The world of residential lettings is ever changing with new rules and regulations being introduced all the time. It can be quite confusing so to help, Land and Property Professionals, Robinson & Hall have summarised all changes and highlighted what you need to be aware of.
The lettings market
Robinson & Hall let 38% more properties last year. However, this year the market is stalling a little due to Brexit which is seeing more tenants staying put. Bedford has a high number of European tenants who are waiting to see what their future is within the UK before committing to another six month minimum contract.
Rental prices have increased over recent years but we are expecting these to stabilise. Three bedroom properties seem to be the most popular and we are currently seeing rental prices averaging at £995 per calendar month.
Management of properties has also increased and Robinson & Hall now manage 400. This increase is largely due to regulation changes which landlords don’t want the hassle of sorting out themselves.
Tenants who are moving are expecting higher standards of accommodation and those who are finding their ideal property are staying put for an average of 3-4 years.
Mandatory five-yearly electrical installation checks on private rented housing
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has stated that it plans to introduce the legislation as soon as possible.
In year one all new private tenancies will be affected and in year two all existing tenancies will come within scope. Properties that already have a valid Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) will not need to replace it until five years have passed since the date of issue. Penalties of up to £30,000 will be issued to any landlords who do not comply.
Thankfully we organise five-yearly checks on all our managed properties and we ask landlords to do this for properties we don’t manage.
Tenant fees are banned
The ban on tenant fees applies to all tenancies commencing on or after 1st June 2019.
We have always been very clear on the fees we charge both landlords and tenants and we believe our fees are competitive compared to other lettings agents. However, this does mean that landlords will have to foot the bill for the tenant reference checks. Our current fee is £38.40 per person. We will ensure we carry out all income and identity checks before undergoing the reference process to try to avoid receiving any unacceptable references.
Minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Rating of E
From 1st April 2018 there was a requirement for any properties rented out in the private sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E. This was on new lets and renewals. From 1st April 2020 this will also apply to existing tenancies. Penalties of up to £4,000 will be imposed.
If your rental property has an EPC rating lower than an E, please do get in touch. Our surveyors will be able to visit your property and make recommendations to improve your rating and manage the works if you wish. 2020 seems like a long time away but works can take some time to sort out so I suggest you think about this now.
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For further information or to book a free, no obligation lettings appraisal please get in touch with Kellie Marsh, Residential Lettings Manager on 01234 362937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org