Tag Archives: landlords

Right To Rent Checks To Be Made Easier

Anything which makes life easier for landlords, without compromising on the standard of service, is likely to be a positive thing. At Just Lets, we aim to make life simpler for landlords in Peterborough.

Landlords have a lot of tasks to carry out, and some of these steps are important. The Right To Rent check is an example of important work landlords must carry out. A landlord who fails to prove a tenant meets the Right To Rent criteria faces severe penalties.

Therefore, news that these checks are being made easier to conduct will be welcomed by many landlords.

A new online system will assist landlords review tenants

The Government has announced there will be a new online Right To Rent checking system in place soon, and it might be available by November 2020. When the online system is in place, it will allow prospective tenants to view and review their Home Office profile. This should, in theory, hold data about the eligibility of a prospective tenant with respect to living in the United Kingdom.

If the tenant wishes to do so, they will be able to share this information with a landlord or agent. There will be a “share code” online access system. Obviously, the information contained in the system will be private, but the Government states strict safeguards will be in place to ensure the landlord or agent will only view appropriate Right To Rent information.

The National Residential Landlords Association, the NRLA, believes landlords will be able to review the online system or check physical documents. Therefore, the online check is offered as a voluntary option, which will hopefully speed up the process and take away a lot of work for landlords and agents.

The NRLA also states EA citizens will be able to prove their entitlement to rent by displaying a valid passport or national ID card. This will remain the case until June 30th 2021.

The impact of the Coronavirus and the Right To Rent process

While this year has been extremely challenging, landlords cannot forego their expected duties. This means Right To Rent checks must be carried out, even during a lockdown phase. However, there are some changes to the way landlords should engage with tenants, and the following adjustments are allowed when reviewing a tenant’s suitability:

  • Right To Rent checks can be conducted by a video call, so there is no need to meet the tenant in person
  • The tenant can send scanned documents or a clear photograph of the document, and these items can be sent by email or by a mobile app – there is no need for tenants to send original documents

These measures will hopefully alleviate some of the difficulties landlords face in dealing with the administrative aspect of the Right To Rent check.

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.

EPC Changes Proposed – What Landlords Need To Know

One of the most challenging aspects of being a landlord is staying in touch with legislation. At the start of 2020, English landlords had more than 150 pieces of legislation to comply with. With this guidance being updated regularly, and new legislation being passed, it is often a full-time job keeping up with the administrative side of being a landlord.

At Just Lets, we understand the challenges of being a modern landlord. We are pleased to say we help many landlords in and around Peterborough, and we want to ensure you make informed decisions.

Your rental property must comply with MEES regulations

Not only do we keep our landlords up to date with current legislation, but we also ensure they receive an early warning about proposed changes. While there is no need to act now, landlords should be aware of proposed changes regarding the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and the standard of your rental property.

If you let property, you must hold a valid EPC. Also, the rental property must be classed as an E or better. If your rental property is classed as an F or a G, it is not suitable for letting purposes. (As always, there are some exemptions, but the vast majority of rental property must meet these standards.)

There is no denying energy efficiency is an important topic, and it is an issue that tenants are interested in. When a rental property has a good standard of energy efficiency, it is easier to heat. This lowers energy bills, making the property more appealing to tenants.

In the long-term, landlords also benefit by improving the energy-efficiency rating of a rental property, but most focus falls on the tenant.

Are changes coming to energy efficiency in rental property?

The new proposal comes from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It is looking for the EPC standard on private rental properties to be a Band C or better by 2025 for all new tenancies, and by 2028 for all tenancies.

Paul Offley, the compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, has spoken about the proposed EPC changes.

Paul said; “Following the recent reports in some of the industry press, I have received a number of concerns relating to the proposal to introduce a new minimum energy efficiency rating for the Private Rental Sector (PRS) in England at level C, which would apply for all new tenancies from 2025 and all existing tenancies from 2028. As you can imagine there are a number of properties where this will impact significantly on landlords in some areas where the cost of energy improvements could be high.”

Paul continued by saying; “Landlords may also be concerned at the increased costs they may face, especially as some may have issues with rent arrears from their tenants who have been impacted by coronavirus – but ‘don’t panic’ is my clear message. At this stage the government has announced its intention and issued a consultation process, everyone involved with the PRS has until the end of December 2020 to have their say and submit a response to the consultation; so don’t suffer in silence this is your opportunity to have your say on this topic.”

If you feel strongly about this matter, you have time to voice your opinion. You can email PRStrajectoryConsultation@beis.gov.uk, or visit the website at https://beisgovuk.citizenspace.com/energy-efficiency/improving-energy-performance-privately-rented-home/.

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.

2020 Landlords Regulations – Are You Compliant?

2020 has been a challenging year for landlords. The industry has faced many new challenges, but this doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore existing challenges. One of the most important issues for landlords to consider is the huge array of regulations you must comply with.

At the start of 2020, landlords had to comply with more than 150 regulations. This year has seen existing regulations be updated, and new regulations come into force. Complying with regulations is often a full-time job for landlords, but we are here to help.

At Just Lets Peterborough, we are on hand to ensure you make informed decisions, and aren’t at risk of failing to comply with the leading regulations in the industry.

Do you need a landlord licence?

Selective licencing came into being in 2006 as a way of forcing rogue landlords to adhere to rules and regulations. Local council authorities have the power to implement a scheme if they experience issues with anti-social behaviour or low standard of housing in a local area.

The scheme requires landlords to follow specific management rules, and if they don’t, they can be fined.

There is a Selective Licensing scheme in place in Peterborough. According to the local council website, landlords must have the following information when applying for the scheme:

  • Details of the tenants
  • Information about the property to be licensed
  • Documents relating to the property, the licence holder and any manager (see checklist below)
  • If the manager and licence holder are two different people then an additional Fit and Proper Person Sheet will need to be completed (see below)

Do you carry out Right to Rent checks on all tenants?

Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 requires landlords to verify tenants legally have the Right to Rent in the United Kingdom. This requirement has been in place since February 2016 and landlords who fail to check a tenants’ Right To Rent may face a civil penalty.

Are you protecting a tenants’ deposit in a licenced Government scheme?

Landlords must secure a tenant’s deposit in one of the Government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. There are two primary forms of deposit protection schemes, custodial and insurance.

Do you have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place?

Rental properties must hold an EPC rating of at least an E to be valid for rental purposes. Landlords who fail to comply with this regulation may face a fine of up to £4,000.

Have you arranged an annual gas safety inspection?

The Gas Safety Regulations of 1998 means landlords must maintain all gas appliances, flues and pipe works in a safe condition. The annual gas safety inspection must be undertaken by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, who will issue a Gas Safety certificate if applicable.

The landlord should retain this certificate until the following test. A copy of this certificate should be provided to the tenant.

Are you compliant with electrical safety regulations?

As of July 2020, electrical safety regulations, similar to the gas safety regulations, will apply to rental property in England. Landlords must ensure their property is compliant with these regulations. For all new tenancies beginning on or after 1 July 2020, the rental property must hold this certification.

This is a new piece of legislation, and we appreciate some landlords might have overlooked this matter. We are happy to provide assistance in complying with this matter.

Do you comply with smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations?

As of 1 October 2015, landlords must ensure there is at least one smoke alarm on every floor of rental property. Also, when there is a solid fuel source in the rental property, landlords must ensure that there is a carbon monoxide alarm in this room.

The landlord is responsible for ensuring each alarm is in working order on the first day of a tenancy.

If you are a landlord in or around Peterborough, and you need assistance in managing your rental property or tax requirements, 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.