We hope you are keeping safe and well and enjoying some degree of ‘freedom’, since the lockdown restrictions have been eased slightly. It is amazing how great it feels to see family and friends again after so long, albeit from 2 meters. We have been inspired seeing the way our colleagues, staff and community have adapted to the changes in our working world, is been quite remarkable how everybody has taken the ‘new normal’ in their stride. We have been working with a hybrid of home based functions, field work with viewings and appraisals and in our office, on appointment only (if you have been in for an appointment you may notice the layout of our office has changed to facilitate social distancing). We’ve also seen huge demand for rental properties, which was somewhat unexpected, it would appear the last 12 weeks of being at home has made a lot of people want to move!
While everything seems to be moving towards a greater level of normality, there has been a number of changes to the lettings market, which we have summarised below;
Ban on evictions extended
It was announced that the government has extended the suspension of evictions from social and private accommodation (for a further 2 months). This extension takes the moratorium to a total of 5 months and will mean evictions will not resume until 23rd August 2020. The government announcement can be seen below.
Rent Guarantee Portfolio Transfer re-opened/ NEW rent guarantee now available (with restrictions)
At the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were fortunate enough to transfer all eligible properties onto rent guarantee with our provider LetAlliance. Two days after offering this to all Belvoir franchisees their underwriter pulled this product from the market. We were lucky in that due to the combined ‘buying power’ of our franchise group, all policies implemented in that 48 hour period were honoured, we were however unable to extend the product to landlords with properties managed by other agents/ self-managed as the timeframe for transfer was cut short and restricted, due to the fast paced unfolding of the pandemic. Belvoir and LetAlliance have worked tirelessly over the past few months to try and find a product that will appease underwriters and benefit landlords alike while remaining affordable, while many insurers simply removed products from the market due to the risk involved.
We are now able to offer a rent-guarantee product to landlords again, who wish to transfer properties to Belvoir (which may be self-managed or managed elsewhere), or landlords with properties which are now being re-let, there are some restrictions which apply (which can be discussed in more detail) and the policy will pay with zero excess for 6 months or until vacant possession is achieved (whichever is the shorter period) and up to £50,000 legal expense cover. This rent guarantee product is being offered at a price per property basis- based on a percentage of your rental income. If you don’t currently have cover and would like to discuss if your property would be eligible and the price, we would be happy to run through the criteria, please just reply to this email or call the office on 01934 707430 where somebody will be able to discuss this with you further.
Electrical Safety Standard- July 2020 / Existing tenancies April 2021
Landlords in the Private Rented Sector must now ensure every electrical installation in their residential premises is inspected and tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified and competent person.
These apply to all new standard Tenancies from the 1st July 2020 and existing Tenancies from 1st April 2021. Following the inspection and testing, a landlord must supply a report provided by the qualified person conducting that inspection and test. This gives the results of the inspection and test and the date of the next one due. This must be supplied to each existing tenant of the residential premises within 28 days of the inspection and test and before move in for a new Tenant moving in. You must also retain a copy of the report and provide it to the local council within 7 days of their request. If you believe you have a fixed electrical testing report that is less than 5 years old that you have not given us then please could you email it to us, as we may be able to use this. We will continue to contact landlords in the coming weeks and months to arrange certificates for new tenancies and begin to prepare for certificates on ongoing tenancies.
Should you need any more clarification on the points raised, please don’t hesitate to contact the team via email or on our office number 01934 707430.