Category Archives: Tenant News

Average Rents Continue To Rise

According to the last figures provided by Homelet, average monthly rents in the United Kingdom stand at £1,029 per calendar month (pcm). This is the second month in a row this figure has sat above £1,000 and the year-on-year growth stands at 6.6%.

Of course, at Just Lets Peterborough. We focus on national and local issues in the rental market. According to the home.co.uk website, the current average rental fee in Peterborough stands at £780 pcm.

We know the Peterborough rental market

This is a good bit below the national average, which is something that Peterborough has in its favour.

The same source states the following average rents for property types in Peterborough as:

  • One-bedroom property in Peterborough has an average rent of £650pcm
  • Two-bedroom properties in Peterborough have an average rent of £884pcm
  • Three-bedroom properties in Peterborough have an average rent of £962pcm
  • Four-bedroom properties in Peterborough have an average rent of £1,220pcm
  • Five-bedroom properties in Peterborough have an average rent of £2,350pcm

In looking at other parts of the country, as you would expect, London leads the way, with an average rent of £1,645pcm. However, after many months of declining rental fees, this is the second rise in a row for London. The annual variance has risen by 2.1%.

Peterborough is close to the average when London is removed

As you can see, London is an outlier, and it can be seen as skewing the entire rental market. When you remove London figures, the average rent in the UK stands at £878pcm. Therefore, the average rent in Peterborough is still lower than the national average, but is closer to this level.

Andy Halstead, HomeLet & Let Alliance Chief Executive Officer, comments: “As a group, we’ve seen exceptional growth, supporting over 5,000 professional letting agents across the UK. With data based on 1m tenant references per year, The Rental Index provides the market with the most concise view of achieved rents. The data shows the exceptional growth in rental values, particularly in areas that are within commutable distance to London. Throughout the pandemic, the rate of growth in some regions has more than doubled against previous years.”

Andy Halstead continued by saying; “We see positive signs in the Capital, rents are now just 1.2% down on pre-pandemic levels from July 2019, with boroughs in central and inner London showing growth in achieved rental values. With restrictions easing, optimism is returning. The demand will steadily grow for the rest of the year. The private rented sector is exceptionally resilient, and demand for property remains high as we see the fast-growing Build-to-Rent industry meeting some of these needs across the country. That’s a theme that will continue for the foreseeable future, as tenants look to benefit from the lifestyle the industry can provide with features like on-site amenities and concierge services.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Rental Property Standards Are Improving

One of the things we are most proud of at Just Lets Peterborough is working closely with local landlords to provide the best standard of service. Our range of property management services provide landlords with peace of mind, and they ensure tenants have a great home to stay in.

Over the years, we believe the standard of rental property has improved, and landlords are at the centre of this. We aim to support landlords provide the best standard of rental property service, but real change and improvements are driven by the landlords, and people looking to create a better rental sector.

We are here to help local landlords

This is something we have witnessed at first hand, and it is also the focus of a recent study of the lettings market.

A new study carried out by Paragon Bank suggests it is landlords who are driving the positive changes. It is estimated around £839m is spent each year on improving rental property before letting to tenants.

Paragon spoke to around 900 landlords, and uncovered a number of interesting findings:

  • 77% of landlords invest in rental property after buying
  • The average spend on rental home improvements from landlords is £8,720 each
  • The most common work undertaken is general painting and maintenance, cited by 67% of respondents
  • The next most common work is electric or plumbing work, listed by 44% of respondents
  • 37% of respondents say they have laid new flooring at their rental property
  • 32% of landlords have installed a new kitchen or bathroom
  • 24% of respondents have installed a new boiler
  • 23% of landlords have upgraded the standard of windows at their rental property
  • The number of “decent” homes in 2006 was 1.4m, but it is now 3.6m. In the past 15 years, 1.4m buy-to-let mortgages have been approved.

Improvements in energy performance rating

The same study found there has been a 272% increase in PRS homes with an energy rating of C or above. There are 1.8m homes of this standard today.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Mortgages Managing Director of Mortgages, said: “Landlords typically will make significant improvements to a property before letting to tenants, helping to improve standards across the private rented sector. Landlords will of course benefit from this investment through capital appreciation, but it always results in better quality homes for tenants.

Richard continued by saying; “There is a clear correlation between buy-to-let investment and improving standards in the quality of private rental homes. Standards of property in the PRS have increased significantly over that period. Overall homes in the sector are newer, larger, warmer and more energy-efficient than they were 10 years ago and tenants have more choice.”

Richard continued by saying; “Whilst we recognise more needs to be done to improve standards since 2009 there are nearly three times the number of properties with an energy rating of C or above, a 100% increase in the number of homes built after 1990 and a substantial expansion in the types of property available to rent in the PRS.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Relationship Changes Driving Tenant Moves

As a landlord, it is helpful to know the key factors that drive tenants moving home. Sometimes, there are major events or issues which cause people to leave an area. Job losses, or new jobs opening up in an area will often be the catalyst for many people moving home.

In cases like this, when people need to move quickly, and they want to get to know an area well before making a major commitment, the rental market is extremely busy.

There are many reasons for tenants to move home

However, you also have many personal reasons for people moving home, and again, this impacts the property and rental market.

Sadly, we will be dealing with the impact of the pandemic and lockdown for many years to come. Events over the past year have changed the way people work, live and socialise.

It is also fair to say that the events of the past year have likely changed many relationships, and relationship changes are a key factor in many people moving home and letting property.

Remote working and spending more free time at home has been helpful to some couples and families, but it will likely have placed other relationships under greater stress. There have also been financial concerns to worry about in the past year, and money troubles are also a common factor in relationship breakups.

Why are people moving home these days?

The rental market is still extremely busy in 2021, and Yes Homebuyers conducted a survey which outlines the reasons why people are moving home:

  • Divorce or end of a relationship cited by 23% of respondents
  • Relocating for personal reasons said by 21% of respondents
  • A desire to have more space was said by 19% of respondents
  • 11% of respondents said they were relocating for work reasons

The same Yes Homebuyers study also suggests searches for divorce guidance have increased by 25% due to COVID-19, and enquiries with divorce specialists have risen by 122%.

The housing market will remain active

Some of the other reasons for a property move include:

  • 11% of people said they were moving for financial reasons
  • 6% of respondents said they were downsizing to a more manageable property
  • 2% of people were moving after getting married

Matthew Cooper, Founder & Managing Director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “There are a number of key life events that cause us to move home and unfortunately, divorce is one of them. We’ve seen a number of reports around a spike in divorce proceedings and breakups due to the additional stress placed on relationships during lockdown. So it’s no surprise that it ranks as the driving factor for home moves at present with Covid causing restrictions in other areas of life such as marriage and relocating for work. For some, a breakup will mean a double whammy of leaving their partner and a home they love, but luckily the number of us forced to leave a property we would prefer to stay in remains rather low. However, it says a lot about us as a nation of bricks and mortar lovers when having to leave a home is more upsetting than leaving the person we shared it with.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Cleaning Remains Key Issue For Landlords & Tenants In 2021

While there are many reasons why a landlord and tenant might disagree, the cleanliness of the rental property is likely to be the most common factor.

Some of the leading disagreements between landlords and tenants include rental fee arrears, redecorating issues, property damage and garden or exterior matters. However, the most common form of complaint relates to the cleanliness and condition of the property.

At Just Lets Peterborough, we are aware of this, and we work hard to bring landlords and tenants together. We impress on all parties the need to work together to create a suitable outcome.

A clean rental property keeps everyone happy

While it is clear why landlords want a clean rental property, tenants should always have their deposit in mind. Keeping the rental property in great condition is a great way to enhance your chances of receiving your full deposit back at the end of the tenancy.

Information provided by The Dispute Service (TDS), taken from their Annual Review 2020, indicates cleaning is the most common reason for tenancy deposit dispute claims. Other reasons include damage to the property, cost of redecorating the property, rent arrears and gardening issues, but cleaning was the leading issue.

Cleaning resulted in the following percentages of claims against different branches of The Dispute Service:

  • 42% of claims made against TDS Insured
  • 53% of claims made against TDS Custodial
  • 45% of claims made against TDS Northern Ireland
  • 69% of claims made against SafeDesposit Scotland

Tenants are raising disputes against landlords

There has also been an increase in the proportion of disputes cited by tenants. In the 2018=19 review, this was at 67%, but in 2019-20, this had risen to 74%.

Paul Oxley, Managing Director of lettings management software company Decorus for Sage, said: “According to the TDS, many tenants claim that the cleanliness of the property at the start of the tenancy was not clear, or that the tenancy agreement did not make clear what was expected of them. So, it is vital that landlords have a proper inventory prepared and do a thorough check-in and check-out, so they have the right proof of condition at the start and end of a new tenancy agreement. When landlords take the time to spell out tenants’ responsibilities in terms of cleaning and caring for the property, tenants are more likely to conduct their tenancy in a way that is respectful to the property and this minimises any potential damage.”

Paul Oxley also said; “At the check-out stage, the tenant should be made aware of the areas requiring cleaning and the potential cost involved. It is important to remember that the tenant is only obliged to return the property in the same state of cleanliness as at the start of the tenancy, after allowing for fair wear and tear. Landlords should conduct thorough check-in and check-outs at the start and end of the tenancy, supported by a professional inventory. Clear communication on the tenant’s responsibilities when they move into the property will improve the chances of a trouble-free check-out.”

Inventories benefit landlords and tenants

There is no denying that a reliable inventory check, carried out at the start of the tenancy, benefits both the landlord and tenants. This document should act as the benchmark for what is expected in the property, which should provide comfort and support for all parties.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of a dependable inventory check, or you want to ensure your next lets start off in the correct manner, please get in touch with Just Lets Peterborough.

Paul Oxley continues: “The common mistakes in landlord inventories are essentially lack of detail. Landlords often write just a brief shopping list and often do not have the appropriate photographs and videos, along with accompanying written descriptions to show the condition of the property and its contents.”

Paul concluded by saying; “If the landlord finds the tenant fails to agree to the deposit deductions, they need to ensure they have the evidence such as a thorough and fully detailed inventory, copies of which are given to the tenant at check-in and check-out. It is imperative that tenants sign their acceptance of the contents of the check-in within seven days of the move in, and this signed copy should be retained by either the landlord or the landlord’s agent.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Tenants Concerns Over Landlords Selling Up

With 2021 starting with another lockdown, it is perfectly acceptable that many people will look at their living arrangements.

There are financial matters for people to consider, but equally, many people are reviewing whether their current home is right for them in these challenging times.

We can all benefit from more space in the current climate, and having access to a garden or open space is of benefit.

Landlords need to know what tenants think

The media focus has been on property moves with these things in mind, but it is also important to know what tenants and landlords think.

A recent study by a specialist buy to let lender, Aldermore Bank, focused on the opinions of 2,000 private tenants. If you are a local landlord, it is always helpful to hear what tenants are thinking.

At Just Lets Peterborough, we aim to support local landlords in many ways. We work hard in the local community, and we are more than happy to keep you fully informed as to what is happening in your local area.

We also stay in touch with the latest studies. This ensures you, and we, stay in touch with what landlords and tenants think across the country. This means you can make an informed decision.

Half of the respondents are uncertain about their rental future

50% of respondents to the survey said they were “uncertain about how they will cope with rent increases, their home being sold, or becoming unemployed”.

This pressure was keenly felt amongst people aged 18 to 34, as two in three of this group said they were worried about their current housing situation. A further 20% of this group have experienced rent increases in the local area since March 2020.

The lender says circumstances for this group are particularly difficult with close to one third of respondents being placed on furlough or losing employment since March of last year.

The average across all age groups is 22%, so this demographic has been harder by events of the past year.

There is evidence to suggest tenants are reconsidering their living arrangements.

25% of respondents say they are looking to buy a home, and they are actively saving for a deposit. 20% of respondents said they are looking to move to a different rental property.

Things which tenants are looking for include:

  • A larger kitchen, said by 32%
  • More living space, cited by 27%
  • More energy-efficient property, named by 25%
  • A garden space, said by 24%

Jon Cooper is the head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, and he said; “The impact of the pandemic has been as much financial as it has been on health in the UK. It is concerning that so many renters are feeling anxious about their housing situation, especially as the home has become an even more significant and important part of people’s lives this year than ever before.”

Jon Cooper also said; “Encouragingly, landlords appear to have been supportive throughout this difficult time, with 74 per cent of renters saying their experience has been positive, and nearly nine in 10 renters saying communication with their landlord has been good. Open dialogue and listening to tenants’ concerns or difficulties is an important part of being a landlord and, if they are financially struggling, lenders can provide options, such as mortgage payment breaks, to assist in managing portfolios and ease this strain during these difficult times.”

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Stronger Demand For Rent In people Aged 35 And Older

A recent study by Paragon Bank suggests the desire from tenants to own property, which includes saving for a deposit, starts to fall from the age of 35.

The study found that for the age group of people between 25 and 34, 88% of respondents said they wished to own their property in the future. 71% of these respondents said they were saving for a deposit.

For the group aged 35 to 44, this falls to 72% of tenants saying they would like to own property in the future.

When you consider the 45 to 54 age group, just 70% of respondents say they are keen to own their property.

This is something to consider for landlords, as it will likely impact on willing tenants, and how long a tenant is happy to stay in the same rental property.

The rental market is experiencing a change in demand

Richard Rowntree, managing director of mortgages at Paragon Bank, said: “Our research shows a strong desire to buy amongst younger tenants who will typically use rented property as a starter home before stepping on the property ladder. This cohort also is more able to save for a deposit, making their aim of buying a home more attainable. As tenants reach their middle-aged years, the desire to own a home becomes less pronounced, but so does the ability to save for a property. These tenants will typically stay in the private rented sector for a longer period, maybe for the rest of their lives.”

It is not as if there has only been a shift in the rental market, the property market is also evolving. Recent studies from UK Finance suggest the average age of the first-time property buyer in 2019 was 32.

This means that there will be more tenants at both ends of the age demographic. This is something landlords should be aware of, and it might influence your next decision in the rental market.

You can target which tenant you want to let to

Some landlords are not bothered as to what type of tenant they let to, as long as the rental property is filled with a rent-paying tenant. However, not all landlords are as carefree in their approach to letting property.

If you have a preferred tenant in mind, it is possible to target this market. There is a notable difference between the needs of a tenant in their early 20s and a tenant who is in their late 50s or early 60s.

The size of rental property both these tenants groups are looking for might be the same, but the style and presentation that these groups want to see are likely to be significantly different.

If you are looking to let to a particular type of tenant, please get in touch, and we will be more than happy to help. At Just Lets, we want Peterborough landlords to feel confident about the letting process, and the tenants they have in their property.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

 

Peterborough Rental Property – December 2020

The rental market in Peterborough is a vibrant one, and there are many great options for people looking for an affordable place to rent in a fantastic City close to London.

At the start of December 2020, Rightmove had a total of 301 properties listed for rent in Peterborough.

Snapshot of the Peterborough rental market at end of year

The highest priced rental property was listed at £1,900 per calendar month (pcm) for a five-bedroom property. The next highest rental property was listed as £1,850 pcm, for a four-bedroom property in Orton Wistow.

Of the 301 listed rental properties in Peterborough, only 25 are listed as a detached property and only 18 semi-detached properties are listed for let in the area.

Flats are the most common property for rent in Peterborough

There are 25 terraced properties listed for rent in and around Peterborough according to Rightmove at the start of December.

Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the most popular form of property available for rent in Peterborough is flats. There are 114 flats listed for rent, making this the most popular form of rental property in the area. There are four bungalows listed for rent at this time.

Breakdown of furnished types of property for rent in and around Peterborough:

  • 115 properties are listed as furnished in the Peterborough rental market
  • 114 properties are listed as part-furnished in the Peterborough rental market
  • 159 properties are listed as unfurnished in the Peterborough rental market

103 rental properties listed in Peterborough are classed as house-share rentals.

Garden space and parking spots are in high demand

The recent Zoopla rental search terms list, which placed gardens as the most popular search of the year, is a reminder of what people are looking for in a new rental property. With parking and garages also featuring in the top three, these are clearly crucial components tenants are looking for when they snap up a new home.

Of the 301 listed rental properties in Peterborough, 171 have been listed has having a garden. When you consider the abundance of flats for rent in the local area, this is a strong return. Also, there are many green and spacious areas within easy reach of most properties in this region.

If you are looking for property with a dedicated parking space, there are 248 listings with parking for rental property in Peterborough. A total of 150 properties for rent in Peterborough are listed as offering a garden and parking space.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Insurance Falls Might Benefit Peterborough Letting Market

At Just Lets, we know there are so many things for landlords and tenants to consider, it is no surprise that some things slip their mind. Insurance is likely to be one of these things.

While we shouldn’t be in a rush to look for positive sides of how we have managed the pandemic, there is no denying that with people staying at home more, there has been a fall in many of the issues that lead to insurance claims.

Home insurance claims have fallen in 2020

A study claims that the home insurance sector in the UK has saved £368,326,000. This is a study carried out by insurance comparison company Hello-Safe, and they believe there is a fall of 16.76% in insurance claims in Peterborough and the East of England.

This reduction in claims should result in reduced premiums, making insurance more affordable, which is always a positive outcome.

This might be something of interest in the rental market, because both landlords and tenants should have insurance relating to the rental property.

Many landlords have insurance as part of their buy-to-let mortgage, with many lenders making this form of insurance mandatory. Many landlords also consider other forms of insurance, with rent protection a popular choice.

Tenants must arrange insurance for the rental property

However, just because landlords have insurance doesn’t mean tenants can overlook having insurance for their belongings. It is vital tenants have insurance in place for their belongings, which is another cost that must be considered by tenants.

If this cost is lowered, it should help tenants in the letting process, and this is likely to be of benefit to landlords.

Antoine Fruchard, insurance expert and CEO at Hello-Safe.co.uk said: “It is not a surprise to see that home insurance claims have decreased in the significant way over 2020, with most Britons stuck at home during a year where very restrictive measures were taken to stop the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, as we observed with car or health insurance products, the pay-outs made by home insurers have gone down.”

Antoine also said; “However, until now, the industry has taken no decision to give back some of the savings made to the policyholders. This is a questionable position, when the impact of the economic crisis is just starting to strike most of the British households, and could last for years. Moreover, many workers will now make the decision to work from home, fully or partially. For those remote workers, the insurers will surely have to adapt and propose new solutions. Indeed, the future of home insurance is still to create”.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property, we can help. We know these are challenging times for landlords, but there is a demand for rental property. When you need guidance in the local market, contact Just Lets Peterborough today, and we will be happy to help you.

You can find Just Lets Peterborough at 142 Oundle Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE2 9PJ. Feel free to email us at peterborough@justlets.com or call us today on 01733 346255.

Homeownership Amongst Peterborough’s Young Adults Slumps to 44.99%

The degree to which young Peterborough people are locked out of the Peterborough housing market has been revealed in new statistics.

A Peterborough landlord was asking me the other week to what effect homeownership rates in Peterborough in the early to middle aged adult age range had affected the demand for rental property in Peterborough since the Millennium. I knew anecdotally that it affected the Peterborough rental market, but I wanted some cold hard numbers to back it up. As you know, I like a challenge when it comes to the stats.. so this is what I found out for the landlord, and I’d like to share them with you as well.

As anyone in Peterborough, and most would say those born more recently, are drastically less likely to own their own home at a given age than those born a decade earlier, let’s roll the clock back to the Millennium and compare the figures from then to today.

In the year 2000, 45.6% of Peterborough 28-year olds (born in 1972) owned their own home, whilst a 28 year old today born in 1990) would have a 24.3% chance of owning their own home. Next, let’s look at someone born ten years before that. So, going back to the Millennium, a 38 year Peterborough person (therefore born in 1962) would have a 67.2% chance of owning his or her own home and a 38 year today in Peterborough (born in 1980) would only have a 52.4% chance of owning their own home.

Since the Millennium, overall general homeownership in the 25 to 44 year old age range in Peterborough has reduced from 62.22% to 44.99%

 

If you look at the graph below, split into the four age ranges of 25 year olds (yo) to 29yo, 30yo to 34yo, 35yo to 39yo and finally 40yo to 44 yo, you will quite clearly see the changes since the Millennium in Peterborough. The fact is the figures in Peterborough show the homeownership rate has proportionally fallen the most for the youngest (25yo to 29yo) age range compared to the other age ranges.

The landlord suggested this deterioration in homeownership in Peterborough across the age groups could be down to the fact that more of those born in the 1980’s and 1990’s (over those born in the 60’s and 70’) are going to University and hence entering the job market at an older age or those young adults are living with their parents longer.

I read some national homeownership statistics of different age groups with the same number of years after they left education (rather than at the same age) and that gave an identical dip to the graph above.  Neither are these drops in homeownership related with a significant increase in the number of young adults living with their parents. Again, nationally, that has hardly changed over the last 20 years as the percentage of 30-year-olds living with Mum and Dad only increased from 22% of those born in the early ‘70s to 23% of those born in the early ‘80s.

So, what does this mean for the rental market in Peterborough?

Only one thing .. with the local authority not building Council houses, Housing Associations strapped for cash to build new properties and the younger generation not buying, there is only one way these youngsters can obtain a roof over their head and have a home of their own .. through the private landlord sector. Now with the new tax rules and up and coming licensing rules, Peterborough landlords will have to work smarter to ensure they make the investment returns they have in the past. If you ever want to pick my brains on the future direction of the Peterborough rental market .. drop me a line or pop in next time you are passing my office.

Landlords Gas Safety Checks – New Legislation

Gas Safety Checks New Legislation effective from 6th April 2018; 

Landlord gas checks will now be allowed up to 2 months ahead of time from the 6th of April to start the process early and have a valid test certificate in place before the old one runs out without affecting the renewal dates. This is to prevent landlords and agents falling foul of the law when they experience difficulties in arranging access to a property for annual gas safety checks.

Failure to comply with the gas and other safety standards in rented properties render landlords open to heavy fines and or even prison if things go wrong. The new Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 will ‘amend’ those in force since 1998. The Health & Safety Executive detail they are not aimed at reducing or relaxing safety standards, but to allow greater flexibility over when regular checks are being carried out.

Landlords and agents can’t force property access without a tenant’s cooperation, so through no fault of their own, they may be put in a position where they are breaking the law. The new system is designed to give landlords, agents and tenants more time to comply. Any transgressions though will now become less likely to be tolerated by the enforcement agencies, including local authorities and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Gas Safe Register Tips on Gas Safety in Rental Property:

  1. All gas appliances in a rental property must be safety checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A tightness test of the pipework to ensure there are no gas leaks, and a visual inspection of accessible gas pipework should also be completed as part of the checks to ensure the installation is in good condition.
  2. Gas safe engineers must carry a valid ID card at all times. The front will confirm their registration and identity, the back will confirm they can do the gas work you’ve employed them to do.
  3. Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning which include – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse. An audible carbon monoxide monitor must be located in any room with a solid fuel appliance, and a gas burning appliance.
  4. Be aware of signs that a gas appliance isn’t working properly– lazy yellow flames, excessive condensation and black marks/stains. However, gas appliances can be unsafe without displaying these symptoms.
  5. Gas appliances should only be used for their intended purposes only – i.e. cookers should not be used to heat a room.
  6. Provide enough ventilation for gas appliances to burn correctly, making sure no air vents or chimneys are blocked.
  7. Tenants must be provided with a copy of a current annual gas safety check certificate – at the start of their tenancy and updates