News

Covid-19: Positive actions for residential landlords

31st March 2020

Covid-19: Positive actions for residential landlords

Whilst many residential landlords may currently be worried about their property portfolio, now is a good time to use lockdown time effectively and ensure you are complying with all legal requirements. Below are some hints and tips of things you can do to stay on top of all management issues. 

  1. Update your records with the date the tenancy agreement expires and any break and/or rent review dates
  2. Note down whether your tenant is now occupying past the contractual term date
  3. Make sure tenancy deposits are lodged in Government approved tenancy deposit schemes. If not, seek legal advice about what this means
  4. If a deposit was taken, update your records to show when the Prescribed Information was given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy or get your agent to confirm to you when they did this for you
  5. Are you sure that either you or your agent gave the tenant the Governments’ ‘How to rent’ booklet at the start of the tenancy? Can you evidence that?
  6. Check that you have an up to date EPC for each property. If not arrange to obtain one when you can
  7. Make sure you know all about the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 (‘the Act’), and what this means for you as a landlord. Does this mean you need to undertake improvement works at any of your properties, so you can comply with the Act and lawfully let? Do you need to amend your tenancy agreements to take account of the Act?
  8. Do you have up to date gas and electric certificates? Do you know when copies were given to your tenants? Can you prove that?
  9. Make sure all properties have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors and if not order them and arrange to fit when lockdown ends
  10. Locate any inventories that were taken when tenants moved in. Consider when you or an agent last inspected the property. Do you need to book a visit when lockdown is over?
  11. Look at who is paying rent, and make sure it is your named tenant. If in doubt take legal advice
  12. Bear in mind that at some point in 2020, the UK Government is expected to withdraw a landlord’s ability to serve a section 21 ‘no fault’ notice. This will limit your ability to be able to regain possession. Should you be considering terminating any agreements now?
  13. Review your agreements to see what repair obligations you might have as a landlord. Consider whether you are complying with any obligations
  14. Make sure either you or your agents are complying with checks that ought to have been carried out on tenants before they moved in, pursuant to the Immigration Act 2014
  15. Check your insurance for any properties. Is the reinstatement value realistic? Are you covered for everything you need to be?
  16. Are you happy that your properties comply with all relevant fire safety legislation?
  17. Make sure you are fully up to speed with new obligations the Government has imposed post 1 July 2020 in relation to wiring. Do your properties comply with the IEEE 2018 wiring regulations? If not, schedule an inspection for when lockdown ends
  18. Make sure the tenant is complying with its covenants and pick up any possible breaches sooner rather than later

If you have any queries relating to property or property litigation, please contact Nyree Applegarth on 07595 657733 or Nyree.applegarth@higgsandsons.co.uk

For help and support with any other personal or business legal issues during the Covid-19 crisis, please call us on 0345 111 5050 or email supportingyou@higgsandsons.co.uk

 

Other news

Contact us

3 Waterfront Business Park
Brierley Hill
West Midlands, DY5 1LX

Email: law@higgsandsons.co.uk
Call Us: 0345 111 5050

Newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest here.