FROM TODAY’S QUEEN’S SPEECH

21st June 2017 By

  • Security deposits will no longer be able to exceed the value of one month’s rent. Compared to the restriction which already applied of one sixth the annual rent (aka two months’).
  • Holding deposits will no longer be able to exceed one week’s rent.
    There will need to be a consultation so date for implementation ‘some time in the future’.

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WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR BEFORE USING A LETTING AGENT?

14th February 2017 By

Most letting agents and property management agents are honestly trying to do their best for landlords and tenants whilst running their businesses.  Unfortunately, as recently highlighted on the BBC, there are some rogues out there who let everyone else down.

Before taking on an agent ask:

  • Do you know someone who has experience with this agent? Ask them for the good and bad news
  • Does the agent belong to one of the government’s three redress schemes (a requirement since October 2014 and £3,000 fine for not having joined one of the following)? The information about which scheme is used should be clearly displayed.  Don’t be afraid to contact the appropriate body to ensure the agent is a current member.
  • Are the fees charged by the agent clearly displayed as required under the Consumer Protection Act 2015?
  • Does the agent hold Client Money Protection Insurance? Not a requirement yet but due to be brought in.
  • What Deposit Protection Scheme does the agent use? Again don’t be afraid to ask the scheme provider for confirmation.
  • Deposit Protection Scheme
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme

 

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AUTUMN STATEMENT NOVEMBER 2016

24th November 2016 By

The following is intended only as a brief review of how we feel the private rented sector will be affected by the announcements in the autumn statement.  Not a lot of surprises as there have been many announcements in the last few days.

 

Letting Agent Fees

Charging of fees to tenants by letting agents to be banned as soon as possible.  Administration fees, reference fees and credit checks will still be chargeable.

Banning of letting agent fees has been in force in Scotland and has seen landlords facing extra costs and often increasing rents to meet those costs.

When this ban was announced a short while ago Gavin Barwell MP (Minister for Housing and Planning) tweeted “Bad idea – landlords would pass costs on to tenants via rent. We’re looking at other ways to cut upfront costs & raise standards”.

 

Insurance Premium Tax

The basic rate of Insurance Premium Tax will rise from 10% to 12% from 1 June 2017.

 

SOME GOOD NEWS:

 

Tax thresholds

No change to previously announced increase to tax-free allowance from £11,000 to £11,500 by April and £12,500 by 2020.

Commitment to raise the top threshold to £50,000 remains.

 

Fuel duty

Cancelled for the seventh consecutive year.

 

Universal Credit

A reduction in the rate at which benefits are withdrawn from people when they start work The taper rate at which universal credit is withdrawn as earnings rise to be reduced from 65p to 63p.

 

National Living Wage

National Living Wage to rise to £7.50 from April 2017

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