Tag Archives: gas safety

First Timer – Let to Buy Latest Articles, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

First Timer - Let to BuyI bought a one bed flat in North London a few years ago to live in with my partner. Recently we purchased our first flat together and have moved into it. I was able to secure the new mortgage partly based on the projected income from the old property – I believe this is known as “Let to Buy” and is becoming quite commonplace.

To avoid becoming a dreaded “accidental landlord” I’ve done a fair bit of research in the run up to moving out to ensure I know what I’m doing. Continue reading First Timer – Let to Buy

Is he a landlord? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Is he a landlord?My partner’s ex-wife & their son reside in the ex-marital home, courtesy of the divorce agreement. She is required to maintain it & keep it in the (good) condition it was in when he vacated in 2006. This situation will remain until 2016.

Anecdotally, we know that the property is not being maintained, internally or externally, and we have just discovered that the gas boiler broke down & has not been used for at least a year. They keep warm with halogen heaters (we have been told) but we have no knowledge of how the water is heated, if at all.

My partner is not allowed any access to the property, unless by invitation, to check the situation but is concerned that he could be viewed as ‘landlord’ and be liable for things like gas safety. His ex-wife will not ‘invite’ him inside but from the doorstep we can smell damp when the front door is opened.

For info, the property has a small o/s interest only mortgage. Ex-wife supplies a certificate of buildings insurance annually. Mortgage is is my partner’s sole name.

Thank you

Sharon Jones

ARLA’s advice on what to expect from the private rented sector Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

ARLAThe latest figures from letting agents suggest that the UK still has a healthy appetite for rental properties. According to The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) over half (54.8 per cent) its members reported that they had more tenants on their books than available properties to rent. With demand so high, those seeking rental properties for the first time may feel rushed into a decision without fully understanding the legal obligations or what to expect from the landlord so ARLA has today issued advice on what you need to do or know beforehand embarking on a tenancy.

Ian Potter, Managing Director, ARLA said: “Many people find the prospect of renting a home daunting, whatever their age or experience. Particularly in today’s competitive market prospective tenants may rush into making a decision about a property for fear of losing out.

“But tenants should remember that rules and procedures vary depending on the type of tenancy. Researching their obligations and fully understanding the legal aspects of being a tenant, even before they start searching for a property to rent, is vital.”

ARLA has the following advice to help those unfamiliar with renting make their experience as smooth and trouble-free as possible:

1. Lettings is an unregulated industry: The rental industry is not subject to any central Government legislation, meaning that anyone can set up as a letting agent or landlord. For peace of mind, do your research and seek advice from a letting agent affiliated to a professional organisation like ARLA. All ARLA agents must adhere to a strict code of conduct, as well as offering client money protection and redress schemes, which help protect consumers if things go wrong.

2. Your deposit should be secure: Typical deposits required can range from anywhere between four to six weeks’ rent. This deposit should be paid by your landlord or agent into one of three government-approved tenancy deposit schemes. It is a legal requirement that the landlord or lettings agent protects the deposit in this way. Tenants can find out more at: www.direct.gov.uk.

3. A professional inventory can help protect you: A detailed inventory compiled at the start of the tenancy assists in assessing any costs that may be deducted from your deposit at the end of your contract. Be present when the inventory is being done; if that’s not possible, insist on seeing a copy to ensure you agree with what has been noted. If there are photographs make sure they are good quality and reflect accurately any items captured. All documents should be signed and agreed by both landlord and tenant.

4. There are different kinds of tenancy agreement: Many shared tenancies contain a joint liability clause and this means you are responsible for the actions of your co-tenants for the duration of the tenancy. This includes covering their share of the rent if they were to unexpectedly move out. Before you enter such an agreement consider how well you know your sharers. And if you are asked for a guarantor when sharing, then make sure that they understand that they are guaranteeing all your responsibilities contained in the tenancy agreement.

5. Meeting safety standards: Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure gas safety is checked annually. Make sure you have seen the gas safety certificate and instructions for all electrical items. Also check to see if all soft furnishings comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations 1988 and are fire safety compliant. Look for the fire safety label on all furnishings.

6. Energy performance certificates: Energy Performance Certificates should be given to you by your landlord or agent before you move into a new property. This will show you how energy efficient a property is.

7. Carrying out repairs: Advise your landlord or managing agent when things need fixing to avoid bigger problems in the future. Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior or structure of a property including problems with the roof, chimney, walls, guttering and drains, as well as electrical, heating, hot water and sanitary installations. For minor repairs and maintenance the tenant is usually responsible, but any changes – like re-decorating – should be pre-approved by your landlord.

8. Pay bills: Other than paying the rent on time, tenants need to ensure they are paying bills which are not included in the tenancy agreement. In most cases these include bills for council tax, utilities, TV licence, Internet and telephone charges. Tenants must also remember to check their tenancy agreement as some landlords will forbid any change to utilities supplier.

If you need the services of an ARLA accredited Lettings Agent

please feel free to fill in the contact form below.

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Am I missing a trick by owning my own property? Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Am I missing a trick by owning my own propertyTwo of my best friends are far more successful property investors than I am, however, they rent their own homes. 

Am I missing a trick by owning my own property?

One of them is a Director/shareholder in a property company which owns nearly 10,000 properties. He lives in a very modern barn conversion, A rated for energy efficiency, gated, top notch property. I would happily live there. It has to be worth well over £500k (which is a lot for mid Norfolk) and yet his rent is just £1,200 a month. My other friend tells a very similar story. Continue reading Am I missing a trick by owning my own property?

Landlords Question – Gas Safety Record & NEST grants Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Maintenance, Property News

Landlords Question -  Gas Safety Record - NEST grantsHello Mark,

I wonder how you and others feel about my quandry regarding the gas installation at my rental property.

I have an end of terrace, 1920s built house which I rent out through my local council.

The heating and hot water are supplied via a back boiler with gas fire in front and a hot water cylinder. During a recent inspection the fire failed and was disconnected. The back boiler is still supplying hot water and heating but is past its best days. Continue reading Landlords Question – Gas Safety Record & NEST grants

Property Management from just £14.99 a month Landlord News, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property News

Full Property Management from an ARLA agentJust suppose you could buy property management from just £14.99 per month, per property in the vast majority of the lettings hotspots in England.

Would it really be worth the hassle of trying to organise everything yourself?

Could you be certain that you would be able to do it for less?

You might be forgiven for thinking that such an offer would be made by an unqualified agent who is cutting corners. However, what if I were to tell you the agent offering this service is fully bonded with ARLA and has client money protection insurance too?

Continue reading Property Management from just £14.99 a month

Charter for Good Landlords Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Investment Strategies, Property News, The GOOD Landlords Campaign

Having spent a lot of time lounging around the swimming pool and on the beach over the last few weeks (wedding and honeymoon in Florida) I couldn’t help thinking about creating a “Charter for Good Landlords”. Perhaps that’s a bit sad but hey, it’s the way my mind works and I can assure you it wasn’t the number one thing on my mind if you get my drift (wink wink). Continue reading Charter for Good Landlords

Some say Buy to Let is NOT Regulated – WRONG! Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property News

Buy to Let IS RegulatedHave you ever heard people say that buy to let is NOT regulated?

Well I think they are wrong, VERY wrong, and in this article I will explain why.

Before I start my list though, I should mention the laws affecting us are imposed by a multitude of different organisations which can impose their authority.  Continue reading Some say Buy to Let is NOT Regulated – WRONG!

Agents and Landlords Warned of Fire Risk From Electrical installations Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Latest Articles, Property Development, Property Investment News, Property News

The high profile fires caused by faulty fridge freezers last year highlight the need for landlords and tenants to be extra vigilant about checking the appliances and plug sockets of their properties.

In one case in St John’s Wood in London, where the managing agents had recently overseen a refurbishment including updating the fire safety measures in the building, a fire broke out in an individually rented flat as a result of a faulty fridge freezer, causing extensive damage. Continue reading Agents and Landlords Warned of Fire Risk From Electrical installations

Landlords should not be allowed to let their own properties Buy to Let News, Cautionary Tales, Landlord News, Landlords Stories, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News, Property Market News, Property News, UK Property Forum for Buy to Let Landlords

Landlords should not be allowed to let their own properties

I’ve recently had a heated exchange of emails with a chap called Mike who’s opinion is that “landlords should not be allowed to let their own properties”. I invited him to produce an article as he set me a challenge and I wanted him to offer his challenge publicly to the readership of Property118. Mike refused on the basis that we are self interest group and went on to say that he doesn’t expect me to agree with him “because you have a vested interest and are biased”.  There’s nothing to stop me writing the article though and summarising the points he made and the gauntlet that he threw down which I refused to pick up unless it was in public forum. Continue reading Landlords should not be allowed to let their own properties

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