Where can I keep up to date with Letting Laws

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    Where can I keep up to date with Letting Laws

    Apart from reading through pages and pages of things like in these forums, is there a one stop shop that will give me the basic legalities of letting in a step by step guide that I can check every few months or so to see if its changed?

    For example I was trying to find out more about the laws in regard to Gas Safety Certificates and electrical safety

    Then someone mentioned EPC's? What are they?

    Also TDS - Some people say its too much hassle and don't bother taking deposits?

    I have some tennants that want to pay weekly and I thought an AST would be fine, but I noticed through reading through some stuff today that I need a rent book if its weekly? I just came across that by chance, or I wouldn't have known.

    What else am I missing that I should know if anything?

    Its so difficult trying to keep abreast of everything.

    #2
    I think the landlord associations will have this sort of thing, as well as this page which has bulletins etc.

    C

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      #3
      Originally posted by sjp20 View Post
      Then someone mentioned EPC's? What are they?

      Also TDS - Some people say its too much hassle and don't bother taking deposits?
      EPC's are Energy performance certificates, I have not had a single tenant ask me to see one in the last six months. Waste of money.

      You have to lodge a deposit in a scheme. It's easy to do, and costs nothing if you use the Deposit Protection Service
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by sjp20 View Post

        Then someone mentioned EPC's? What are they?
        More useful answer!

        Energy Performance Certificates are required for all new rentals. They show the energy efficiency rating of the property. This is based on the construction of the building, the type and efficiency of the boiler, the level of insulation (walls and roof), whether or no it has double glazing, and various other factors. They show the likely annual cost of heating and lighting the property and heating water there, based on average use. They must be carried out by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor who will charge you between £45 and £85 on average. They will need to be in the property for about 45 mins.

        If the rating of your property is high, use it as a 'selling point'. If it is poor, think about implementing some of the recommendations given for your property in the report. These are generally practical and cost-effective within 5 years I think.

        Tenants with an iota of sense* will ask to see the EPC before accepting a tenancy because homes with a high EPC rating (above 65%) will typically cost them hundreds of pounds less in energy bills per year than ones with low ratings (40% or less). They help tenants compare the likely cost of living in different properties.

        (*'the saint's' tenants are clearly the senseless sort )
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          Originally posted by thesaint View Post
          EPC's are Energy performance certificates, I have not had a single tenant ask me to see one in the last six months. Waste of money.
          The Tories are planning to shred HIP's so imagine they'll get rid of EPC's too, if they get in. Can't exactly street demos calling them to be reintroduced.

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            #6
            Originally posted by bullybantam View Post
            The Tories are planning to shred HIP's so imagine they'll get rid of EPC's too, if they get in. Can't exactly street demos calling them to be reintroduced.
            EPCs are a Europe-wide requirement and will not be scrapped even if HIPs are.

            The fact that you do not think they are popular with the masses is neither here nor there, really - and is not an argument to get rid of them in any case. Most people would not demonstrate in the streets to call for the re-instatement of TV licence fees or student tuition fees if they were abolished, but it does not mean they are not 'a necessary evil'.
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post

              Tenants with an iota of sense* will ask to see the EPC before accepting a tenancy because homes with a high EPC rating (above 65%) will typically cost them hundreds of pounds less in energy bills per year than ones with low ratings (40% or less). They help tenants compare the likely cost of living in different properties.

              (*'the saint's' tenants are clearly the senseless sort )
              Disagree. My tenants haven't asked for an EPC either, and they are definitely the sensible type. The reason that they don't need one is that they have eyes and can see that the property is double glazed and they can see the extent and lack of insulation around various parts of the property. Unless an EPC can give tangible information on how much your energy bills will actually be, then it's meaningless anyway, particularly given the different ways people use energy.

              Similarly, I didn't need to see an EPC for the house I rent and live in to know that it was going to cost a fortune to heat (it's rated F, but I have eyes and a brain so could already see that by walking around the house).

              Waste of money in my opinion for the reasons stated above. If you need an EPC to help you guage how much your bills are going to be, then I worry. How on earth did people cope before these infernal certificates?

              Comment


                #8
                Sorry Gillsman but I have to disagree with you.

                One flat I rented had double glazing, well appointed etc. but the boiler was absolutely ancient and inefficient. When the radiators did heat up however the rooms remained extremely cold. It appeared that the heat was disappearing through the ceiling as there was NO loft insulation in the flat nor cavity wall.

                If I had been given the EPC report at the viewing as I should have been I would have seen the recommendations regarding the boiler and loft/cavity wall insulation. Putting the recommendations into practice would have halved the heating bills.

                From what I understand it is not for the prospective tenant to ask to see the EPC reports (as in my case and I am sure lots of other would be tenants don't know of their existance, nor the law surrounding them) It is the letting agents/landlords legal DUTY to supply them within the given guidelines.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by sjp20 View Post
                  Apart from reading through pages and pages of things like in these forums, is there a one stop shop that will give me the basic legalities of letting in a step by step guide that I can check every few months or so to see if its changed?
                  Shelter is a good source of information - albeit it is aimed at tenants.
                  http://england.shelter.org.uk/

                  To keep up with changes in laws etc, there are landlord associations (as already suggested), or alternatively you could subscribe to http://www.landlordlawblog.co.uk/

                  Comment

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