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The Government has introduced a new How to Rent Booklet which must be used immediately for all new tenancies. This booklet is part of the paperwork that must be given to tenants when they start their tenancy. This is a mandatory requirement and a failure to do this could mean the landlord is unable to serve a section 21 notice to end the tenancy.
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SAFEAgent Awareness week starts today
Over 3,000 professional lettings agents across the UK will unite for SAFEagent Awareness Week 21-25 May 2018. Now in its seventh year, SAFEagent Awareness Week will remind tenants and landlords to always choose a professional agent who is part of a Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme run by a regulatory organisation.
Recently Government announced new measures on protecting the consumer and mandatory CMP for letting agents. These included the legal requirement for all letting agents to be part of a CMP scheme and civil penalties of up to £30,000 for those who fail to comply with the scheme.
While the plan to make all agents covered by CMP schemes is a huge victory for the SAFEagent campaign, it has still not come into force and will not do so until 1 April 2019 meaning consumers’ money is at risk if their chosen agent does not have client money protection. SAFEagent Awareness Week 2018 will remind consumers that SAFEagents are well ahead of the game with CMP in place now and already adhering to this requirement.
CB Estates are pleased to confirm that they have voluntarily been members of SAFEagent for several years and hold client money protection insurance for their clients through their membership of ARLA.
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MORE LEGISLATION IS ON THE WAY
The Government is bringing in more legislation through 2018 which will impact on the Lettings market. Landlord's need to be aware of the areas that may affect them.
1 Pre October 2015 tenancies
The new rules regarding serving a section 21 notice which were brought in on 1st October 2015 will apply to ALL tenancies from 1st October 2018, including those that were started before 1st October 2015. Failure to comply with these rules will mean a section 21 notice cannot be served.
2 A minimum EPC rating for all rented properties
From 1st April 2018 all privately rented property must have an EPC rating of at least category E and above.
3 New Data Protection Regulations are coming into force
From 25th May 2018 all personal data kept by organisations and individuals (including landlords) will be subject to the requirements of the new Regulations. These are much more onerous than the current regulations and contravention can result in a heavy fine.
4 Banning orders for Landlords and Letting Agents
The legislation allowing these orders to be made has now been passed and a database of Rogue landlords and Letting Agents will be introuduced from 6th April 2018. This will contain details of any landlords and agents subject to banning orders.
We will look into all these areas in more detail in future blogs and explain how they will impact on landlords and their properties.
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CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR OFFICE CLOSURE
We will be closing the office between Christmas and New Year.
This means that our last working day will be Friday 22nd December 2017 at 4pm and we will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2018 at 9.30am
The CB Estates team would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Xmas and a happy new year.