Header- Phone Number

01752 510913

Header – Email Address


Webinar – Lettings Compliance with Goodlord & CEO David Cox, ARLA Propertymark

Posted on April 29th, 2020 -

Free Webinar for Landlords and Agents; WEDNESDAY 29 APRIL 2020 | 9.30AM – listen by clicking the link below anytime.

ARLA Propertymark CEO David Cox discusses the latest legislative and legal changes affecting the lettings industry, and shares his advice on how to keep on top of them. He will be covering:

  • The Renters’ Reform Bill
  • Electrical Safety Regulations
  • Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA)
  • Section 21

Listen in full here;


Coronavirus – CALL FOR EVIDENCE – Impact of COVID-19 on homelessness and the private rented sector

Posted on April 24th, 2020 -



The HCLG Committee has launched an inquiry into the Impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on homelessness and the private rented sector. It will consider both the immediate and long-term impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the homeless, rough sleepers and those in the private rented sector.

The Committee expects to hold an evidence session in early May onwards to hear directly from stakeholders and Government about what is being done and what further support is needed.

Coronavirus – Universal Credit Landlord Newsletter

Posted on April 24th, 2020 -

This Universal Credit newsletter aims to provide information to social and private landlords on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Universal Credit; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletters/coronavirus-covid-19-universal-credit-landlord-engagement-newsletter


  • If your tenant is struggling financially, all employment and benefit support information can be found here; https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/employment-and-benefits-support/
  • People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.
  • People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.
  • Those affected by Coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre.

Webinar – Andy Sandford with Ridgewater & Boyce Hatton LLP ‘Property Lockdown Questions Answered’

Posted on April 22nd, 2020 -

Free Live Webinar for Landlords, Property Agents and Tenants.

FRIDAY 24TH APRIL 12.30PM – (link can be sent if you cannot watch live)

The top 10 property related lockdown questions answered

Whether you are buying, selling or renting the lockdown has caused many property-related challenges. Can I complete? Can I move in? What happens to my deposit. Over the past few weeks we have talked to many people and a number of them were dealing with difficult property issues like these.

Join this webinar with Neil Tozer of www.ridgewater.co.uk and Rebecca Holloway Partner and Head of Residential Property at BOYCE HATTON LLP who will help answer the top questions and more during this free webinar
1) If I am renting does my Landlord have to do essential repairs?
2) I am a Landlord, do I still have to do the annual Gas Safety Certificate
3) Can I move house now?
4) What transactions can be completed at this time?
5) Is there anything I can do to help sell my property once lockdown is over?
6) Can I / My Agent still do viewings on my property?
7) Can I still market my property for sale or rent?
8) What does the housing market look like now, in 3 months and beyond?
9) What do I do if my tenant says they can’t pay the rent?
10) My landlord gets a mortgage holiday, why do I have to pay rent?

They will also be taking live questions.

Sign up if you are interested in the property market right now and even if you cannot get to the live webinar you will be sent a link to the recording.  


Coronavirus – Job Retention Scheme Now Live for Claims

Posted on April 20th, 2020 -

  • employers can now go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker
  • 5000 HMRC staff will operate the scheme – which is expected to help thousands of firms across the UK

Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal – with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.


HMRC Online System for Landlords Reporting Capital Gains Tax Goes Live

Posted on April 18th, 2020 -

If you sell your property after 6 April 2020 you must report and pay Capital Gains Tax within 30 days of selling property in the UK.

Capital Gains Tax is a tax on the profit when you sell (or ‘dispose of’) something (an ‘asset’) that’s increased in value.

It’s the gain you make that’s taxed, not the amount of money you receive.

Some assets are tax-free. You also do not have to pay Capital Gains Tax if all your gains in a year are under your tax-free allowance.

You may have to pay interest and a penalty if you do not report gains on property within the time limit.

You’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you report and pay.

If you sold the property before 6 April 2020, report the gain using the ‘real time’ Capital Gains Tax service or in your next Self Assessment tax return.

For further information; https://www.gov.uk/capital-gains-tax

ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) Cladding

Posted on April 18th, 2020 -

Shortly after the fire at Grenfell Tower, the independent expert advisory panel advised the government to undertake identification screening of residential buildings over 18 metres tall (in accordance with building regulations guidance on rain-screen cladding). This is in order to identify the type of aluminium composite material (ACM) used.

Action for private sector residential landlords.

It is the responsibility of building owners in the private residential sector to carry out necessary measures to ensure the safety of their residents.

Since June, the government has been urging owners of private residential buildings over 18 metres to make urgent use of the free ACM screening tests, and to report the results to local authorities so that private sector blocks with ACM cladding systems can be identified.

We are also working with local authorities to identify privately owned residential buildings over 18 metres with ACM cladding systems. Financial support to local authorities for the work needed to collect data on high rise residential buildings and report on cladding was provided in line with the new burdens doctrine.

Work to reach private sector landlords continues – through industry bodies including the Home Builders Federation, Association of Residential Letting Agents, and the British Property Federation.

For further information; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aluminium-composite-material-cladding?utm_source=a63bd941-6973-46dd-a81c-08e2a9796677&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Coronavirus – Companies House Support for Businesses Affected

Posted on April 18th, 2020 -

Changes announced will help businesses avoid being struck off the Companies House register as they deal with the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak. Businesses will be given additional support to help them meet their legal responsibilities.

Companies House will temporarily pause the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. This will give businesses affected by the Coronavirus outbreak the time they need to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register.

In addition, companies issued with a late filing penalty due to COVID-19 will have appeals treated sympathetically.

The announcement builds on measures already implemented by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which give businesses the ability to apply for a 3-month extension to file accounts with Companies House.

For further information; https://www.gov.uk/government/news/companies-house-support-for-businesses-hit-by-covid-19?utm_source=d18776e2-62d2-4d0a-b11d-d75ca62e6f8e&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

Coronavirus – Furlough Scheme Extended to 30 June 2020

Posted on April 17th, 2020 -

The Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended by one month to reflect the continuing social distancing measures.

The extension allows UK businesses to continue to protect millions of jobs.

The scheme, which allows businesses to furlough employees with the Government paying 80 per cent of employees’ wages up to a maximum of £2,500, was originally open for three months and backdated from 1 March to the end of May. The Government has taken action to help the economy bridge through this period of national emergency so that as many people as possible can get back to work as the situation improves.

For further information on Government schemes that can help those experiencing financial difficulties;

Coronavirus – Section 8; Updated Form 3

Posted on April 16th, 2020 -

Tenancy form 3: notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy

If a tenant falls into serious rent arrears (over 2 months or 8 weeks – depending on rent period) a landlord now needs to give minimum 3 months notice to their tenant before court proceedings can begin. Previous to the coronavirus pandemic, this notice period was no less than 2 weeks.

The prescribed Form 3 has been updated and published by the Government to reflect this change. This form should be used by landlords from 27th March 2020 up to 30th September 2020 but this date may be extended.

Tenants’ obligation to pay rent has not changed. There are many financial packages available to most people affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Landlords should have discussions with their tenants and remain understanding and flexible with regards to any financial difficulties. Any rent payments that are not paid in full would be classed as arrears and would need to be paid back to the landlord at a later date.

Should Landlords Think Twice Before Requesting a Mortgage Holiday?

Posted on April 16th, 2020 -

One in nine mortgage holders in the UK has taken a mortgage payment holiday as their finances have been affected by the coronavirus.

Landlords are being encouraged to think twice before requesting to defer mortgage payments. Broker ‘Mortgage for Business’ has said that only a handful of landlords contacting its switchboard about mortgage repayment holidays are raising legitimate concerns about how to pay their mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whilst there are landlords who find themselves in genuine financial hardship, the broker said that many landlords who are applying for the holiday do actually have sufficient means to get them through this difficult period.

The managing director of Mortgage for Business said that apart from the moral implications of abusing a mortgage repayment scheme brought in at a time of national crisis, it could play out badly for the landlord. He insists that applications made could affect current and future borrowing applications.

He said “Landlords must be aware that any requests could potentially damage any approaches to that lender. Lenders expect landlords to be able to cover void periods under normal circumstances – where a property is empty, and a landlord isn’t getting any rent.

Additionally, Mortgages for Business points out that most buy-to-let lenders will ask landlords to prove they are in financial hardship before granting any holiday request. While a landlord’s tenant may be in distress and unable to make rental payments – to benefit from the scheme, landlords also need to be unable to meet their mortgage repayments.

He added: “The message is simple. Do not approach lenders for payment holidays without first taking advice and thinking about the longer-term consequences. Any deferred payments will have to be made at some stage and it could create problems down the line – especially when you come to refinance or grow the portfolio.”

NRLA (with full support and action from SWLA) have called for a package of measures from the Government and mortgage providers. Including temporary scrapping of the 5 week wait for Universal Credit and ensuring lenders look sympathetically on requests from landlords for a mortgage break when their income is affected through reduced or non-payment of rent.

Article abridged from Landlord Today

Coronavirus – Plymouth City Council, Community Connections, Addendum to Housing Policies

Posted on April 8th, 2020 -

Covid 19 addendum to policies document; https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/COVID%2019%20Addendum%20-%20Housing%20Improvement%20and%20HMO.pdf

Information from PCC about housing during the coronavirus crisis; https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/coronaviruscovid19informationabouthousing

General information from PCC regarding local services, advice and support during the coronavirus crisis; https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/covid-19

Please read the addendum document and visit the links above to keep up to date on services and the private rented sector in Plymouth.

A few highlights from the document;

  • As part of a national effort to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak it is vital that local authorities, landlords and tenants work together to keep rented properties safe.
  • The Government is asking everyone to do all they can to help stop coronavirus spreading and has published advice on maintaining strict separation from others wherever possible during this unprecedented time.
  • During this time it may be harder for local authorities to carry out their usual work. Inspecting properties and taking enforcement action may be affected by issues around resources or tenants maintaining strict separation. Landlords may also find it harder to comply with their legal obligations for the same reasons.
  • We are looking to adopt the cancellation of all non-critical inspections. Our officers will continue to review all new complaints that come into the service, but will now prioritise only those that are deemed critical.
  • We will only look to take enforcement action that we determine is necessary, and this will be determined on a case by case basis. We have reviewed our existing policies to meet the changing circumstances caused by COVID-19 and latest government advice regarding the outbreak, and will continue to be mindful to ensure pragmatic, appropriate and risk based action is taken.
  • We have taken the decision to suspend all non-urgent proactive work where there is not a duty to carry this out, for example scheduled targeted action or inspections of licensable properties, and prioritising reactive work, e.g. complaints from tenants. A triage system will be used to ensure the most serious risks are prioritised and vulnerable tenants are protected. This will operate on a case by case basis. Following government guidance, any decision to continue or suspend proactive action will be made based on an assessment of risk and the most current government advice about the outbreak.
  • We continue to work closely with landlords and tenants to ensure standards in rented properties are maintained. We will be contacting landlords and using communications to emphasise the importance of keeping properties free from hazardous conditions, but also reassure them that a pragmatic, risk-based and common-sense approach will be used when enforcement decisions are taken.

Questions & Answers The following is not exhaustive and is not meant to be legal advice.


Q. What about the legal duty local authorities have to take the appropriate
enforcement action if they consider that a category 1 hazard exists on any
residential premises?
A. We will:
Consider carefully what would be appropriate action during the current situation and review/update enforcement policies accordingly.
Prioritise resources to ensure vulnerable tenants and imminent risks to health are targeted

Property licensing
Q. What about the legal duty local authorities have to ensure that all applications for licences are determined within a reasonable time?
**In Plymouth we only operate the mandatory House in Multiple Occupation licensing scheme.**
We will:
Contact landlords who are waiting for licences to be determined to explain potential delays.
Take individual landlords’ circumstances into account where licence fee payments may have been delayed due to the current situation.
Prioritise high-risk licensable properties if this is necessary to protect vulnerable tenants and target imminent risks to health.
Continue to take a pragmatic and common-sense approach to enforcement action.

Scheduled inspections, e.g. gas, electricity

Q. What about the requirement for landlords to ensure certain installations are in place or safe, for example gas, fire alarms, emergency lighting?
A. We will:
Consider carefully if landlords can show evidence that they have been unable to carry out inspections or works, despite having taken reasonable steps, before carrying out any enforcement.
Government guidance advises that inspectors/maintenance workers can still visit blocks of flats and multi-occupied properties for essential or urgent work such as inspecting and testing fire alarm and emergency lighting systems.

Coronavirus – BBC Radio 4 – Landlords and Tenants Rights

Posted on April 8th, 2020 -

Louise Cooper and guests discuss what rights tenants and landlords have as the coronavirus crisis continues. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000h1md

New N5B – Claim Form for Possession of a Property Located in England

Posted on April 8th, 2020 -

6th April 2020, the Government published a new version of the N5B (to use when applying to the courts for accelerated possession of a property after serving a Section 21 notice to tenants and the notice period ending).


Note – From 27th March 2020 all possession cases are suspended for 90 days, therefore this form will not be in use until after the suspension is lifted.

Coronavirus – Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Posted on April 8th, 2020 -

The Government has released advice on meeting the regulatory requirement to secure a valid Energy Performance Certificate on marketing a property during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

A valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement when a property is sold, let or constructed and must be completed by an accredited assessor unless an exemption can be applied.


  • EPC assessments should only be conducted in accordance with government advice on home moving during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and where the EPC assessment can be conducted safely.
  • An EPC is a legal requirement when a property is sold, let or constructed and must be completed by an accredited assessor using standard assessment procedures.
  • Where a property is occupied, parties must endeavour to agree that the transaction can be delayed, so that an EPC assessment can proceed when stay-at-home measures to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) are no longer in place.
  • If moving is unavoidable and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, and a valid EPC is not available from the register, an assessment may need to be conducted. In these circumstances, government guidelines on staying away from others to minimise the spread of the virus must be followed alongside the guidance for carrying out work in people’s homes.
  • EPC assessments can continue in cases where your property is vacant.
  • No assessments should take place if any person in the property is showing symptoms, self-isolating or being shielded – if securing an EPC is critical you should seek to reschedule your appointment when it is safe to do so in accordance with Government guidelines on staying away from others.

TradePoint – SWLA Discount, Click & Collect

Posted on April 8th, 2020 -



Landlord repair responsibilities remain the same throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. All non essential repairs should be rescheduled for a later date. All essential repairs should go ahead with tradespeople/landlords following Government advice on social distancing and ‘stay at home’ measures.

SWLA members with a TradePoint card can still get their 5% trade discount (increasing to 10% if spending threshold reached).


  1. Visit the TradePoint website https://www.trade-point.co.uk/#
  2. Log into your TradePoint account (if you haven’t activated your account yet you will need to do so using your TradePoint card number and choose a password)
  3. Once you are logged in, you can add items to your basket for contact free Click & Collect at a local B&Q store. The discount will automatically come off as you are logged into your TradePoint account. (There are some delivery slots available but are in very high demand).
  4. Pay for your goods, you will then receive a confirmation email
  5. Once your order is ready for collection, the store will contact you to confirm it’s ready. This is usually the day after placing your order but can take up to 72 hours if the store is busy.
  6. Go to the contact free Click and Collect area of the car park, take your order confirmation (either printed or on your phone). Take photo ID or the card you paid with for ID. If someone else is collecting, they will need the order confirmation and their own photo ID.
  7. Your items will be left by your car ready for you to load. Remember to follow the 2 metres apart social distance measures.

For landlords who do not have a TradePoint card, B&Q is also open and allowing socially distanced shopping; https://www.diy.com/

Coronavirus – Caring for Plymouth Support Hub

Posted on April 2nd, 2020 -

The operation to shield Plymouth’s most vulnerable residents from the Coronavirus.

Caring for Plymouth, which is an alliance between the Council, Livewell Southwest and a large number of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations, will ensure that these people are provided with emotional support, shopping, medicine collection, support with paying bills and accessing money. Staff providing the service will have had background checks to provide added piece of mind.

In addition, the Caring for Plymouth Support Hub will support other vulnerable older and disabled people who are affected by Covid 19 and who have no-one to support them to maintain their independence.


Coronavirus – Electrical Safety

Posted on April 1st, 2020 -

Five-year electrical safety checks will still be mandatory for landlords for all new tenancies from 01 July 2020. This will still be rolled out to all existing tenancies from 01 April 2021. 

Coronavirus has not impacted these regulations, the Government have confirmed the following;

Landlords must provide tenants with all necessary gas and electrical safety and any other relevant certification at the beginning of a tenancy (and carry out all scheduled inspections and tests where required). Where inspections have already been carried out, documents can be provided by post or in some circumstances it may be possible to provide digital copies.

Landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which come into force on 1 July. There are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord cannot do this (see box below), and they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.

We are encouraging local authorities and other enforcement agencies to take a pragmatic, common-sense approach to enforcement in these unprecedented times. You can read the latest guidance for landlords and Gas Safe engineers and inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive here https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

For the full guidance see page 19 of the Government guidance; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/876500/Consolidated_Landlord_and_Tenant_Guidance_COVID_and_the_PRS_v4.2.pdf

Coronavirus – The Impact on Student Accommodation

Posted on April 1st, 2020 -

‘National Code Assured Accommodation’, have released information and advice on the impact of Coronavirus on student accommodation, including within the private rented sector. It contains an overview of how the sector is reacting to the challenges it’s faced with.


Search the Blog

Request a Call Back

If you are interested in joining us and would like to have a chat please enter your details below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Fill out my online form.

Blog Categories

Monthly Archives