During September and October there were a huge number of legal changes which affected landlords as well as ourselves as letting agents. Some of the policy details were released just a few weeks before they were due to be implemented, which from an industry perspective made it extremely difficult to make sure the legal changes could be implemented from a practical perspective, prior to coming into force.
In some cases, such as the introduction of The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, our landlords were telling us they were struggling to find the right devices and get them fitted in time because of the sudden spike in demand. To help we can arrange this for you if you haven’t already done so, find out more here, or call us for free on 0800 014 9334^.
If you want to purchase smoke alarms yourself, we have found an organisation called http://www.bluewatch.co.uk which was set up by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and they have created a selection of their own alarms which can be purchased on-line.
With these new rules being implemented – in England only – we also found that there were some issues with the implementation of the new rules due to a lack of clarity on what the definition of a ‘single storey’ is which requires a smoke alarm. In addition, the actual wording of the agreement states that the smoke detectors must be tested on the actual day the tenant moves in, rather than as we have done in the past some days or weeks before. As your letting agent we will always make sure we understand the nitty gritty of any legislation changes so we can query and advise on their implementation.
There are also new rules which mean if you want to retain the ability to evict a tenant via a Section 21 i.e. a no fault eviction, you have to have abided by certain rules and regulations at the start of each tenancy which include proof you have provided paperwork to the tenant such as the ‘How to Rent’ Guide https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent. As well as providing the tenant with specific information, it is also essential to keep the property in a good state of repair, if the tenant reports any problems, you (or we if we are managing on your behalf) have to respond within a specified timeframe with regards to what we intend to do about the repair. Not responding to a tenant’s request could mean you struggle to evict your tenant, even if they are not paying rent.
As Your Move is a national agent, we do our very best to make sure we keep on top of all legislation and currently we are expecting an update on the immigration ‘right to rent’ checks. At the moment we have already implemented these changes in the pilot area in the West Midlands, and as we expect them to be rolled out nationally, we have taken a decision to make sure we are already complying with local laws at a national level.
The communication of lettings rules and regulations is always complex but especially at the moment, so whether we are managing your properties or have just provided a tenant for you, our highly trained lettings experts are always on hand via phone 0845 450 5507^ (calls cost 2 pence per minute plus your phone company's access charge) or email Landlords@Your-Move.co.uk or at one of our branches to make sure you and your properties are let legally.
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