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Issue 45 - June 2015

Welcome to the June 2015 edition of the Greater Nottingham Landlords' Electronic Newsletter.

Contents

  1. Help removing rubbish
  2. Retaliatory eviction outlawed from October
  3. Landlord TAP - A tool for Landlords
  4. Help with Fire Risk Assessments

Help Removing Rubbish

With students leaving their accommodation over the next few weeks for the summer, Broxtowe Borough Council would like to inform landlords that we offer a bulky waste collection service.

If you follow the link it will provide you with all the information you need: http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1337

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Retaliatory eviction outlawed from October 2015

The enactment of the Deregulation Bill to protect tenants from retaliatory eviction is the latest in a series of legislative changes set to impact the private rental sector over the coming months.

Under the Deregulation Act 2015 landlords will no longer be able to evict a tenant who has made a legitimate complaint about the condition of their rented property.

The new protection comes into force from 1 October 2015 and will apply in instances where the council has confirmed that a repair needs to be carried out to protect health and safety. The landlord will be unable to evict the tenant for six months.

Landlords will also not be allowed to evict tenants from their properties where they have failed to provide gas safety certificates or energy performance certificates.

Retaliatory eviction protection is part of a package of private rental sector measures coming into force in the next few months.

The majority of landlords in the PRS are good law abiding business people so this new legislation should not have such an impact however it's worth reminding ourselves of the importance of good communication between landlord and tenants.

Sometimes it's easy, if the rent is being paid on time, to forget about a property you own that has not caused you any issues - now is a good time to reassess our practices in terms of property visits and tenant communication.

For more information on the new Deregulation Bill https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/retaliatory-eviction-policy-statement-on-amendment-to-deregulation-bill

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Landlord TAP - A tool for Landlords

Landlord TAP is an easy to use website that allows Landlords and Managing Agents, of properties in England & Wales, to provide water companies with details of those responsible for the payment of water and/or sewerage charges for their tenanted properties.

Instead of needing to pick up the phone, or write to your water company, once you are registered, you may use the forms on the Landlord Tap website to provide the required information. This information is then passed to the relevant water company automatically, and you will receive a unique transaction receipt reference for your records.

This web site allows landlords to:

For more information on this take a look at their website https://www.landlordtap.com/

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Help with Fire Risk Assessments

Just like employers, landlords have certain legal obligations when it comes to fire safety and protection of their properties and the safety of people who reside in their premises.

However, it is not as simple as ensuring there is a couple of fire extinguishers to hand - fire safety largely depends on the potential risks and the different types of buildings can cause confusion. For example, a building that is used for a single tenancy will differ to one which is shared across commercial and residential lettings.

Legislation requires that landlords carry out fire risk assessments in all areas of their properties.

This process will identify any fire hazards and who is at risk and decide if anything needs to be done to remove or reduce that risk.

No particular system or method of fire risk assessment is mandatory; instead the Fire Safety Order concentrates on achieving satisfactory outcomes.

The objective is to identify and evaluate all fire risks to which "relevant people" are exposed and create a "suitable and sufficient" fire risk assessment.

Relevant people are those legally allowed on the premises, e.g. staff, visitors, residents, contractors

The overall aim of a fire risk assessment is to reduce the risk of fire, the risk of fire spread, and ensure that people can escape

A fire risk assessment should systematically identify all fire related hazards within the premises and analyse how those hazards may adversely affect the building and itsoccupants. It should identify the level of risk that those hazards may present and alsoidentify suitable control measures for any significant findings.

If the premise is a large HMO or a complicated structure Landlords often like to use qualified professionals to assist them however for simple premises, like a 2 bed family terrace, landlords may wish to complete their own fire risk assessments; DASH Landlord Accreditation and the NLA have produced templates which can be used as a reference point should landlords wish to go down this route and these can be accessed here: http://www.dashservices.org.uk/Resources/Fire-Safety/document-3

The Fire Safety Order also requires the fire risk assessment to be reviewed whenever there is a reason that it is no longer valid, or if significant changes to the matters to which it relates are proposed, e.g. altering the building or changes to occupancy/tenants.

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