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    Abolishing Section 21!

    ABOLISHING SECTION 21!

    The Government’s levelling up Rental Reform white paper bill has included this in detail.

    Section 21, often referred to as the ‘No Fault Eviction’, has been a security blanket for landlords. If you as a landlord wanted your property back, then a Section 21 will guarantee you your property back.

     

    By abolishing the Section 21, this will no longer be the case. The tenant will be able to give 2 months’ notice at any time and the landlord must give a reason as to why they want the property back and that reason must be one of the grounds of a new updated Section 8 notice.

    If I look at the occasions we have issued a section 21 over the last 30 odd years (and there really has not been that many), 95% of the time, it was because the tenants were in rent arrears, the landlord wanted to sell his property or the landlord wanted to move back in. The new Section 8 notice will have additional grounds to cover these reasons.

    There are additional caveats to these. If you decide you want to sell the property and give the tenants notice, you must prove it was on a portal for sale and if your situation changes and you decide to put the property back up to rent, then there must be a gap of 3 months between the tenants.

    If you are seeking possession because the tenant is in the minimum 2 months of arrears and they decide to pay a nominal amount that takes them under the 2-month threshold the day before court, then you will not regain the property (as it is now), however, if the tenant does this 3 times in 3 years, the court will give the property back.

    Feeling deflated? Exhausted with all the changes? Then let us take care of your property needs. We promise to hold your hands throughout this process, giving you less stress and more free!

    If yancy an informal chat any time, then email me sharon@moveon.biz with your phone number.

     

    Sharon

    Blog Articles

    NEW RENTAL LEGISLATIONS – HERE WE GO AGAIN!

    Goodness me, blink and you could be forgiven for missing more changes within the rental legislations.

    On the 16th May 2022 with immediate effect, properties with two or more domestic dwellings must have a fire risk assessment by a ‘Responsible Person’, whether they have a communal area or not. This could simply be a house that has been converted into two flats. The risk assessment must include the buildings structure such as floors and ceilings and internal walls as well as external fixings such as cladding or balconies.

    From 1st October 2022, carbon monoxide alarms will be required in rooms with combustion appliances include gas and oil appliances (except gas cookers). The additional amendment also requires the landlord to repair or replace the alarms once the landlord has been informed of a fault. This will apply to all new and existing tenancies.

    On the 15th June 2022, the Government released the Renters’ Reform Bill White Paper, which has a shopping list of suggested changes in the 86 pages! Abolishing Section 21, no initial fixed term tenancy, no tenancy renewals, banning of children, pets and people on benefits to be outlawed, a new Landlord Ombudsman and loads more. Before rushing to us to sell your property, please note a ‘Bill’ is a proposal to change an existing law and debated in Parliament prior to Royal Ascent. Due to the complexities of the proposals, we will be probably looking at least 12 months for this to go through.

    Feeling deflated? Exhausted with all the changes? Then let us take care of your property needs.

    If you wish to know more on the new fire risk assessments that are now in force, please email sharon@moveon.biz for a more detailed report.

    Sharon

    Blog Articles

    Nil Deposit Schemes: Everything You Need to Know

    Did you know that there’s currently £5.2 billion locked up in deposit schemes?

    At Move On, we work with flatfair to offer a Nil Deposit Option that works for both tenants and landlords. flatfair have helped save tenants over £10 million in upfront costs so far, helping alleviate the stress of moving between rental properties and the costs it can include.

    Nil Deposit Option – Information for Tenants

    Deposits for rental properties can be expensive. And with the rising cost of living, some of us simply don’t have the funds to pay an extra five weeks’ worth of rent upfront. Tenants are spending an average of £3,350 on moving costs, and most are having to pay for a new deposit before they get their old one back.

    How does it work?

    When you sign up for a Nil Deposit Option with flatfair and your offer to rent with us has been accepted, you’ll be sent a link from to go through and sign up to the flatfair platform with the plan that we have created for your tenancy. This will include paying a check-in fee of one week’s rent + VAT (or £120, whichever is greater). This check in fee is non-refundable.

    They may ask for various documentation such as your signed tenancy agreement and referencing information.

    At the end of your tenancy with us, we will still carry out a check out report to compare against the inventory and make note of any charges our landlords need to make.

    For more information, visit flatfair or enquire with us about a Nil Deposit option when you view.

     

    Nil Deposit Option – Information For Landlords

    Many landlords are cautious when it comes to alternatives to the traditional government-backed deposit schemes. However, flatfair creates new options and another route to protecting your property.

    What does Nil Deposit mean for your rental?

    With a flatfair nil deposit scheme, when tenants move in, they pay a check in fee directly to flatfair. Then, at the end of a tenancy, if there are any charges or unpaid rent, all relevant documents (such as check out reports) need to be uploaded to flatfair and tenants are asked to pay the amount agreed.

    If there is any dispute, this will be discussed through government-backed, independent adjudicators.

    Once charges are established and agreed with No Deposit, flatfair can offer up to 10 weeks’ worth of protection and put landlords back in pocket within just 10 days.

    And, if you’re managed by us at Move On, we’ll take the stress of arranging check out reports and figures for deductions off your shoulders. We’ll deal with all correspondence between flatfair and the tenants, so you don’t have to.

    Interested in finding out more about flatfair and their Nil Deposit options? Click here to read more information, or chat with us today!

    Tel: 01202 711169

    Email: enquiries@moveon.biz

     

    Blog Articles

    RENTAL PAPERWORK- IT MUST BE ACCURATE!

    Sometimes, I forget how the systems I have put in place over the years are rigorous and almost fool-proof (never say never!). So when we take over properties from other agents, this always comes back to remind me.

    We recently took over an HMO property from another agent and was shocked to discover there were deposits taken that equalled more than the 5 weeks’ equivalent legal limit, and on one tenancy the rental amount per calendar month was nowhere to be seen on the tenancy agreement. These are schoolboy errors in my opinion!

    At Move On, all legal paperwork goes through three audits to ensure the dates and addresses are correct, names match passports, right to rent has passed, and many other checks to ensure the paperwork is absolutely water tight in the event it ever had to go to court or a tenant being able to make a claim, like the deposit collected being more than 5 weeks of the rent!

    At Move On, we make sure all our landlords can sleep at night, because this is what we do every day. We make sure we are always up to date with latest legislations, and we are often ahead of the deadline.

    Is it time to move on with Move On? Ring me or come in and have a chat, we really are a friendly, professional bunch.

    If you would like a free up to date rental appraisal or fresh eyes over your paperwork to ensure you are compliant, then please contact me 01202 711169 or email sharon@moveon.biz

     

    Sharon

    Blog Articles

    LANDLORD FINED!

    How can I make sure I’m compliant on my rental property?

    Coventry City Council has become the first council to fine a landlord under the ‘Electrical Safety Standards 2020′ legislation.

    In July 2021, new rules came in to force whereby all rental properties must have a 5-year electrical certificate by a qualified person. A copy of the certificate must be given to the tenants and provided to the council if requested.

    The landlord in question (who has not been named) failed to have a certificate and was fined £1,600.00. Adrian Chowns, the enforcement officer for Coventry City Council, said “We believe this is the first time these powers have been used by a local authority in England”.

    The government and local councils are keen to ensure rental properties are kept up to a decent standard of living for tenants, and that the appropriate safety measures are in place. Local councils now have the authority to fine landlords up to £30,000 for breach of regulations.

    At Move On, we make sure all our landlords can sleep at night, because this is what we do every day. We make sure we are always up to date with latest legislations, and we are often ahead of the deadline.

    Check out our FREE Compliance Guide for UK Landlords to find out if your rental property is complying with the latest legislation

    Is it time to move on with Move On? Call me or come in and have a chat, we really are a friendly and professional bunch.

    If you would like a free, up-to-date rental appraisal or fresh eyes over your paperwork to ensure you are compliant, then please contact me 01202 711169 or email sharon@moveon.biz

     

    Sharon

    Right to Rent Checks Advice for Landlords Blog Articles

    Right to Rent Changes 2022: What You Need to…

    Changes to how tenants can prove their Right to Rent in the UK are just one example of the many legislative changes for the lettings sector in the last few years. These frequent right to rent changes can make it difficult for landlords to know how to keep up and keep their rental properties and tenancies compliant.

    Right to Rent Checks Advice for Landlords

    Right to rent legislation for landlords and agents from the UK government has changed multiple times over the last couple of years, particularly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. But what are the newest changes and how can you make sure you’re doing the right thing? That’s where we come in. Check out our list of frequently asked questions from landlords on Right to Rent checks below…

    Got more questions? Our Landlord Compliance Guide has everything you need to know about the latest legislation changes for rental properties in England.

    Compliance Guide for Landlords 2022

    Download the full guide for FREE here.

    What are right to rent checks?

    Right to Rent checks refer to mandatory checks that landlords in England need to carry out on all prospective tenants. This includes those subletting or those taking in lodgers, and the checks are to ensure that all tenants have the right to rent in England before entering into an agreement. The idea of these checks was introduced after the Immigration Act 2014.

    Checks include verifying the identity of your tenants through physical or online government documents and checking their right to reside in the UK through these.

    Generally, to have a right to rent in England means tenants:

    • Are a British Citizen
    • Are an EEA or Swiss National
    • Otherwise have a ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK

    Who needs to be checked?

    All prospective tenants and permitted occupiers over the age of 18 should be checked before a let is agreed.

    These checks must also be followed up on any renewal of tenancies in the case that a tenant’s residence permit or visa expires during the tenancy. They must also be carried out on any children included in a tenancy upon renewal if that child has turned 18 throughout the tenancy.

    What documents can you use?

    The government guidance on which physical documents can be checked changed at the beginning of April 2022.

    Currently, for UK and Irish citizens, right to rent can be proven with either a UK or Irish passport or a combination of two other examples of photo I.D (such as a UK driving licence and birth certificate).

    For EU and international citizens who hold residency in the UK (for either a time-limited period or unlimited period), checks now need to be completed using the UK Gov’s online checking service. This uses the tenant’s date of birth and a share code that they must provide to you.

     

    The official UK government guidance (plus accessible versions) can be found by clicking here.

    What are the Right to Rent changes?

    Until 6th April 2022, Biometric Residence Permits for international citizens were still valid to be used as I.D documents for right to rent checks, however this has now changed.

    Anyone who is not a UK or Irish citizen must now use the government online checking service and provide a share code and their date of birth to their landlord or agent for the check to be completed.

    Later this year the UK government are hoping to also replace physical document checks for UK and Irish citizens so everything will be digitized. There are introducing new technology called IDSPs that citizens will be able to set up and verify their identity remotely. However, these are still in development, and we can’t be sure when they will be released for general use yet.

    Conclusion

    Landlords are facing fines of £3,000 per tenant for not completing these checks (or having a managing agent complete them), so it’s incredibly important to ensure these checks are carried out properly.

    Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone!

    Our property management packages could be the solution you’re looking for. We take care of everything, including checking your new tenant’s right to rent. Or, if you’re still not sure, you can download our free guide for landlords on the most important pieces of compliance you need to keep in mind in 2022.

    Download your free guide here!

    For more information on tenant’s Right to Rent, visit the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents

    Blog Articles

    Rents Have Risen!

     

    The past 18-24 months have seen a massive increase in rental prices throughout the Poole and Bournemouth area.

    We are valuing rental stock, new and existing, with huge increases and properties are being successfully let at the new prices.

    Prior to the last couple of years, rents had remained static, but when Covid came and we saw an increase of out-of-towners looking for properties with gardens, this caused a huge demand and saw the rental prices going up.

    We are also seeing a lack of stock coming to the market, which again is increasing the rental prices.

    As a tenant, this is not good news, as we now have an increase in energy prices, fuel prices and cost of living being added on.

    Contrary to popular belief, many landlords are not making vast amounts of money on their rental properties and expect their investment to help them in their retirement years. Those landlords who are already retired, will also be impacted on the cost of living going up.

    It is always a hard decision for landlords to increase rentals when they have had long-standing tenants, this is where Move On can help, by being the negotiator between all parties, in an amicable way.

    At Move On, we make sure all our landlords can sleep at night, because this is what we do every day. We make sure we are always up to date with latest legislations, and we are often ahead of the deadline.

    If you would like a free up to date rental appraisal or fresh eyes over your paperwork to ensure you are compliant, then please contact me 01202 711169 or email sharon@moveon.biz

     

    Sharon

    Blog Articles

    Ground Rent Reform on Leasehold Flats

     

    The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 8th February 2022 and formally entered the statute books.

    The terms of the draft legislation are to tighten up the risk of unscrupulous landlords exploiting loopholes and finding new ways of getting more money out of tenants (leaseholders).

    The government are looking to reduce grounds rents to be charged ‘peppercorn rents’ as they were historically. Anyone breaching the Act can see financial fines of up to £30,000.

    Although this is great news for anyone buying a leasehold property, sadly, this will not include existing leases for the moment, but a second bill has been promised in the future to address the problems with current leases.

    Timothy Douglas, head of policy and campaign at Propertymark, said: “This legislation is progress and whilst the unsuccessful amendment to remove ground rents from all existing leasehold properties would have strengthened the legislation, it is positive that ground rent charges will now be restricted on newly-created long leases of houses and flats to an annual rent of one peppercorn, a token of no financial value.’’

    At Move On, we make sure all our landlords can sleep at night, because this is what we do every day. We make sure we are always up to date with latest legislations, and we are often ahead of the deadline.

    If you would like a free rental appraisal and fresh eyes over your paperwork, then please contact me 01202 711169 or email sharon@moveon.biz

    Sharon

    Tenant FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants

    Frequently Asked Questions for Tenants

    Renting a property as a tenant, whether for the first time or not, can be confusing. The laws and legislations for tenants, landlords and agents are constantly changing, so it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities with each tenancy. In this section of frequently asked questions for tenants we hope to answer some of the most common questions we receive from applicants and tenants.

    Got a question we didn’t cover? Let us know via email.

    Applying for a Property

    • Income confirmed at 2.5x yearly rental amount (for example, if the asking rent on a property was £750PCM, tenants would have to confirm yearly income of £22,500 per annum (750.00 x 12 x 2.5) (OR can provide a homeowner guarantor with income 3x yearly rental amount)
    • No adverse credit (CCJs, IVAs, etc. (OR if minor adverse credit, can provide a homeowner guarantor with income 3x yearly rental amount)
    • Right to rent in the UK (find the UK Gov Right to Rent Guide here for more information)
    If you’re self-employed, our referencing company will be looking at your last year’s tax return information to prove your income, and this will need to be 2.5x the yearly rent as stated above. If you’ve been self-employed for less than a year, or fail to provide this information, you will most likely be asked to provide a homeowner guarantor for your application to be able to pass
    No matter what your credit situation, it’s vital that you disclose any adverse credit BEFORE you apply for a rental property. You will usually be asked to disclose this when booking your viewing. Your credit profile WILL be checked when going through referencing. If you are untruthful and are found to have adverse credit that you did not disclose, this is usually an automatic 'Unacceptable' referencing result. Depending on the severity of your adverse credit (e.g. if you have an IVA or if you have satisfied any CCJS), you may be able to pass through referencing with or without a guarantor However, again it is vital you disclose this to us before continuing with an application so we can find the best option for you.
    Paying rent upfront for the duration of a tenancy is certainly an option if there is another reason why you are not able to pay monthly This would have to be agreed between yourself, us as the agent, and the landlord before it is accepted For example, if your monthly rent was £750PCM and you wanted to pay upfront for a tenancy of 12 months, this would be a total of £9000 upfront. This does NOT include your deposit. Despite paying upfront, you will still be asked to go through a referencing process, which will include previous landlord references, income references and a credit/background check.
    Our referencing process is nothing to be worried about! It's used to ensure that applicants are able to afford the rent on a property and that they are a suitable tenant. Our referencing checks include use of banking data (which you can opt in or out of), credit and background checks, previous landlord references and income checks (employment status & salary).
    A guarantor is someone who agrees to be named on a tenancy agreement and is liable for the rent should a tenant be unable to pay.
    A guarantor would need to go through much of the same process as a tenant when going through an application. Guarantors would need to provide up-to-date photo I.D and proof of Right to Rent in the UK They would also need to complete a referencing process, proving their credit history, background check, previous landlord reference and employment/income. Guarantors need to prove their identity by bringing the original copy of their photo I.D into the office before keys can be handed over to a tenant Guarantors also need to read and sign the tenancy agreement before keys can be handed over
    Each property that we rent, and each landlord, is different. This means that whether or not pets may be accepted is dependent on many things. It can depend on the lease the landlord has on the property, the size of the property, the type and breed of the pets in question, etc. When you find a property you're interested in, feel free to ask on your enquiry whether pets may be accepted. Some landlords may agree to have pets in the property but for a slightly higher rental amount, so it is always worth an ask!
    For all our rental properties, the deposit is calculated as 5 x the weekly rental amount. For example, if the rental amount was £750PCM, this would be calculated as 750.00 x 12 (yearly rent) divided by 52 (weekly rent) x 5 = deposit of £865.00
    When you rent a property, your landlord and agent puts trust in you to keep the property in a good condition. A deposit is held to ensure that any damages (over and above fair wear and tear) can be corrected at the end of the tenancy.
    At Move On, we can offer a Nil Deposit Scheme that allows tenants to pay a lower 'check-in fee' rather than a full deposit to lower the costs of moving. For more information on this, please get in touch.
    As a general rule, we like to allow at least two weeks between the signing of holding deposit documents (the first stage of an application) and a move in if a property is ready at that stage. This allows us and you plenty of time to complete the application and get everything ready. HOWEVER, this is dependent on the property itself and when it has been advertised as 'Available From' It may be the case that the property is not available until a specific future date, but your move in date will be agreed between yourself and our negotiators on your application.

    Living in the Property

    Unless stated in the advert or at the initial stages of an application, bills are not included in the rental of a property However, usually bills are included in HMO rooms! The arrangement and payment of bills such as council tax, water, electric, gas and broadband are your responsibility as a tenant (unless otherwise stated in your rental agreement). You will be responsible for ensuring your bills are paid fully and on time. At Move On, we partner with a company called Just Move In. Just Move In provide free services for tenants and movers in that they will alert utilities providers (such as the council, etc.) that a new occupier has moved into the property, so you won't need to worry about this. Just Move In also offer a complimentary Home Setup Service which includes a setup call with yourself and they will assist you (for free!) to help set up your tariffs and bills. For more information on Just Move In and how it works, click here or email us on enquiries@moveon.biz with your questions.
    This depends on the type of repair. If damage was made by yourself, you will most likely be responsible for fixing the issue (but make sure you tell your letting agent and/or landlord if anything happens in the first instance before trying to repair anything yourself!) In general, the landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in a good state of repair. They will either take care of this directly, or do so via an agent like Move On. When you sign your tenancy agreement, make sure you know who to go to when there’s an issue throughout your tenancy.
    Please do not make any decorative or other changes to a property you are renting without express written permission from the landlord. You are welcome to ask this question of your landlord at any time, either to them directly, or through the managing agent such as Move On. If you do receive permission to make changes to a property, we recommend keeping a dated record of this (i.e. an email) in case there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy regarding the change made.
    If you are in a fixed term tenancy, you are liable for the rent on the property until the fixed term is over. If you are on a periodic (rolling) contract, your tenancy agreement will detail the steps you need to take and notice you need to give if you'd like to vacate the property.
    Blog Articles

    What can happen if your paperwork is not up…

     

    The law is unbending! Naivety is not an excuse! Over 300 legislations in the last 3 years – do you know them?

    The courts have been filled in recent years with landlords being heavily fined and, in some cases, having to pay back the last 12 months’ worth of rent received.

    None of us would like to find ourselves in this position, but more and more landlords are finding this simply because they haven’t kept up to date with the law.

    A landlord recently failed to evict a tenant through non-payment of rent, due to not having a valid Gas Safety Certificate and Electrical Certificate.

    Another landlord had to pay back 3 times the deposit plus the deposit of £1000.00, totalling £4,000 to the tenant as they had failed to register the deposit. Local councils have the ability to fine landlords up to £30,000 for non-compliant properties including properties in disrepair. Two or more households is a HMO! Three unrelated friends or 2 couples is a HMO! Do you have the correct license?

    Another landlord had not noted the visa on his tenant had expired and they did not have the right to rent in the UK. The landlord narrowly missed going to jail.

    At Move On, we make sure all our landlords can sleep at night, because this is what we do every day. We make sure we are always up to date with latest legislations, and we are often ahead of the deadline.

    If you would like a free rental appraisal and fresh eyes over your paperwork, then please contact me 01202 711169 or email sharon@moveon.biz

    Sharon