent Guarantee insurance.

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