With the property market ever evolving, we like to keep on top of changing legislation so you don’t have to. Following the Government’s guidelines is important, as the consequences for not doing so can bevery serious. We will always give you honest, independent advice, and let you know if we think there is the potential for problems to arise.
Here are some recent changes that you may have missed:
Properties with a Balcony
The government has recently released some updated fire safety guidance for landlords who are renting out properties with a balcony. Fires in apartment buildings can be devastating; just look at the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017. In another instance, a recent fire in East London was started by someone using a barbecue on their balcony, so fires in apartment buildings are, unfortunately, not uncommon.
When conducting fire risk assessmentsfor properties with balconies, make sure you includethe balcony area in the checklist, and take appropriate safety measures, including advising tenants not to smoke or light barbecues on balconies. That way you are ensuring you have done your due diligence, and hopefully pre-empted any potential danger.
For further information, click here:
Government Deposit Consultation
The government have also announced their intention to review tenancy deposits, following on from the recent Tenant Fee Ban, which came into effect on the 1st June 2019. They want to ensure that the private rental sector is more affordable for tenants, and more secure for both tenants and landlords.
At Alexander & Co, we offer landlords and tenants alike Zero Deposit Guarantees, which replace the traditionaldeposit placed on a property. This speeds up the rental process, allowing tenants to move into properties more quickly, whilst still giving landlords the security and protection they want. We are seeing more and more tenants taking advantage of zero deposits, so this is definitely something to think about if you’re a landlord.
This is an on-going discussion, and you can find more information about it here.
Other Upcoming Legal Changes
There are several other legal changes that have been agreed and will be coming into effect in the not-too-distant future. We will be keeping on top ofchanging regulations, so keep your eyes open on our blogs page for more information.
The first Minimum Energy Levels Regulations (MEES) will be implemented as of the 1stApril 2020. The regulations state that a minimum rating of an ‘E’ over higher is required on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and will apply to all tenancy agreements in existence as of that date. The government has proposed that this rating is raised to a ‘C’ rating or above by 2030.
The second change is to make Electrical Safety Checks a legal requirement. Currently EICRs are not legal requirements, but every landlord is required to ensure that a property is safe before a tenant can move in. Electrical Safety Checks will need to be completed every five years, but, as yet, there is no official date for this requirement. Carbon monoxide alarms will also become a requirement in the coming months, but again, no date has been confirmed.
There will also be a change to Capital Gains Tax as of 6th April 2020.
Alexander & Co are always aware of changing regulations, and take pride in knowing our market. If you want to talk to any of our team about the above changes in legislation, or to get some advice about your property or the property industry in general, our door is always open, so why not pop into one of our branches to discuss with one of our brilliant team?
Blog guest written by Darrel Kwong of DWK Consultancy.