Top tips for tenants to make your property ready for Winter
Autumn and winter can cause problems for properties, and they need to looked after a little bit more than the rest of the year. There is a responsibility on tenants to ensure that they are doing what they can as residents of the property to minimise any potential issues- the landlord has repairing obligations on a property but tenants can sometimes cause a problem without realising it, and these simple steps can help to reduce the chance of issues occurring.
Rogue agents fined £1.2m by Trading Standards
ARLA Propertymark wants to see the government get tough on rogue letting agents following reports that Trading Standards in London fined agents £1.2m over the last 15 months.
We specialise in property lettings in Northumberland. Despite being such a rural county, there are many reasons to consider relocating to this beautiful part of the world…
Northumberland boasts over 30 miles of beautiful, unspoilt beaches; perfect for a long walk or simply admiring your surroundings. Day trips to coastal towns will never get tired with some of the best fish and chips in the country as well as boat trips designed for you to spot the local wildlife.
Tenant Fees Bill: a fairer playing field for all is needed
MPs are currently debating the proposed Tenant Fees Bill, that’s due to be made law next year. The Bill recommends tighter regulations on tenancy deposits, holding deposits and default fees, proposing that all payments, apart from rent, default fees, security deposits of up to six weeks and holding deposits of up to one week, are prohibited.
As a member of ARLA, we are fully in favour of regulation – and behind the aim to safeguard tenants by ensuring renting costs and fees are affordable – however, we do feel that a complete ban on fees is unfair and counterproductive. For example, not allowing agents to retain the holding deposit when a tenant fails the referencing check will only serve, in the long term, to negatively impact tenants, not protect them, as these costs will have to be picked up somewhere else down the line and most likely by tenants, through rental increases, for example.
MPs are also debating how much security deposit a tenant should legally be required to provide. The current draft Bill states six weeks, but the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee believes this should be reduced to five. We generally charge four weeks’ rent as a damage deposit but there are definitely circumstances where we feel a higher deposit is warranted. For instance, where there are pets in a property, and we are concerned that the legislation will prevent a landlord from doing this, which puts them at greater risk of financial loss from damage, as in some circumstances, even six weeks rent would not be considered enough to safeguard the landlord in case anything goes wrong.
Cold Weather Boiler Problems? We might have the solution…
The ‘Beast from the East’ has well and truly hit us all. We are all experiencing issues, whether that is not being able to get into the office, trekking through arctic conditions to complete day-to-day responsibilities or household catastrophes. We have received a number of calls regarding boilers and frozen pipes, but alas! Our engineers have given us a few DIY tips and tricks to put our minds at ease and keep us cosy during the snomaggedon…