Tag Archives: rental property

Tips For Landlords Looking To Let To Tenants With Pets

At Just Lets, we stay in touch with the latest regulations and guidelines in the rental market, ensuring Peterborough landlords stay in touch. Earlier this year, the Government changed the Model Tenancy Agreement. This change made it easier to tenants to stay in rental property with pets, even though this isn’t mandatory.

If you are interested in letting to tenants with pets, or you would like more information on this subject, we can help.

A recent study suggests:

  • 18% of landlords oppose the changes
  • 24% of landlords strongly support the recent changes
  • 55% of landlords support the changes to the Model Tenancy Agreement which allow tenants to have pets by default

Hope McKendrick, a head of lettings for a leading name in the English lettings market, said: “Of course, there are considerations for landlords to make in terms of protecting their property and many options have been discussed in parliament, including higher deposits, referencing for pets and specific insurance.”

Information provided by the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, who admittedly have a biased position when it comes to his information, claim close to half of the households across the United Kingdom own pets.

Guy Gittins, a known name in the UK letting sector, said “I understand what an important part pets can play in people’s lives and that landlords are often unaware of the benefits of allowing pets in their properties, that is why our company has chosen to support Dogs Trust’s Lets with Pets scheme. We encourage our landlords to consider letting their properties to tenants with pets and support them in their decision to do so.”

Should landlords let to tenants with pets?

Some of the reasons landlords should consider letting to tenants with pets include:

  • By having a greater level of prospective tenants to cater for, landlords can minimise the likelihood of void periods
  • Tenants with pets are liable to stay for longer because they have finally found a rental property that caters to their needs
  • There is a growing demand for this style of service
  • There is nothing to suggest a tenant with a pet is less responsible than a tenant with a pet- continue to do your due diligence on potential tenants and find reasonable tenants

Tips for landlords when considering letting to tenants with pets?

Review your leasehold terms as these may impact your ability to let to tenants with pets

  • Ask for a reference for any pets
  • Ask questions about the pet
  • Commit to a personal clean of the rental property, and include some commitment from the tenant to pay for or pay part of this process
  • Review your insurance policy and make sure you are covered to let property to tenants with pets
  • Update your tenancy agreement to include pets

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.

Opportunity For Landlords As We Move Forward

It is no surprise to see many landlords reviewing their place in the rental market. The past year has been a challenging one for all.

However, it should be noted there is still huge demand for rental property, and this is set to continue. There has been a fall in rental accommodation supplied to the market, but this represents an opportunity for many landlords.

If you would like to learn more about the Peterborough rental market, it makes sense to call on the experts for help and guidance. At Just Lets Peterborough, we know the local market, and we stay in touch with what is happening across the country.

How are you performing this year?

A recent study suggests 300,000 fewer rental properties have made their way to market in the last 12 months.

The most significant decline came in the South West and Wales. There was a drop of 48% for available homes in these areas. London was the only area that experienced a rise in available rental properties.

Urban and rural divide across the country’s rental market

For cities across Britain, there was a 16% rise in homes available this year, than in 2020. However, for towns and rural locations, there were rises of 28% and 52% respectively.

The number of prospective tenants in rural areas remained flat, but in cities, there was a fall of 10%.

Lack of rental supply boosts landlords

According to the study, the lack of rental property on the market has helped 50% of landlords to secure a higher rental fee than they had previously achieved. This is the most significant proportion since 2016. The average increase in rental fees was £60 per month.

If you are looking for guidance or assistance in the Peterborough rental market, get in touch, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Aneisha Beveridge, a well-regarded name in the property research sector in the UK said; “Tenants are now faced with significantly less choice, which in turn is pushing up rents. And with many landlords having multiple offers on the table, half of investors have been able to increase the rent they charge. Rental stock levels have also been hit with the onset of the pandemic causing investors to hold back. This has been compounded by emergency legislation which saw landlords having to extend a tenant’s notice period to a minimum of six months, reducing turnover further.”

Aneisha also said; “At the same time, many renters who were looking to buy had to put their plans on ice and continue renting, as banks sought larger deposits for house purchases. However, there are signs that this could change. Over the last five months, and in an effort to beat the original stamp duty deadline of the end of March, landlord purchases started to rise, which will add to stock levels when these homes complete.”

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.

New Green Fund To Upgrade Rental Properties

We all know environmental matters are important, and they are a vital factor in the rental market. Tenants want to be as environmentally friendly as possible, as they know this can significantly reduce the cost of energy bills.

Also, landlords must consider the importance of maintaining energy standards in their rental property. If a landlord doesn’t ensure their rental property complies with expected standards, they could be fined, or they could lose the right to serve as a landlord.

Help is on the way

A new plan that aims to assist upgrading 50,000 homes with green improvements should be of benefit to landlords.

The Government is behind a £562 million funding programme that aims to transform some of the least energy efficient properties in the country.

Some of the work set to be carried out with this plan include:

  • Adding cavity wall insulation to properties which lack this feature
  • The addition of loft insulation where there is currently none or where it is insufficient
  • Heat pumps will be provided
  • Solar panels will be installed

An immediate aim of this programme is to help people save up to £450 per year on their energy bills. This aim is part of a larger scheme which wants to eradicate fuel poverty, help people manage energy bills and to reduce the level of carbon emissions from domestic properties.

Over 200 local authorities in England and Scotland are set to benefit from funding.

The £500 million Local Authority Delivery Fund, part of the Green Homes Grant, makes up most of the funding and is keen to assist households with an income of under £30,000.

Work will be carried out with local authorities to make sure the money goes to people and households who need it most. This includes people living in private rented accommodation, which means many landlords will also benefit from this work.

Referral routes will be in place

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says councils should be in a position to identify deserving households through various measures, including:

  • Liaising with health and charity sectors
  • Reviewing receipt of means tested benefits
  • Reviewing receipt of council tax exemptions

A spokeswoman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says: “Interested landlords should contact their local authority to see if they are taking part in the Local Authority Delivery scheme.”

UK Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “This is yet another important step we are taking to eliminate our contribution to climate change and build back greener from the pandemic.”

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.

Leeway For Landlords In Letting To Pets

While most landlords are keen to increase the potential number of prospective tenants for their rental property, it is also vital landlords vet tenants.

Selecting the right standard of tenant is crucial for landlords, and this is often the difference between a successful letting period, and a challenging one.

Many landlords find themselves perturbed when considering applications from tenants who wish to live with a pet.

This is an evolving situation for landlords and tenants

The Government has recently said blanket refusals are no longer permitted. However, there are genuine reasons as to why landlords don’t wish to let property to tenants with pets. There is a need for clarification on what landlords can do, and if there are grounds for refusing a tenant’s application.

A recent response from a prominent member of the Government will be welcomed by landlords who would prefer to avoid letting rental property to tenants with pets.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher responded to a written question from MP Rachael Maskell. The question asked what constitutes a good reason for landlords to deny a tenant a pet ownership request.

The response will be welcomed by many landlords who are looking for more leeway in this challenging matter.

A new response might lead to further questions

The Housing Minister responded, saying; “A good reason for a landlord to decline a pet ownership request would be where a pet is demonstrably poorly behaved or unsuited for the premises in question, for example, a large dog in a small flat, or where other tenants have allergies to animals.”

Landlords will likely come under greater pressure

There are groups which work with tenants to persuade landlords to allow tenants to have pets in their rental property. One such group is the non-profit voluntary organisation, AdvoCATS, and their founder, Jen Berezai recently released a statement.

Jen said; “I’d been volunteering for a local rescue, and had seen first-hand the heartbreak of an owner surrendering their pet because they weren’t allowed to keep it under their rental contract. I’d had a couple of cases where I’d been able to successfully negotiate a tenant keeping/getting a pet.”

The group is calling for the Tenant Fees Act 2019 to be amended, presenting landlords with the opportunity to demand tenants hold pet damage insurance (if applicable). This will provide landlords with greater confidence that damages caused by a pet are recoverable.

However, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) want landlords to retain the freedom to say to tenants with pets if they would prefer to not let to these applicants. The NRLA released a statement, saying; “There is also often more a risk of damage to a property where there is a pet. This is compounded by legislation which means they are unable to reflect the heightened risk in such situations in the deposit that is charged.”

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.

Demand For Rental Property Remains Robust

It is fair to say the start of 2021 has been as challenging as most of 2020, but there are some constant elements in life to look out for. The demand for rental property has remained robust, and if you are a landlord, you can take comfort from the sustained demand for rental property.

We are here to assist landlords in and around Peterborough as best we can. At Just Lets, we know the local market, and we stay in touch with what tenants want. We also make sure we stay in touch with the latest national figures and news, which means you receive all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Demand for rental property rose at the start of this year

According to ARLA Propertymark, demand for rental property rose by 27% in January 2021, and the number of new prospective tenants registered per branch (on average) stood at 81. This is up, significantly, from the average of 64 in December 2020.

In January 2020, the number of new prospective tenants stood at 88, so the 2021 figure is marginally lower, but generally, it is a positive figure when you think of the upheaval of the past year.

Supply of rental stock

There were contrasting fortunes for the number of properties related to each branch.

There was a fall from the December 2020 to January 2021 figures, moving from 204 to 196. However, when you consider the January 2020 and January 2021 figures, there was an increase from 191 to 196.

Rent prices

39% of agents experienced landlords increasing rent in January 2021 compared to 30% in December 2020. However, in January 2020, 42% of agents experienced landlords increasing rent, so the annual figure represents a fall.

The number of tenants who negotiated a rent decrease dropped from 2.2% in December 2020 to 2% in January 2021.

This is higher than the January 2020 figure, where only 1.3% of tenants successfully negotiated a rent decrease.

Mark Hayward, Chief Policy Advisor, Propertymark, said: “Our latest figures clearly show that the rental market isn’t indicating any signs of slowing down as demand for rental properties surged last month. Letting agents are continuing to support landlords and their tenants during these ongoing difficult times, and it is imperative that tenancies are maintained to keep the rent flowing.”

Mark Hayward also said; “Now we have a route out of the current lockdown, it is vital that continuity in the private rental sector is maintained to continue to help the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic. To do this, the government must consider introducing a financial support package for those tenants who have built up rent arrears due to the financial impact of Covid-19.”

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 Landlords – Prepare For Debt Respite Scheme

At Just Lets Peterborough, we know landlords have a lot of regulations to comply with. We also know many factors impact landlords and tenants. We aim to provide you with as much valuable guidance as we can, and there is a scheme starting soon which might impact your business.

The Debt Respite Scheme, which is also known as Breathing Space, is set to come into effect as of May 2021.

The scheme will provide people who have “problem debt” the right to receive legal protection from being chased by creditors. This will apply to the rental sector, which means landlords and letting agents should be aware of how this affects them when chasing tenants for unpaid rent.

Be aware of two forms of breathing space on offer

According to information found on the Gov.uk website, there are two types of breathing space:

  • The standard breathing space
  • A mental health crisis breathing space

Any individual with problem debt can access the standard breathing space. This will provide them with legal protections from creditor action, and will remain valid for up to 60 days.

Government guidance states; “The protections include pausing most enforcement action and contact from creditors and freezing most interest and charges on their debts.”

The Government stresses the standard breathing space is NOT a payment holiday.

People looking to access the standard breathing space can do so in the following ways:

  1. Through an approved debt adviser registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  2. Through their local authority, if the authority has been approved to provide this level of advice to residents

Anyone who applies for “space” is not allowed to obtain this assistance more than once per year.

The mental health crisis breathing space is only available for people receiving recognised mental health crisis treatment.

Take time to familiarise yourself with these schemes

If you are a creditor, with the obvious example being a landlord who is owed arrears, and you are informed that a debt to you is a breathing space debt, you must immediately stop actions relating to the debt. The creditor is also expected to apply the protections and ensure that these protections remain in place until the breathing space concludes.

This is also the case if you are informed of a breathing space debt where you have sold the debt to another creditor. You must inform the creditor about that breathing space.

The Government advice states; “If you do not do this as soon as possible, you’re liable for any losses the debtor or the assigned creditor have as a result.”

The Government has provided considerable guidelines on their website which can be accessed here.

The National Residential Landlords Association has analysed the guidelines and they believe there will be an impact on landlords where the tenant is in arrears.

The NRLA have released a statement, saying; “In these cases they cannot serve a Section 8 notice, apply for a warrant or money judgement or receive a possession order during the breathing space. They should also not contact the tenant to request payment of the debt during this time.”

The NRLA have also said; “It is worth noting that secured debts aren’t covered by breathing space rules, so your mortgage lender would still expect to receive mortgage payments during the period your tenant was in a breathing space. However, it is likely you would be able to come to an arrangement should you explain the situation.”

The NRLA concluded by saying; “You may continue to contact your tenant about anything not related to the debt. For example, arranging repairs or inspections for electrical or gas safety checks. In addition to this, if the tenant has asked to talk to you about a debt solution or debt then you can answer these enquiries.”

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.

Are You Ignoring These Essential Landlord Issues?

Being a landlord is a challenging task, and there is a lot of work involved. You also have a lot of regulations to consider, and make sure you comply with.

We know some of the issues that landlords must comply with are difficult, but this doesn’t mean they can be overlooked or ignored.
At Just Lets Peterborough, we are on hand to assist you with all the tasks you face when letting property, including the more challenging elements of being a landlord.
To ensure you are up to date with the tasks required to be undertaken by a landlord, please download our guide, and feel free to contact us.

 

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.

Green Homes Grant Scheme Extended

Landlords should know the importance of energy efficiency in their rental property. Landlords must ensure their property meets EPC standards. This can be costly, but there is support on offer, with the Green Homes Grant Scheme being of interest for many landlords.

How much can landlords get with the grant?

The Government website states;

Vouchers will cover two-thirds of the cost of eligible improvements, up to a maximum government contribution of £5,000. If you, or someone in your household, receive certain benefits you may be eligible for a voucher covering 100% of the cost of the improvements. The maximum value of the voucher is £10,000.”

Can I claim the grant?

The grant is on offer in England to people who meet the following criteria:

  • You own your own home (including long-leaseholders and shared ownership)
  • You own your own park home on a residential site (including Gypsy and Traveller sites)
  • You’re a residential landlord in the private or social rented sector (including local authorities and housing associations)

Therefore, residential landlords should be interested in the scheme. With the Green Homes Grant Scheme having been extended, landlords now have an additional year to apply for support.

A 12-month extension has been implemented after complaints from builders who said thousands of projects wouldn’t be completed by the initial deadline.

The initial deadline for the project was March 2021, but landlords and property owners have until March 2022 to ensure their projects are completed.

Landlords should apply sooner rather than later

It should be noted funding for the scheme hasn’t been extended, so landlords should apply for the scheme as quickly as possible.

Examples of work which is covered by the schemes can be seen below:

  • The insulation of walls
  • The insulation of roofs
  • The insulation of floors
  • Upgrading windows to double or triple glazing
  • Installing low carbon heating systems

The Green Homes Grant scheme comes just as the government is – separately – raising the minimum energy efficiency standards for rental homes to C grade or higher from April 2025 for new tenancies unless they have a valid exemption.

Climate change minister Lord Callanan said; “The Green Homes Grant scheme gives homeowners and landlords right across the country a cheaper way to make their homes more energy efficient and cut their bills – all while making their contribution to tackling climate change.”

Lord Callanan continued by saying; “Today’s announcement means an extra year to take advantage of this new scheme, helping households and tradespeople who can plan their workload and create new jobs in their communities.”

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.