News

The Countdown to PURE RESIDENTIAL SPECIALISTS is on…………………………..

Some of you out there may know we have been considering re branding our lettings operation for a little while and I am delighted to finally reveal that from the 1st October 2020 we will be rolling out our fresh new brand…………..

Our aim is to build on our already firm foundations and develop a specialist letting agency focused purely on residential lettings and management. For our existing landlords, other than our name, little will change. Same people, same fee structure, same office, telephone and services however going forward we will be focusing 100% on Lettings and Residential Management and believe we are the only Specialist Letting Agent in the area.

The Private Rented Sector (PRS) is in a period of transition and with what seems like wave after wave of new legislation and regulations it is becoming harder and harder to ensure Landlords interests are fully protected. As agents therefore we feel we need to concentrate solely on the PRS.

We have developed some excellent links with industry leading partners to provide the most comprehensive Specialist Lettings and Management service available. Our tight knit, motivated team has over 50 years combined experience of lettings and management in the Aire & Worth Valley’s. Over the coming months we will be introducing further improvements and additions to our services including a new, interactive website, a rent collection only option as well as completing our membership to ARLA Propertymark.

We are able to offer expert, yet practical, advice and our mix of technical knowledge, skill and a proactive approach means your property could not be in safer hands.

We look forward to continuing our working relationships with our current landlords and tenants as well as helping new landlords, of all sizes, with their lettings journey.

Lee, Marie, Jason & Carolyn

Category : News

COVID19 and Possession proceedings for Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

For most landlords the ability to recover possession of their property is essential and standard procedures and notice periods have been set out in the Housing Act and are a fundamental feature of modern day lettings on AST’s.
These were introduced to ensure the landlord could re gain possession of their property if ever needed. Due to the COVID19 pandemic however the government is eager to ensure tenants remain in their homes and have provided added security in these uncertain times.

The standard notice period (2 weeks for section 8 and 2 months for S21) had already been extended to three months however on the 21 August 2020 a further amendment was made meaning that notices served between 29 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 inclusive, are now subject to a minimum notice period of six months. Only limited exceptions apply which are mainly for possession proceedings relating to anti social behavior.

At the same time the government also announced that the stay to possession proceedings under Part 55 would continue until 20 September 2020 meaning no hearings for possession will take place before this date.

This could have far reaching repercussions for landlords needing to take back their property and if this is the case forward planning is essential. If you have any questions in relation to this topic or need advice on seeking possession of your property at this time please contact Lee Bilbrough – lee@hayfieldrobinsonlettings.co.uk

Category : News

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

New government legislation to take effect on the 1st July 2020 states that landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person. The Regulations also state that a landlord is required to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test, supply it to each tenant within 28 days and retain a copy until the next inspection is due.

From the 1st July 2020 the rule applies only to new tenancies and states that landlord must supply a tenant with a satisfactory EICR report prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

Going forward then from the 1st April 2021 the legislation will be extended and apply to all existing tenancies with landlord having to supply any current tenancy , let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) with a copy of a satisfactory EICR report.

Maintaining the safety of a tenants home environment is vital and the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is the best way of monitoring the electrics within the property. Until now the testing of the fixed wiring within a property has been a very grey area with landlords having a duty of care to ensure what they provide is safe, but no requirement to prove it. Whilst this may sound daunting to some landlords it is our opinion this type of regulation is over due and removes the uncertainty faced by landlords and indeed us as agents on whether an installation is safe.

Having a trusted and loyal band of contractors with whom we have worked with for many years means we are able to arrange the checks at a reduced price and with minimal disruption to our tenants.
We will be in contact with all our landlords at the appropriate time although if anyone has any questions in relation to the upcoming changes please do not hesitate to contact us.

Category : News

Its Business as usual in the “New Normal”

GREAT NEWS!!! Following the announcement by Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, we are now looking to get back to providing our full range of services. We will however be doing things slightly differently to maintain the requirement for social distancing and to keep our staff, clients and the wider public safe. For the foreseeable future our office will be open on an appointment only basis and will be closed to the public. To protect our staff we will also be offering slightly reduced hours 10am – 4pm – Monday to Friday. Rest assured however it will be staffed as necessary by either Lee or Marie. Where we are able to maintain social distancing, and when it is safe to do so, we will be doing market appraisals, viewings on properties to let and also carrying out routine inspections.

Whilst during the lockdown period we have been able to handle all the core management service without any interruption to our clients there is considerable pent up demand for lettings and we will now be busy converting this into successful lettings for our landlords. We also anticipate the lettings market will get stronger than ever in the coming months as the inevitable economic uncertainty rising out of the COVID19 pandemic will no doubt have people concentrating more on the short term.

We will of course continue monitoring the situation closely to ensure we adhere to the guidelines at all times. Emails are being handled in the usual way although of course if you have any questions please contact the office number – 01535980060.

Full details of all or properties can be found on our property page or alternatively at www.onthemarket.com

Stay alert, Stay safe and Best Regards from all at Hayfield Robinson.

Category : News

COVID19 – Update – 30 April 2020

There have been no further announcements from the Government affecting the Private Rented Rector (PRS) during April so in relation to the COVID19 pandemic things still remain the same as we reported last month. As yet we have had no indication of when we will be able to open our doors or any guidance on how we will be expected to implement social distancing going forward. . The whole team is desperately keen to get back to work once the letting market wakes up again and judging by the amount of enquiries we have been receiving anticipate we should get back to the busy normal very soon. We will of course continue monitoring the situation closely and once the restrictions are relaxed we will be ensuring we adhere to government guidelines at all times. Watch this space for further updates.

Category : News

COVID-19

Due to government advice on COVID-19 our Keighley office is now closed to the public until further notice however rest assured ALL OF OUR SERVICES ARE STILL OPERATIONAL. Our staff are still handing all rental payments, landlord statements and urgent property repairs however please note property viewings, routine inspections and non essential repairs have been suspended for the foreseeable future. All email enquiries will be responded to in the usual way. Full details of all or properties can be found on this website or alternatively at www.onthemarket.com If you have any questions regarding any of our properties or services please contact the office number – 01535980060 or alternatively 07966336618.

Category : News

To Deposit or to Reposit? –

This month our focus is on Deposits and how the traditional “bond” is being phased out, particularly after the introduction of the tenant Fee Ban legislation in June 2019.

Deposits are taken primarily as security for landlord at hte end of the tenancy and can be retained by the landlord if they can prove the tenant is in breach of their obligations. Strict rules of detailed processes exist regarding the protection of the deposit at the start of the tenancy although the most significant recent as part of the fee ban is that they are now capped at the equivalent of only 5 weeks worth of rent. This is the maximum amount that can be taken even if there are extraordinary circumstances such as landlord allowing pets to be kept at the property or even if tenant agrees to pay a higher amount. Importantly the cap also applies upon tenancy renewal with any amount taken previously that exceeds the cap needing to be refunded to tenant to comply with the act. As the saying goes however with every cloud there is a silver lining which in this case is the introduction of new deposit alternative schemes such as Reposit. Reposit is an insurance backed scheme offering landlords cover of up to 8 weeks worth of rent for end of tenancy breaches and the best news is that tenant pays the premium! Further details are available at https://reposit.co.uk/ As well as the increased protection this offers landlord it also reduces the up front cost to tenant making the moving process a whole let cheaper for tenant.

Watch out for future monthly updates although if you do have any queries in relation to the above please feel free to give the office a call – 01535 980060

Category : News

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) – April 2020

In 2016, The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 established the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in the residential and commercial private rented sector.

This has been introduced by government to improve the quality of private rented buildings and reduce the overall CO2 emissions in accordance with the UKs targets for decarbonisation. From 1st April 2018, phase one of the MEES regulations came into force which has big implications for landlords of private rented property. As a result of this, it is now deemed unlawful to let properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below an ‘E’ rating.
MHCLG previously highlighted the scale of those affected by MEES, with 20%-25% of residential and commercial properties in England and Wales hitting or falling below the minimum standards. There is also a chance that the standard could be raised further to a D rating by 2025 and a C rating by 2030.
What does this mean for Domestic/Residential Landlords?
From the 1st April 2018 all private rented properties must achieve an energy efficiency rating of at least an E on their EPC, to meet the minimum standards. This will initially applied only upon the granting of a new tenancy to a new or existing tenant however from 1st April 2020 this now applies to ALL TENANCIES
Landlords will need to take action to avoid any non-compliance penalties (estimated at £5000) and protect the value of their assets. If a property does not meet the minimum standards, it will be deemed unlawful for landlords to market or let a property and leave themselves exposed if a continuing tenancy does not meet the minimum standards.
Landlords self funding and cost cap- April 2019 (Domestic only)
Following an amendment to MEES regulations, from 1st April 2019, the ‘no cost to the landlord’ provision will no longer be available. As a result of this landlords will not be able to register a ‘no cost to landlord’ exemption, which was previously registered by those who were unable to make improvements to their property without incurring a cost. This means that domestic landlords must use their own funding to cover the cost of improving their property to EPC band E. This requirement is subject to a spending cap of £3,500 (inclusive of VAT) for each property and is only necessary when third party funding is unavailable.
Those who have already registered for the ‘no cost to landlord’ exemption prior to regulation changes (1st April 2019), will no longer be exempt for five years, and will now need to make the necessary improvements to their property to ensure it meets EPC band E (or as close as possible) by April 2020.
About the cost/spending cap
The £3,500 (incl VAT) cost/spending cap applies to the overall cost of improving the property and is not a cap applied to individual measures. Landlords only need to fund what they need, to improve the property to Band E. The spending cap is not a requirement and analysis shows that the average cost of improving a property from EPC band F or G to band E, would be much less than this.
In cases where a landlord is unable to improve their property to band E within the £3,500 cap, then they should install all measures which can be installed up to the £3,500 cap, and then register an exemption on the basis that ‘all relevant improvements have been installed and the property remains below an E’ Possible third party funding is available but on a very limited basis.

Category : News

LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE

LegionnairesLegionnaires disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria with infection being caused by inhalation of droplets of water carrying the bacteria.  It is non contagious.  There has been some recent confusion over the responsibilities placed upon residential landlords with some advisors suggesting landlords must seek a specific Legionella testing certificate.  This is not the case with the landlords requirement being unchanged from them simply having a duty of care to ensure their properties are free from health and safety hazards.  In most cases where domestic properties have small water systems with a high turnover the risk of Legionella is low however landlords are still required to carry out a risk assessment  followed by periodic subsequent reviews.  Provided the landlord has an adequate knowledge of the properties water system there is no reason why they cannot carry out the assessment themselves.  Full details of the requirements can be found at the HSE website – www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/what-you-must-do  If you would like further details on this topic or indeed assistance in arranging a risk assessments if needed then please feel free to give either Marie or Lee a call who will be more than happy to help

Category : News

Flooring in rental properties – Which to choose?

images flooringAs a landlord, keeping your property in good condition is one of your top priorities. You want to ensure that the walls are damp free, drainage and guttering is clear, smoke alarms, gas safety certificates and that any appliances are correctly installed and meet the required safety standards. But what of the floors in your property?

Many landlords make the mistake of installing cheap carpet but this can soon prove costly, with carpet having to be regularly replaced due to spillages and stains, keeping in odour and bacteria, and in some extreme cases, problems with mildew. Investing in a more durable, long-term solution such as engineered wood flooring or laminate could end up saving you money in the long run.Often overlooked by landlords and their tenants alike, taking care of the flooring in your property should be towards the top of your list when it comes to maintenance.

There are many advantages to installing an engineered wood floor or laminate in your property, with one of the main plus points being how easy they are to take care of. Cleaning these types of floors is a simple task, particularly with the latter, with a well wrung out mop and cleaning solution the ideal method. Ensuring you use the right cleaning solution, it will help bring the shine back to the floor and remove any soft stains.

If you’re going to install a wood floor in your property, then you will also have to consider which finish to apply to the wood. A lacquered or oiled finish will give an additional protective layer to the wood flooring, making it easier to care for, and more resistant to knocks and scratches. With an average lifespan of more than 50 years, wooden flooring is a great solution for many rooms.

Having said that, laminate flooring is another option which you may wish to consider, particularly for areas such as kitchens, bathrooms or utility rooms. Depending on your choice of style, laminate can look very similar to a real wood floor, but it typically comes cheaper than the real thing. Not only this, but laminate is incredibly easy to replace should any of it get damaged, and so it has a massive appeal to landlords who want to renovate on a budget.

Of course, there are many different flooring options to choose from, but we would recommend both engineered and laminate for rental properties due to their durability, and their ease of installation and upkeep.

 

Category : News