UPDATE: Legislative Changes

13 Apr 2020
I hope you are well and staying as safe as possible. As you will be aware letting agents aren’t typically a “work from home” type of business however we are doing our absolute best to maintain good service levels while lock down continues.

Fineholm staff have been logging in from home for 2 weeks now which is working well. The process wasn’t an easy one but our fantastic IT staff did amazingly well and managed to ramp it up very quickly, ( even chased a DPD van around Cumbernauld in order to make sure we got those few extra laptops that we needed!) and have been providing an invaluable service of support to us. We thank them for this.

We would like to add our thanks to the incredible contractors who have been taking all the right precautions whilst still attending to maintenance calls in a safe manner. Having these good established relationships really shows now and having trusted, reliable, hard working and caring contractors is paramount now more than ever.

Legislative Changes

We have been keeping abreast of the legislative changes, which came through on Friday. At present this is for an initial 6 month period but could be extended for a further 6 months In short, all grounds to evict have now become discretionary(both PRT and SAT leases) so a landlord will need proof (should a tenant dispute) and also the notice periods of time for grounds are changed. Instead of the current 2 notice periods of 28 and 84 days, we will have 3 different periods. These are as follows:

28 days
Grounds 10 (where the tenant is no longer occupying the property).

3 months
Grounds 4 (landlord wants to live in the property), Grounds 5 (family member of landlord wants to live in the property), Grounds 13 (criminal behaviour of tenant), Grounds 14 (antisocial behaviour by tenant), Grounds 15 (association with someone guilty of criminal behaviour or anti-social behaviour), Grounds 16 (landlord ceased to be registered) and Grounds 17 (HMO licence revoked).

6 months
Grounds 1 (landlord wants to sell), Grounds 2 (lender wants to sell), Grounds 3 (refurbishment), Grounds 6 (change of use), Grounds 7 (required for religious purposes), Grounds 8 (no longer employee of landlord), Grounds 9 (supported accommodation), Grounds 11 (breach of tenancy), Grounds 12 (rent arrears) and Grounds 18 (overcrowding notice).

It is very important to note that whilst we have been advised to negotiate rent levels with landlords and tenants if they are struggling to pay, rent remains payable under any lease and there appear to be no restrictions on landlords seeking payment orders against defaulting tenants and seeking to enforce those in the usual way.

It is SO IMPORTANT to keep in mind however that real problem tenants are few and far between, experience of dealing with tenants in difficulties is critical and knowing when and how to act is paramount. We are up to speed on all of this and have the experience to deal with any issue that may arise.

Moving into the 3rd week of lockdown, we like everyone else, are hopeful that we can soon get back to work whilst still adhering to social distancing. We continue to carry out virtual inspections and virtual check outs and continue to move in tenants that dates set during this time and cannot be postponed. We have plans in place to get those properties that are vacant, marketed and video and/or 360 tours carried out.

I think its worth noting that whilst people who are stuck at home may be looking at properties on line, there is little to no action past this. We need the pause button to be lifted in order to resume properties being secured by new tenants . The rental market has been strong and even in a depressed market, rental properties have always ticked over.

If you are an optimist, and I am, then so long as the pause button doesn’t stick too long, we will resume, maybe slightly below current levels, but we will resume finding great tenants for properties. Property will continue to be a good solid investment!

Happy Customers