Wills and Smerdon go digital for landlords and tenants 15 Jun 2020
The Covid 19 crisis has presented many challenges to ensure we work safely and effectively whilst continuing to provide you with outstanding customer service. I am therefore pleased to announce that we have partnered with a company called Goodlord who offer an online system designed to manage the “pre-tenancy“ process in one place. Therefore, once we have found you a new tenant Goodlord will assist us with the administration in the following ways:
We have invested in this online system to ensure we manage the ever-increasing volume of tenancy administration and legislation efficiently and digitally, and it will save you time (not forgetting trees as we will not be printing so many documents!). We are excited to start seeing the benefits and will discuss this with you when a new tenancy is agreed/renewed.
From 1st June the law changed and Landlords must ensure that Electrical Safety Standards are met and every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested every 5 years. Previously, although this was best practice, a landlord could “self-certify” that the electrical installation at their rental property was safe. Therefore we are instructing our electricians to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on all of the properties we manage as we cannot start a new tenancy or renew an existing tenancy from 1st July 2020 without a certificate in place.
For our landlords who manage their own properties please can you forward a copy of the latest certificate for our records.
Extension on suspension of evictions
The Government announced on 5 June 2020 that the suspension of evictions has been extended in England and Wales for a further two months meaning that landlords will continue to be unable to start proceedings to evict tenants. Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP specified the extension which takes the moratorium on evictions up until the end of August and to a total of five months “to ensure that renters continue to have certainty and security.” The Government has asked that agents and landlords work with tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort.
Importantly, the change in law only applies to notices served on or after 26 March 2020. From 27 March 2020, the court service suspended all ongoing housing possession action. This means that neither cases either currently in or about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action initially lasted for 90 days but has been extended until the end of August. Citizens Advice has recently gained widespread media coverage by claiming that 2.6m households will have missed a rent payment, or expect to do so, owing to the virus. ARLA Propertymark has been gathering information from members about the extent of rent arrears building in the private rented sector in order to provide the most accurate and up to date picture to the Government so that they can make informed, evidence-based decisions rather than policy based on this sort of conjecture.
As we are currently required to serve 3 month’s notice to end a tenancy. During this time, if you do not wish to renew a tenancy please do let us know as soon as possible so we can serve Notice in time for you.
Please do contact me if you have any questions and I hope you are all staying safe and well.
Sara Grey, MARLA