After many years of talk, legislation surrounding the compulsory electrical safety testing of privately rented property finally looks like it is going to introduced in 2020. 

It is propsed that from July 2020 electrical safety certificates will need to be carried out every five years, much in the same way that gas safety certificates are currently done annually. 

The exact wording is curently working it's way through parliament but it is anticipated that the legislation will be law in the coming months and will initially apply to new tenancies granted from July. 

Landlords Electrical Safety Inspections

 

Find out more about the regulations here.

https://www.arla.co.uk/news/january-2020/electrical-safety-regulations-to-come-into-force.aspx

Owners of leasehold flats are being warned to look out for the expiry date of their properties lease after a BBC story uncovered the practice of freeholders adding 'Marriage Value' to leasehold extensions when a properties lease starts to run down.

Marriage value is the increase in the value of the property following the completion of the lease extension, and it is designed to reflect the additional market value of the property with a longer lease. This potential ‘profit’ only arises from the freeholders obligation to grant the new lease, and the legislation requires that it is shared equally between the freeholder & leaseholder. 

Now you see why freehold investments are popular...

Marriage Value Lease Extension

Marriage Value only commences when a property has less than 80 years left on its lease, so owners of leasehold flats are advised to check when their lease runs down, particulalry with short-term leases also being much harder to sell. 

Read more in the BBC article here.. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51026374

and find out more from the Lease Advice Service here https://www.lease-advice.org/lease-glossary/marriage-value/

 

Nottingham City Council has announced a fee increase for their ailing Selective Licence Scheme that was only launched in 2018. In a move that will anger landlords and undoubtedly increase rents further for tenants, the fee from April 2020 for new licences will increase to nearly £900!

The city council claims that the current fee structure does not cover overheads and they need to recruit more staff, which is pushing up the fee. The council have also recently started to add penalty fees to current licence applications if they have had to raise queries. Landlords on the other had are questioning what the positive impacts of the scheme have been after the recent progress report showed very few licenses issued, very few prosecutions, and a huge shortfall in the anticipated number of applications.

With Nottingham’s Selective Licensing Scheme already the most expensive of its kind in the country, the scheme has been controversial since inception. Before launch, the vast majority of landlords and agents warned of rent rises and increased homelessness, and both are appearing to be very justified concerns. Agents across the city are seeing landlords throwing in the towel, which whilst great for first-time-buyers, is only serving to reduce supply at a time when both the city’s universities are over-subscribed and struggling to fulfil their own housing need.

Rent UP

 

Rising Rents

According to research carried out by Zoopla, Nottingham has seen the rents rise at the fastest rate in the country and this is being largely attributed to the licensing scheme. https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/selective-licensing-blamed-nottingham-reaching-3435063

Selective Licensing is being seen as the preferred method by councils to drive out the so-called ‘rogue landlords’ and improve standards. The problem with the Nottingham scheme is that it is so vast, the council clearly can’t cope with the application process itself, never mind doing the job the scheme is meant to perform. Similar, more concentrated, schemes in other parts of the country have proved to be a great success but those lessons have been sadly ignored. 

 

Whirlpool, the makers of Indesit and Hotpoint washing machines, are carrying out a huge recall of certain models due to safety issues around the door locking mechanism.

We are asking all tenants to check their appliances to make sure theirs isn't subject to the recall. The model reference number can normally be found inside the door. 

Hotpoint model code example

You can find more information about this product recall by visiting:
https://www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/product-recalls/2019/12/hotpoint-and-indesit-washing-machines/

• FML 742P UK Hotpoint
• WMAOD 743G UK Hotpoint
• WMAOD 743P UK Hotpoint
• WMAQB 721P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMAQC 641P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMAQC 741G UK Hotpoint
• WMAQC 741P UK Hotpoint
• WMAQC 741P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMAQF 621G UK Hotpoint
• WMAQF 621P UK Hotpoint
• WMAQF 641 P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMAQF 721G UK Hotpoint
• WMAQF 721P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMAQL 621G UK Hotpoint
• WMBF 742G UK Hotpoint
• WMBF 742K UK Hotpoint
• WMBF 742P UK Hotpoint
• WMBF 742P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMBF 763P UK Hotpoint
• WMEF 722 BC UK Hotpoint
• WMEF 742 P UK Hotpoint
• WMEUF 722P UK Hotpoint
• WMEUF 743G UK Hotpoint
• WMEUF 743P UK Hotpoint
• WMFG 741P UK Hotpoint
• WMFG 741P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMFUG 742 P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMFUG 742G UK Hotpoint
• WMFUG 742P UK Hotpoint
• WMFUG 842P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMJLF 842P UK Hotpoint
• WMJLL 742P UK Hotpoint
• WMSAQG 621P UK Hotpoint
• WMXTF 742G UK Hotpoint
• WMXTF 742K UK Hotpoint
• WMXTF 742P UK Hotpoint
• WMXTF 742P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMXTF 842P UK.M Hotpoint
• WMYL 7151PS UK Hotpoint
• XWA 81252X K UK Indesit
• XWA 81252X W UK Indesit
• XWD 71452X K UK Indesit

If you have a machine that is affected you should stop using the appliance immediately and contact Whirlpool. If your appliance was supplied by your landlord please report your appliance to us via our Report a Repair function on our website advising which model you have, we can then liaise with your landlord and Whirlpool to arrange a repair.

Rising rent prices across the country show no signs of abating with prices in the north showing larger increases than in the south.

The ARLA Private Rented Sector (PRS) report shows the number of tenants experiencing rent rises fell marginally in September, but 58% of the agents that responded stated that rents on the whole are still going up. Year-on-year, the figure for rent rises is up from 27 per cent in September 2017 and 31 per cent in September 2018, as they remain high. Tenants in the North East of England were the worst affected with 86 per cent of agents witnessing an increase in rent prices.

In Nottingham, rents have risen consistently for the past three years, driven in no small part by Selective Licensing, Landlords exiting the market, huge student numbers, and more recently by the Tenant Fee Ban. 

Properties in the city appear to be seeing the highest rises as demand massively outstrips supply, and agents across the city are increasingly fully let. 

See the full ARLA report here. https://www.arla.co.uk/news/october-2019/no-relief-for-tenants-as-rent-costs-remain-high/