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Misinterpretation of Landlords Responsibilities Regarding Legionella

Posted on August 25th, 2017 -

Some consultants and letting agents are using the revised L8 Approved Code of Practice to suggest that new legislation has been imposed on landlords of domestic rented properties for managing and controlling the risks of exposure to Legionella bacteria of their tenants. This is wrong, the legislation has not changed and misinformation/misinterpretation can impose unnecessary financial burdens on landlords where they are being charged for Legionella testing and certificates they don’t actually need.

There is a legal duty for landlords to assess and control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria, but Health and Safety law does not require landlords to produce or obtain, nor does HSE recognise a ‘Legionnaires testing certificate’. Legionella testing or sampling is generally not required in domestic hot and cold water systems and then only in exceptional circumstances.

The law is clear that if you are a landlord and rent out your property (or even a room within your own home) then you have legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of your tenant by keeping the property safe and free from health hazards.


For more information, please see the HSE website;




Thank you to Neil Hoppitt at The Bateman Group (http://www.bateman-group.co.uk/) for the above article from HSE.

Further Tightening on Landlords Borrowing

Posted on August 22nd, 2017 -

From 30th September 2017 new lending rules* come into play which mean lenders will be required to adopt a specialist underwriting approach for Portfolio Landlords.  A Portfolio Landlord will be any landlord who owns four or more mortgaged Buy-To-Let (BTL) properties.

One of the reasons behind the new process is that the PRA has found that the rate of arrears increases as a landlord’s BTL property portfolio increases.

The PRA does not prescribe exact requirements but provides guidance, which includes:

  • The lender’s knowledge of the borrower
  • The borrower’s experience in the BTL market, their full portfolio of properties and outstanding mortgages
  • The borrower’s alternative sources of income, assets and liabilities, including any future tax liability on rental income
  • The merits of any new lending, taking into account their existing BTL portfolio, together with any business plan, and
  • Historical and future expected cash flows associated with all the borrower’s properties


Impact on Landlords

Lenders will likely request income and mortgage details on all properties in a BTL portfolio every time they refinance one, or purchase a new property.  This contrasts with most lenders current policy of assessing a buy-to-let mortgage application based on the rental income and value of just the property they are lending against.  This will cause problems for landlords when refinancing a property in a portfolio which is performing well but the application is affected by another property that is underperforming.

These changes will likely cause a large increase in work for lenders with a longer and more complex underwriting process.  This may lead to some lenders pulling out of this area of the market meaning less competition, or increasing application fees and/or interest rates.

Some lenders will bring these changes in ahead of the deadline but will honour applications accepted prior to their chosen inception date.  Those who will be classed as Portfolio Landlords and are able to refinance before the changes are implemented may benefit from reviewing their mortgages now.

Bridging loans, holiday lets, property commercial lending, and corporate lending are exempt from the changes.

*Prudential Regulation Authority’s (PRA) Supervisory Statement 13/16 Underwriting Standards for buy-to-let mortgage contracts.

Excaliber Associates are offering half price broker fees for SWLA members until the end of September.  Please contact Kirsty or Nick on 01752 340183.

Plymouth City Council – Recycling

Posted on August 22nd, 2017 -

SWLA have been requested by Plymouth City Council to circulate the following.

Since the introduction of alternative weekly collections some problems have arisen regarding recycling facilities.

Please make contact with Plymouth City Council if your property has a) no recycling facility, b) insufficient recycling facilities.

“You and your residents would of course see benefits from our involvement as the increase in recycling rates would place less strain on general waste containers causing less waste related issues such as contamination, excess waste etc.”

For further information contact the Recycling Officer – anthony.boutwood@plymouth.gov.uk

Modern Slavery

Posted on August 22nd, 2017 -

Representatives of SWLA attend regular D & C Police briefings on modern slavery.

If you substitute the word ‘exploitation’ for ‘slavery’ it is easier to understand the scale and complexity of the subject.

Todays slavery is more likely to take the form of trafficked people, having paid for UK entry, with identity papers removed and being forced to work for little or no money. These people are often living in chronically overcrowded conditions with few if any amenities.

If you suspect a case of ‘Modern Slavery’ contact the police on 101 or the modern slavery help line on 0800 121 1700.

Private Rented Sector Strategy in Cornwall

Posted on August 10th, 2017 -

On Thursday 10th August the Chairman and V/Chairman had a meeting with Joe Roberts, Private Sector Housing Manager, Economic Growth and Development, Cornwall Council at SWLA offices to discuss the private rented sector strategy in Cornwall.

CO Awareness Course – Wednesday 9th August 2017

Posted on August 10th, 2017 -

The Think CO workshop was attended by Chairman and V/Chairman, it was a Gas Safe Charity presentation raising the awareness of symptoms and actions to be taken. Further details can be obtained from the office if required.

Trago Build Centre Now Open!! Discount for SWLA members.

Posted on August 3rd, 2017 -

T2B Build Centre A4

The new Trago Build Centre is now open at Trago Newton Abbot!









If you are a SWLA member and have not yet applied for your ‘Trago 2 Business’ discount card, please contact the SWLA office and we will send you the instructions on how to apply.

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