Information for Landlords
Honesty and integrity are absolutely central to everything we do at Sowerbys and we will provide the same standard of care and attention to your property, as we would wish for our own. Our approach is simple: to provide outstanding customer service with experienced local lettings specialists, utilising the most effective marketing methods available to achieve the best possible price. Coverage across Norfolk, London and indeed the rest of the UK, using traditional print and strategic digital exposure ensures your property is not only visible to the biggest audience possible, but also the right tenant for your home.
Our people are not your stereotypical sales people and we take pride in the fact that Sowerbys is a family run, independent business, building long-lasting relationships across the Norfolk community. Whilst offering the very best in customer care, we also understand that every property and the people behind it are different. Our advanced marketing proposition and unique brand awareness combined with our dedication and love for all things Norfolk property have been a winning formula. Our experienced team looks forward to working with and most importantly supporting you through the lettings process.
Key Legal Issue Every Landlord Needs To Know If Renting In 2018
|It really has been a massive period of legislative change for Landlords over the last few years and 2018 looks like it will be no different. With multi party support and huge pressure from the private rental sector, comprehensive reform of the housing market (and renting in particular) is a hot topic at Whitehall. It is without doubt that the curtain is about to close on rogue landlords and agents; simply pleading a lack of knowledge will no longer be acceptable.|
With this continual flow of draft bills entering the parliamentary system it can be difficult to know where you stand and what is statute law. Like most new papers that enter into law they can be confusing, lack clarity and in most cases simply layer up on previous legislation. To make sure you are compliant and protected against unnecessary risk, we have summarised the key issues of which everyone should be aware.
De-Regulation Act 2015
Failure to comply with this new act can have dramatic effects on your ability to remove a tenant and regain possession. Changes introduced as a result of this Act include specific time limits to serve Section 21 notices, prescribed information in respect of deposit registration, and the prohibition of ‘retaliatory eviction’ which prevent landlords simply serving notice rather than fix maintenance issues.
New EPC Regulations (MEES)
As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
3. Our lettings Options Explained
Mortgage tax relief for property with £1,000 rent and £400 mortgage interest
Portion of mortgage interest deductible under previous system
Portion of mortgage interest qualifying for 20% tax credit under new system
Tax Bill (Net Income + Tax Credit)
Prior to April 2017
2017 – 2018
2018 – 2019
2019 – 2020
Right To Rent
Landlords must ensure tenants can legally reside in the UK before letting to them. The penalty for renting to someone without the right to rent is a £3,000 fine or even imprisonment.
How To Rent Guide
This guide was introduced in October 2015, with a new version to be used from January 2018. Landlords have a statutory requirement to provide this to all new tenants and it must be issued prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
Failure to comply could render a landlord unable to request possession of their property under the Section 21 notice.
Tenancy Deposit Legislation
In April 2007, it became law (Housing Act 2004) that all deposits collected by landlords or agents need to be registered in either a custodial scheme or an insurance-based scheme. The legislation was further clarified in March 2015.
If a Landlord fails to comply with the deposit legislation the courts can inforce fines up to three times the deposit value, while further penalties may include being unable to serve a Section 21 notice.
Smoke Alarm Regulation
All landlords are required to fit smoke alarms on every floor of living accommodation and test on the first day of tenancy. Carbon monoxide alarms are also required for any solid fuel burning device to include wood burners and fires.
Further legislation which may come into effect that we should all be preparing for:
Mandatory Electrical Safety Installation and Condition Reports
These reports are currently being debated in parliament which is great news to further protect tenants. It looks very likely that this will be implemented into law in the near future. At Sowerbys, we will be proactive in rolling out a process to make sure all our clients are protected before the deadline is set.
Fit for human habitation act
Underpinned by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, tenants now have the right to pursue private legal proceedings if the property they rent isn’t fit for purpose under new measures.
Fire and furnishings regulations
All furniture provided in rented accommodation must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1998. The regulations apply to any of the following example items:
Beds, mattresses and headboards.
Sofa beds, futons and armchairs.
Cushions, seat covers and pillows.
Changes to mandatory HMO licensing
If you own an HMO that falls within certain criteria you may need a license to let from the council. Minimum sizes for bedrooms have also been introduced.
We understand the above can be daunting, so if you would like any further information please contact your local Sowerbys branch who will be more than happy to offer advice. At Sowerbys we believe the value of a professional and industry established letting agent should never be ignored. Our fully managed option makes sure you and your tenants operate in a fully compliant and safe manner. It also allows us to take care of an evolving market using brand new tenancy agreements, the latest technology and service offerings. This is all geared to make sure that whilst being compliant, the fundamental return on your investment is maximised with accurate and qualified advice.
If you would like to benefit from the above, now is a great time. We are offering current non-managed clients an exclusive opportunity to ‘try before you buy’, with two months free management and a special monthly management fee of just 6% plus vat. No other fees would be payable unless we need to find you tenants.
What Type Of Landlord Will You Be?
Our lettings Options Explained
If required, Sowerbys can arrange an inventory and schedule of condition at the property. We will collect the first month’s rent and deposit, crediting this to your account, less our fee. At this point, rent collection, property maintenance and contact with the tenant will become your responsibility. This type of service is best suited to landlords who are experienced and have the knowledge and time to ensure their rental property continues to meet legal requirements.
60% plus vat of the first month rent (set up cost) and 10% plus vat of the monthly rent.
Part managed service
60% plus vat of the first month rent (set up cost) plus 6% plus vat of the monthly rent.
Letting only service
100% of the first months rent (single payment)
Additional fees that may be charged: Tenancy agreement renewal and combined rent review - £120.00 plus vat
Additional property inspections (full management) - £42.00 plus vat
Additional property inspections (tenant find only) - £75.00 plus vat
Additional contractor quotes (more than two) (full management only) - £24.00 plus vat
Income tax (non-resident landlord – regulations 2005)
A quarterly fee deducted from the rental income following the HMRC quarterly return (full management and rent collection only) - £120.00 plus vat
An annual fee deducted from the rental income following the HMRC annual return (full management and rent collection only) - £60.00 plus vat
If Sowerbys are requested to attend court on behalf of a landlord - £240.00 plus vat (per day)
Deposit registration(Tenant find only) - £28.00 plus vat
Serving a section 21 notice (notice of termination of the tenancy) - £60.00 plus vat
Serving a section 13 notice (notice of rent increase) - £60.00 plus vat
Addendum fee - £60.00 plus vat
Raising a dispute with flatfair Rent collect/Let only (refundable if found in good faith) - £100 + VAT
Management of deposit claims/disputes for non managed clients - £100 plus vat
Combined professional Inventory, housing health and safety rating system survey and check in/check out reports – £150 plus vat
Client money protection is provided by ARLA (The Association of Residental Letting Agents) Redress scheme is provided by The Property Ombudsman