Piggybank News

September 25, 2014

Should you be joining a Property Redress scheme?

Most Landlords and Letting Agents will be aware that the government has made it compulsory for all Property Agents to join an authorised redress scheme by 1st October 2014.  There have been quite a few articles flying around explaining this obligation and the potential safety net it will offer to Landlords. Property Purchasers, Vendors and Tenants.  The aim is that anyone who feels they are not being treated fairly will have somewhere to go to voice their concerns, with a chance of compensation.

However, what may not have been quite so obvious is the breadth of the government’s definitions of Letting/Property Management/Estate Agent in this regard.  It’s a serious concern because those that don’t sign up risk being fined up to £5,000, via their local council trading standards office.

Essentially any person or business which accepts money in the course of their business for letting, managing or selling property is covered by this act.  So, for example, if you manage a property for a friend and take even “mates rates” fees then you are affected, there are in fact very few exclusions.  (If you would like a full list of definitions then click this link to the Property Redress Scheme website.)

There are 3 schemes currently approved – The Property Redress Scheme, the Property Ombudsman and Ombudsman Services Property.  Of these the Property Redress Scheme is perhaps the most flexible as, alongside Property/ Management/Lettings and Estate Agents, they are also open for other professionals working in the property industry including cleaners, gardeners and inventory clerks.

j0283695Piggy says “Private Landlords, Sourcing Agents and Property Managers are strongly advised to establish the status of their business in relation to this legislation and register with one of the approved schemes before the deadline of 1st October 2014 if required”.

 

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February 28, 2012

20 Questions to ask your Letting Agent

Filed under: Hot tips,Property — nspresources @ 8:32 am
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Although at NSP Resources we usually prefer to manage property ourselves, there are a number of reasons why that might not be practical.  However, if you are intending to use a Letting Agent it is vital that you use one who will work to the same high standards you would expect of yourself.  Painful experience has taught us that not all Letting Agents are created equal and you can save yourself a lot of time and money by doing a little homework and finding the one that best suits you and your property.

We have written a FREE guide for landlords which aims to help you avoid some of the pitfalls by ensuring that you ask the right questions of your Letting Agent before you sign the contract.

“20 Questions to Ask your Letting Agent”

September 15, 2011

Are you a reluctant landlord?

Filed under: Property — nspresources @ 9:03 am
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Falling house prices and a stagnant sales market have led to a large number of house owners entering the rental market as private landlords in desperation.  Unfortunately many of  these ‘accidental’ landlords have very little or no idea of the legislation involved in renting out a property.  Not only is this extremely bad news for tenants, whose lives can be put at risk,  the landlords themselves can also face hefty fines and even prison sentences.  This is one case where professing ignorance is not considered a reasonable defence and even if your property is managed for you by a letting agent it is ultimately the landlord who is deemed responsible.

Two examples of the legislation involved are:-

CP12 Gas Safety Certificates
Failing to have all Gas boilers and appliances in a rented property inspected on an annual basis could land you a fine of up to £20,000 or even a prison sentence.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
Any homes that are rented out from 1 October 2008 must have an EPC inspection carried out or you risk a fine of up to £200.

(Piggy says  “It is vital you are aware of your obligations before you rent your property.   Renting out property is essentially a small business and it should be approached in the same manner. Would you consider starting a restaurant without any knowledge of the food hygiene laws?   NSP Resources offers a mentoring/consultancy service to private landlords and there are a number of landlords associations who can give you general advice on how to stay legal.)

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