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Lettings Spring Update 2021
We are open

In line with Government Guidelines our staff are now working back in the office, adhering to strict Covid-19 Guidelines. Viewings and Market Appraisals continue to take place. If you wish to visit our office we would still ask that you call and make an appointment first. Our Viewings Policy is available on our website or click below.
From all of us at Batcheller Monkhouse, we wish all the businesses preparing to safely reopen all the best, and here's hoping for some bright and warm weather. It is certainly lovely to see local traders open and activity on the High Street.
Our Viewings Policy
Demand and Property Stock

Demand is at an all-time high, in the first quarter we registered nearly 300 applicants, and this was with limited stock across all four offices. For each property we receive, there are 10 to 15 enquiries within a few hours of it going live. This means Landlords are receiving multiple offers and have a great choice of tenants to choose from.
Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses

We can confirm that our offering of rent guarantee has now increased from six months to fifteen months and legal expenses increased from £50,000 worth of cover to £100,000 worth of cover. With the impact of Covid-19 we feel this cover is invaluable.
Property Inspections

We have been conducting Property Inspections where we can, adhering to strict Coronavirus guidelines. Now that we have entered phase two of the roadmap out of lockdown, we will be increasing property inspections. For those tenants shielding or not comfortable meeting face to face, we have offered the option of a virtual inspection. Batcheller Monkhouse has invested in new software, so make sure you keep an eye out for a more detailed report with a fresh look. Due to the recent turbulent times, it will take time to get through the properties that haven’t had inspections. We will be working through them in a priority order and as always thank you for your patience. 
Summer is on its way. Did you know...
  1. The first day of summer is between June 20 and June 22 every year.
  2. The Eiffel Tower grows in the heat of the summer. Due to the iron expanding, the tower grows about 6 inches every summer.
  3. July is national ice cream month.
  4. Ice pops were invented in 1905 by an 11 year old boy.
  5. Watermelon is one of summer’s best summer treats. Watermelons are not a fruit, but a vegetable instead. They belong to the cucumber family.
Legal Update

From the 1 April 2021 all properties must now have an Electrical Inspection Condition Report. A copy must be provided to the tenants within 28 days and any remedial action should also be completed within 28 days. 
Reminder: The Tenant Fees Act came into force for all active tenancies on the 1 June 2020. A tenant can't be charged any sum relating to the granting of a Tenancy Agreement. Deposits are now capped at a maximum of 5 weeks (unless the rent is £50K or more, then it is capped at 6 weeks) and you can no longer charge a higher amount to allow a pet to reside.
You may have seen in the press recently that you can no longer refuse a tenant a pet in a property. This is not the case at the moment but is being discussed in Parliament. You do have to be careful not to discriminate on the grounds of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
The Government have extended the terms in relation to the service of notice and eviction until the 31 May 2021. This means if you need to serve notice on your tenants at present this is six months. It is advisable to use the form that is on the Government website. Historic forms you may have saved will not be valid.
There is also talk of amendments to the Fire Safety Bill and extending the requirement for a CO Alarm to be placed in rooms that have a mains gas boiler, at present the Bill only relates to solid fuel.
You may be aware of proposed changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards to raise the minimum rating of an EPC in a rented home to C by 2025. Agents and professional bodies are working with the Government to work out the finer details. 
Guidance has recently changed on retrospective Right to Rent Checks. It has now been confirmed that you do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021 (inclusive). This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports landlords during this difficult time.
There is new guidance due to come in in June 2021 but at present we are awaiting a further update.
You may also have heard about the Debt Respite Scheme due to come in on the 4 May 2021. This allows temporary respite from creditors for up to 6 months. However, the tenant must be referred by a counsellor authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, and they must keep up with their continued payments, this includes the rent.
For assistance with any of this lettings legislation, new or old please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to advise.
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