Thu 30 May 2019
Client Money Protection (CMP)
Client Money Protection is a scheme that reimburses landlords and tenants should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds. It is a requirement for ARLA Propertymark members to have CMP. Letting agents hold a significant amount of money in the form of deposits and rent on behalf of tenants and landlords. Client money protection ensures that funds are held in a designated account and in the event of an agency going bust or misappropriating funds it offers landlords and tenants a route to compensation. Alexandre Boyes are regulated by the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme.
Tenant Fees Act
The Tenant Fees Act sets out the government’s approach to banning letting fees for tenants and will come into force on 1st June 2019. In a nutshell, Agents and Landlords will only be permitted to charge tenants fees associated with a change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant; utilities, communication services and Council Tax; payment of damages where the tenant has breached terms in their tenancy agreement; payments arising from a default by the tenant where they have had to replace keys or a respective security device; or a charge for late rent payment (not exceeding 3% above the bank of England base rate). Agents and Landlords are no longer permitted to charge administration fees, referencing fees or inventory fees.
As of June 1st 2019 Tenant’s deposits will be capped at 5 weeks’ rent. This also affects existing tenancies when they come to renew after 1st June 2019, as we will be required to refund the Tenant’s deposit any amount exceeding 5 weeks’ rent. This will need to be re-protected and a new deposit certificate and Prescribed Information issued.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s)
New legislation relating to Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s) came into effect on April 1st 2018. These new changes state that landlords ‘must ensure that properties they rent in England and Wales reach at least an EPC rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants’. With EPC guidelines and calculations ever changing we would suggest that in the first instance a new report is carried out as it is likely your rating may differ from the one you got several years ago. A new EPC can be carried out for £60 plus VAT. If your rating is still below an E then the report will provide an up to date list of recommendations that can improve the energy performance of your property. You would need to carry out enough of these recommendations to improve the score to above an E. Should you be required to carry out improvements once these are complete another EPC certificate will be required to prove the rating is above an E. Should this be the case, a discounted rate of £100 plus VAT will cover both the initial report and the revised report. Once a report has been issued, it is valid for 10 years. Should you wish Alexandre Boyes to oversee the EPC assessment(s) and/or any improvement works, a 10% plus VAT supervisory fee of the total associated costs will be applicable if we do not manage your property.
Gas Safety Certificates (GSC)
We would like to gently remind all of our Landlords of the importance of ensuring that a valid GSC is in date. A GSC must be in date before a Tenant moves into a property and must be updated annually and a copy given to the tenants. Not having a GSC in place is a criminal offence and will prevent you from being able to serve notice for possession should you wish to do so. Alexandre Boyes will ensure this is kept in date if we manage your Property, however If we do not manage your Property but you would like Alexandre Boyes to arrange for an up to date GSC to be carried out we can do so £50 plus VAT, plus the cost of the certificate (approximately £60, or £110 with a service) and any remedial works necessary.