Helpful Hardisty – Tips to being a successful landlord in 2020

The rental market is currently as strong as ever, with potential new tenants registering with us in their droves to find their next rental property. Keeping up to date with current legislation however can be a chore and sometimes confusing when the rumour mill starts churning. Fear not, we’re here to help advise and guide you and can help you every step of the way…

 

Energy Performance Certificates

Back in April 2018, any new tenancy, renewed tenancy or extension to a rental had to have been provided with a minimum energy rating of “E”. However, as of 1st April 2020, all rental properties will need to have a minimum “E” rating including existing tenancies.

If you’re unsure what your property’s rating is or when it expires, you can easily check online via the Government’s EPC register here to sure you’re compliant with the new legislation, along with any recommendations the assessor has to improve your rating, if any.

If you need to improve your rating to remain compliant with the law, these works are sure to have to the most impact:

  • Install a new modern condensing boiler
  • Improve your loft insulation
  • LED bulbs will have a small beneficial impact

EPC certificates were first introduced in 2008 and many are now coming up for renewal if they haven’t been done recently. If you need yours renewing, now’s the time to book. We have qualified EPC assessors on site who can assess your property and register your new rating via the Government’s online register – book your EPC inspection now. Failure to comply with the new legislation could result in a penalty up to £4,000.

 

Deposit Protection

As of 1st June 2019, new legislation can into force to reduce the amount charged to tenants for deposits held for new tenancies and capped at a maximum equivalent to 5 weeks rent, or 6 weeks rent for tenancies where the annual rent exceeded £50,000.

Deposits currently held for tenancies that commenced prior to the new legislation being passed or for existing tenancies must be reduced in line with the new capped deposit legislation by 1st June 2020 at the latest or next time the tenancy renews.

Deposit must also be registered with a Government backed scheme for the security of the tenants which will be done by your agent if you’re using their managed services, or if you are managing your property, this is something you must ensure you do within 30 days of receiving your tenants deposit. Failure to do so will result in penalties which could range from £5,000 to £30,000.

If you’re one of our managed or part-managed landlords, we will ensure the deposit for your new tenancy is capped in line with current legislation and will be in touch in due course to ensure your existing tenancies are also capped by 1st June 2020 if not already done so. If you manage your own property and need help, advice or guidance on capping your deposit or registering with the Government based schemes, please contact us or for a full list of our service fees, click here.

 

Repairs and Maintenance

Spending a little can go a long way with rental properties. Good homes attract good tenants that want to stay. The winter months however often give rise to maintenance issues due to the colder weather.

Be sure to regularly service your boiler to avoid expensive repair costs if it fails in any way, tenants should be given a copy of certificates and the Gas Safety Certificate. It is a legal requirement to give your tenants copies of certificates but also gives them peace of mind.

Check pipes, seals on windows, signs of damp and inspect drains, gutters and roofs. Also, ensure your properties are well insulated and ventilated. Insulations with provide a barrier to keep heat in and proper ventilation will help to prevent damp and condensation. Consider installing extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms to help to prevent damp too.

By regularly inspecting your property 3 or 4 times per year, you will be able to keep a better relationship with your tenant, knowing how your property is being treated and keeping up to speed on any potential issues. Our managed landlords benefit from our team of inspectors carrying out a thorough inspection 3 to 4 times per year with a detailed inspection report, but these can be offered as one-offs if you’d like a professional’s opinion! To enquire, contact us now for more information.

 

Communication

One of the biggest complaints we hear from potential tenants, after rent hikes and repair issues is a lack of communication from their previous landlord. Maintaining regular dialogue will help with any issues that arise so they can be dealt with proactively.

Make sure your tenant is given all paperwork on ‘move-in’ day. We supply our new tenants with a ‘Move-in Pack’ which includes everything they need such as copies of the property’s EPC, Gas Certificate, tenancy agreement, inventory etc.

A nice touch, but not essential, would be to include information for your new tenants on what day the bins go out, the nearest shop and more importantly where a decent pub and Chinese takeaway are!

 

Statisically, you’re more likely to drink a 6-pack before getting close to achieving one down the gym this coming year, but, at least if you bear in mind our top tips you’ll be well on your way to being a more successful landlord in 2020. You don’t need to be one of our managed landlords to take advantages of the additional services we offer. If you need help, advice or to use one of our one-off services then let us know or view our fees here.

 



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