Is your rental property ready for 1st April 2020? Read the landlords guide to Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (see link below – if the link doesn’t open for you please type the below into your search engine)
Landlords- you can now compare local Letting Agent fees on one website FREE OF CHARGE.
Letting Agents- you can add your company information and fees FREE OF CHARGE to the website.
The comparison site will reveal how much local letting agents charge for ‘full property management’, ‘rent collection’ and ‘tenant find only’ services.
4 simple steps
For further information: www.comparelettingagentfees.co.uk
Thursday 26th March 2020, 11am – 6pm, University of the West of England, Exhibition & Conference Centre, UWE, BS34 8QZ
SWLA General Speaker Meeting – 22nd April 2020 – 7.30pm – FUTURE INN PLYMOUTH – members and guests welcome
Wednesday 5th February, Anna Lord (SWLA Senior Administrator) attended the meeting along with various representatives from the PRS in Plymouth. The aim of the group is to drive up housing conditions.
Many items were discussed including; changes in HMO licencing in line with mandatory licencing, the costings of HMO licencing, PATH tenancy training programs, the climate emergency and what the PRS can do to help.
SWLA are proud to be part of this group; helping to drive up housing conditions for tenants whilst ensuring members and course attendees are aware of their landlord obligations.
Those who fail to submit a return before the deadline could face an initial fixed penalty of £100.00 as well as further penalties dependant on the length of delay.
If you are unsure about any aspect of your self-assessment tax return, it is important that you seek specialist advice at the earliest opportunity.
For further information ; https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns/deadlines
Five-year safety checks will be mandatory for landlords for all new tenancies from 01 July 2020. This will be rolled out to all existing tenancies from 01 April 2021. The new regulations were tabled by the Government on Monday 13th January 2020, requiring pre-tenancy and five yearly checks of all fixed appliances and wiring.
Landlords failing to comply with the new rules will face fines of up to £30,000.
Once the electrical installation has been tested, the landlord needs to receive a written report from the inspector, with the results and next inspection date. They must then;
– Give a copy of the report to tenants within 28 days
– Give a copy to the local authority, if it asks for one, within seven day
– Keep a copy and give it to the person carrying out the next inspection.
For new tenancies, the landlord must:
– Give the tenant a copy of the most recent report before they move in
– Give a copy of the most recent report to any prospective new tenant who asks for it in writing, within 28 days
For further information http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934
Article Abridged from RLA
GDPR came into force on 25th May 2018. Most businesses that process personal information (private landlords included) need to register with the Information Commissioners Office and pay the yearly Data Protection Fee. If you haven’t registered – make this a priority! To check if you need to pay visit; ico.org.uk/fee-checker
The ICO have launched a postal campaign to remind all registered companies of their legal obligation. The fee is £40.00 or £60.00 per year for most small companies (dependant on turnover). A Direct Debit can be set up for automatic yearly payments.
There are a range of services and support that the ICO provide to help you comply with the law and give your tenants/clients confidence in the way you process personal information.
For more information see the ICO website;
9th January 2020, Steve Lees (SWLA Chair) and Iain Maitland (SWLA Vice Chair) met with Matt and Councillor Penberthy.
Topics for discussion included the Government’s plans to axe Section 21 and MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) in the Private Rented Sector.
SWLA continue to be a voice for landlords and work with local authorities to get the most positive outcomes for tenants and landlords alike.
REMINDER!! If your rented property is covered under the MEES Regulations, your EPC rating needs to be E or above in order for you to let the property (unless you have a valid exemption). For more information and cut off dates; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance#find-out-if-your-property-is-covered-by-the-regulations
From today, 10 January 2020, all letting agents who manage properties which, individually, yield an income of 10,000 Euros per month (or equivalent) or more, must now comply with regulations set out in in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019.
All letting agents across the UK will have 12 months to register with HMRC if they meet the requirements. However, HMRC’s online registration system for letting agents won’t be operational until May 2020.
All letting agents in the regulated sector for AML will need to comply with the Regulations, despite not being able to register. Customer due diligence (CDD) checks will need to be carried out on any new tenants and landlords on or from 10 January 2020. Also, if an existing tenancy is renewed after this date, letting agents will need to carry out appropriate checks at that point on both parties.
Estate and letting business
Any letting agent who carries out sales and is already registered with HMRC for AML supervision and fall within the scope of the Regulations, they will need to inform HMRC that they carry out lettings activity. This can be done once the online applications process is up and running.
Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
CDD must be carried out on both the tenant and landlord for any tenancy agreement with a monthly rent of 10,000 Euros (or equivalent amount) or more before establishing a business relationship. This means identifying and verifying the customer, obtaining information on the nature of the business relationship and details of any beneficial owners.
Propertymark believes it is best practice for all letting agents, regardless of whether they fall under the definition of businesses with HMRC for AML supervision to carry out CDD on all their customers. This is because committing an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 applies to everyone and criminalise any involvement in the proceeds of any crime if the person knows or suspects that the property is criminal property.
Information from David Cox at ARLA Propertymark
The SWLA Office will be closed 24th, 25th & 26th December. The rest of the festive period, phone lines and emails will be maintained.
We wish all of our members and supporters a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
The Queen announced a Renters’ Reform Bill that will abolish the use of Section 21 (no fault) evictions. The grounds for possession via Section 8 will be reformed. Landlords will have more rights to gain possession of their property through the courts where there is a legitimate need to do so. The court process will be improved to make it quicker and easier for landlords to gain possession. It is hoped that a dedicated housing tribunal will be introduced making the process better for all parties involved.
The Government’s Renters’ Reform Bill will also introduce a lifetime deposit so that renters don’t need to save for a deposit every time they move house.
SWLA encourage members to engage with MPs to ensure that the reforms are fit for purpose.
For further information on the reforms; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/853886/Queen_s_Speech_December_2019_-_background_briefing_notes.pdf
Information Abridged from ARLA & gov.uk
More than half a million certain models of washing machines manufactured between 2014 and 2018 are been recalled by Whirlpool (Hotpoint and Indesit Brands) – landlords should check appliances by using the ‘model checker online’ https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk/ entering the model and serial number found inside the door or on the back.
Alternatively, call the Whirlpool helpline on 0800 316 1442.
If your/your tenant’s washing machine is affected, you can choose a like for like replacement or a free in home repair of the appliance.
SWLA AGM – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 – 7.30pm – Future Inn, Plymouth
Thank you to everyone who came to our Christmas Open Afternoon! It was great to see you all.
We would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you next year whether this be on a training course, at the AGM/General Meetings or in the office.
From the SWLA Office Staff and Committee.
Brook Housing are a non-profit charity with a goal to find suitable housing for people with learning disabilities and Autism across Devon and Cornwall.
We are looking for landlords who are flexible and willing to accept a company let. All tenancies are in our company name and guaranteed by Brook Housing. That’s guaranteed rent on time EVERYTIME, a guarantee your property will be returned to you in the same, if not better condition and a guarantee of a long term tenancy.
If you’re tired of paying expensive agency fees, having voids in your rent and being left to pay for tenant damage at the end of your tenancies please contact us at www.brookhousing.co.uk or call our office on 01752 230185 for further information.
‘Colebrook SW’ are a local charity who are looking for 6 bedroomed properties (with a room that could be used as a small office) in which to support vulnerable adults.
For further information, please contact Shelley 01752 205210; email@example.com
SWLA would like to invite you to our open afternoon at 30 Dale Road on Wednesday 11th December 2019 from 3-6pm.
Come and enjoy a mince pie and drink with committee members, office staff and other members.
We look forward to seeing you there!
If you haven’t yet renewed your membership for this year please feel free to pop in and renew.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
From Gillian, Anna and Mandy
Dates For Your Diary
AGM – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 @ The Future Inn 7:30pm
For details on Landlord Training Courses, see the SWLA website;
Friday 15th November was the annual consultation between Teignbridge Housing and key stakeholders/partners who contribute to and influence the delivery of strategic objectives in the Private Rented Sector in the Teignbridge area. For more information on the Council’s strategy; https://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-information/strategies-policies-and-performance/strategies-and-plans/
SWLA are proud to have input into such events, shaping the future of private renting for landlords and tenants alike.
DECEMBER 9th, 2pm at Harwell Centre (PATH Offices) FREE COURSE
Plymouth Access to Housing are running this course to help tenants in the private rented sector. What can tenants expect from their landlord? What responsibilities do tenants have? All delegates will obtain a certificate on completion of the course. The course will also cover;
All tenants and those wishing to seek a tenancy are welcome to attend. Please contact the PATH office to confirm your attendance or if you have any questions; 01752 293730 OR E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
PATH Renting Support Service, Harwell Centre, 28-42 Harwell Court, Plymouth, PL1 1PY
LANDLORDS – PLEASE SHARE THIS OPPORTUNITY WITH YOUR TENANTS!
The Vice Chairman, Iain Maitland attended Cornwall Council Private Rented Sector (PRS) inquiry as an expert witness, on Monday 11th November.
Cornwall Council’s Economic Growth and Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee, were holding an inquiry focussing specifically on the PRS in Cornwall (Selective Licensing being considered).
The session revolved around:
. Reliance on the PRS for housing needs.
. Decent and safe homes.
. New powers to tackle poor standards.
. Rogue landlord activity.
. Also covered were the abolition of Section 21 possession and its effects.
. Rent control.
. Longer AST’s.
. Training for landlords and accreditation.
The Vice Chairman expressed views on all of the above, which will hopefully be considered favourably especially with regard to selective licencing.
Thank you to all of our members who have renewed already.
For any members yet to renew, your membership expired on 31st October. Please arrange payment of £45.00 if you wish to renew for 2019-2020;
Account Name: SWLA
Sort Code: 20-68-10
Account Number: 50498610
Please quote your name and membership number as the reference.
Cheques can be sent to: SWLA, 30 Dale Road, Plymouth, PL4 6PD
**Your receipt will be emailed when payment has been received unless a paper copy is requested. You are agreeing to the terms and conditions of your original membership by paying your fee.**
Wednesday 11th December 2019; 3pm-6pm
Come and join us for a mince pie and a catch up. All members welcome!