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…
GFW Letting is moving into sales
Over the last three years, we’ve focused on providing landlords the best lettings and property management service. Our extensive experience and proactive approach have earned us awards and we’ve successfully let out a wide range of properties across Newcastle and Northumberland. Naturally, we’ve had a lot of them tell us they wished we could extend and our offering into sales and due to growing demand, we have!
BTL changes signal worrying times for landlords and tenants
Recent changes to lettings legislation and the rise in stamp duty have meant that it’s already proving to be a challenging year for a number of landlords. The Government have wanted to make strides towards making home ownership a more accessible prospect; however in a number of cases this seems to be at the expense of landlords.
Northumberland landlords experience great success with GFW Letting
The last few weeks have been very exciting (and busy) for GFW Letting and we’ve been experiencing a very high level of demand for properties – particularly in Northumberland. From two bedroom rural cottages to more majestic coastal properties, our Alnwick office is experiencing huge demand from tenants right now!