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Property Advice

  • How do you chase rent arrears and is it worth chasing them? - Geldards

    If you decide to chase rent arrears, the first job is to calculate how much the tenant actually owes you. If your tenant is still in the property check if the arrears are just an oversight or whether the tenant needs financial help. If the latter, you may be able to help them claim any relevant benefits, which in turn will help them pay you your rent. Knowing whether to serve a Section 8 or 21 notice is essential and part of a legal expert’s job to do so. If you are short of time or haven’t done anything like this before, use a legal expert to go through the right procedures and consider using a tracing agent.

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  • How to evict a tenant – Landlord Action

    Evicting a tenant is never a nice thing to do and should be a last resort, but if you have to do it, it still needs to be done and done properly. For example, you need to be clear why you are evicting the tenant and make sure that it is for a valid reason and you can legally evict them as your own paperwork needs to be in order too. If you don’t, you may end up starting the eviction process, go to court only to find out that you’ve made a mess of the paperwork and have to start again. Read this guide so you have a good idea in minutes of what to do and who can help you.

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  • Tenancy Deposits – Tenancy Deposit Scheme

    Is your tenancy an 'Assured Shorthold Tenancy'? If so, your tenant’s deposit has to be protected in a government approved scheme. If you are a tenant, you should check that the deposit has been protected by your landlord or agent within 30 days of starting the tenancy. They should give you specific information such as a copy of the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide and copies of certificates, or you may not be able to evict them. By protecting a deposit in one of these schemes it means that an impartial adjudicator will sort any disputes at the end of the tenancy and work out how much and if any money needs to be deducted from the tenant’s deposit.

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  • Legionnaires Disease – No Letting Go

    As of April 2014 landlords were advised to take action to reduce the risk of exposure of legionella to tenants. Under certain circumstances legionnaires can be deadly, so it is vital that landlords get these things right. Under the 2014 changes to Health & Safety Work Act the Landlord or Person in Control of the Premises must understand how to:
    1. Identify and assess sources of risk
    2. Manage any risks
    3. Prevent or control any risks
    4. Keep and maintain the correct records

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  • Electrical Safety for Landlords – Electrical Safety First

    As well as having a periodic electrical inspection every 5 years (in Scotland) and ideally in England, N.Ireland and Wales, there are plenty of jobs landlords need to do to improve the safety of the electrics in their property. Make sure your fusebox is fitted properly and not damaged, ensure you have a working residual current device and check that sockets aren't overloaded. Lastly, it's vital that you keep a record of electrical safety reports, appliance instructions and guarantees/warranties so that you have evidence the property is safe should anything go wrong.

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  • Inventory Checklist – Inventory Genius

    The first thing to decide when getting an inventory done is whether to do it yourself or employ someone to do it for you. If you do employ someone, ensure they have a robust method of carrying out the inventory and are ideally members of AICC or APIP. If you're doing the inventory yourself there are a lot of things you will need to check, from stains in the carpet to including the address on each page of the inventory paperwork. You will need to make sure the tenant signs each page to prove they have read it and carry out a check with the tenants present in case of disputes.

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  • Choosing a letting agent – Belvoir

    First things first, only ever consider using a letting agent who are members of either NALS, SafeAgent or ARLA/RICS. It's then good practice to 'become a tenant' by googling 'renting a property' to see which agents are top. Use property portals to see which agents market similar properties to yours. This checklist will help make sure you choose the ‘good guys’ in the market that do their job well – and if they don’t you have an independent person to complain too!

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  • Why join a landlord association – Residential Landlords Association

    Joining a landlord association is essential for both landlords and your tenants. It shows a tenant that you as a landlord are legitimate and know the rules, so they can let through you safely. When choosing which association to join you need to be aware of what they offer in terms of information, support and training and what work they do to help support landlords when the government is looking to change legislation. Ideally make sure they have a free helpline and don’t fall for giving money to people who will ‘teach you’ to be a landlord, an organisation RLA costs less than £100 a year to join, but can easily save you thousands every year.

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  • 12 steps to letting success – easyProperty

    Letting isn’t as simple as ringing up a website and asking for your property to be listed. You need to advertise in the right place, choose the right, qualified agent and know your target market. It’s vital to know your legal obligations to make sure you don’t accidentally fall foul of landlord regulations. You also need to reference prospective tenants and ensure any deposit is protected through a government licensed deposit scheme. Read these 12 easy steps to ensure you let your property legally and successfully first time around!

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  • Pros and Cons of Letting a Property – National Approved Lettings Scheme

    Letting a property has both pros and cons, especially if it’s your home and you are only planning to do so temporarily. You can make money, offer housing to the needy and using a NALS approved agent that can reduce renting anxiety and problems. However, upfront costs can be quickly add up as there are over 145 rules and regulation you and your property will need to abide by, as well as dealing with potential unruly tenants.

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