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Monthly Archives

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards – Is your rental property ready.

Posted on February 20th, 2020 -

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)


Compare Letting Agent Fees

Posted on February 14th, 2020 -

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

  • Select your available property area.
  • Compare and review Letting Agent prices.
  • Select your preferred agent.
  • Enter your available property and contact details to request a valuation and deal with the agent direct.

For further information: www.comparelettingagentfees.co.uk


Posted on February 14th, 2020 -

Thursday 26th March 2020, 11am – 6pm, University of the West of England, Exhibition & Conference Centre, UWE, BS34 8QZ



Posted on February 10th, 2020 -

SWLA General Speaker Meeting – 22nd April 2020 – 7.30pm – FUTURE INN PLYMOUTH – members and guests welcome

SWLA Attend Private Rented Sector Partnership Meeting Hosted by Plymouth City Council

Posted on February 6th, 2020 -

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.

REMINDER Midnight 31st January, final deadline for landlords to complete & submit self assessment tax returns online and pay tax owed.

Posted on January 31st, 2020 -

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

Date Set; New Electrical Safety Rules for Landlords

Posted on January 16th, 2020 -

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 – ICO chasing companies who have not registered and paid their Data Protection Fee.

Posted on January 16th, 2020 -

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;


SWLA Meet with Councillor Penberthy and Matt Garrett PCC

Posted on January 10th, 2020 -

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

Letting Agents, if you let out a property with a rent of £10k euros (or equivalent) per month or more –

Posted on January 10th, 2020 -

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

SWLA Christmas Office Hours

Posted on December 20th, 2019 -

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.

19th December 2019 saw the state opening of Parliament. What does this mean for landlords?

Posted on December 19th, 2019 -

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

Washing Machine Recall (Hotpoint & Indesit Brands)

Posted on December 19th, 2019 -

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.


Posted on December 12th, 2019 -

SWLA AGM – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 – 7.30pm – Future Inn, Plymouth

Christmas Open Office 2019

Posted on December 12th, 2019 -

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.

Charity Looking for 1 & 2 Bedroom Flats in Devon/Cornwall to Let

Posted on December 12th, 2019 -

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.

Charity Looking for Large Plymouth Houses to Let

Posted on December 12th, 2019 -

‘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.

  • Central area preferred but all areas considered
  • Guaranteed rent of at least £1200 rent per month
  • All bills, compliance and general maintenance paid for and completed by Colebrook
  • Tenants found and managed by Colebrook – Staff on during the day and 24 hr cover
  • 5 year+ lease – bespoke as required
  • 4/5 bedroomed properties (with office potential) will also be considered (with rent adjusted accordingly)

For further information, please contact Shelley 01752 205210; ssanderson@colebrooksw.org

Christmas Open Office Afternoon

Posted on November 27th, 2019 -

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   
SWLA Office   

Dates For Your Diary

AGM – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 @ The Future Inn 7:30pm

For details on Landlord Training Courses, see the SWLA website; 

Iain Maitland, SWLA Vice Chair Attends Teignbridge Housing Services Event

Posted on November 20th, 2019 -

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.

PATH Tenant Training Course – Plymouth

Posted on November 20th, 2019 -

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;

  • Tenancy agreements
  • Private or social rented?
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Sharing
  • Finding accommodation
  • Viewing
  • Help with rent
  • Deposits and rent in advance
  • Notice

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: info@pathdevon.org

PATH Renting Support Service, Harwell Centre, 28-42 Harwell Court, Plymouth, PL1 1PY


Vice Chair, expert witness.

Posted on November 12th, 2019 -

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.

SWLA Membership Renewals Now Due!

Posted on November 1st, 2019 -

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.**

SWLA Christmas Open Office

Posted on November 1st, 2019 -

Wednesday 11th December 2019; 3pm-6pm

Come and join us for a mince pie and a catch up. All members welcome!