Tenant Demand Reaches A New High
Despite rarely having more than four properties on the market at any one time, we let more properties during April 2021 than in Aprils 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Tenant demand is outstripping supply to such an extent that we are receiving multiple offers on most properties within days, or in some cases hours, of the property being listed on the market.
New applicant registrations were up by 1.3% on March 2021, and by 137% compared to April 2020.
New electrical regulations apply to all landlords
Last year, new electrical safety regulations were introduced that required safety testing to be carried out for all new tenancies. On the 1st of April, this was extended to cover all existing tenancies as well – so if you are with a landlord with an occupied property, you must now have an electrical safety certificate in place. This must be renewed every five years. Where category C1 or C2 issues are diagnosed by the electrician, remedial works must be carried out within 28 days and the local authority informed.
Tenants must be given ‘Breathing Space’
The government’s new Debt Respite Scheme, or ‘Breathing Space’, came into force on the 4th of May and entitles people in problem debt (e.g. a tenant) to a temporary period of respite from a creditor (e.g. a landlord or letting agent).
A Breathing Space will pause most enforcement action, creditor contact, and interest and charges on a person’s qualifying debts, so that they can consider their options and engage with professional debt advice.
We will bring you a more detailed blog about this scheme in the coming weeks.
Important Dates in May
The Queen’s Speech on the 11th of May promises to be an important one for landlords and letting agents. It is widely expected that the Prime Minister will return to the Renters’ Reform Bill, bringing the future of Section 21 back into sharp focus, alongside lifetime deposits for tenants.
Temporary legislation permitting landlords and agents to carry out Right to Rent checks virtually will come to an end on the 17th of May. From that date, all Right to Rent checks must once again take place in person. However, after successful lobbying by ARLA Propertymark, a recent revision to the regulations now means that landlords will now not have to redo the virtual checks that have been carried out during the pandemic.
Update: since publishing this blog, the government has announced a one month extension to virtual Right to Rent checks. In-person checks will now be mandatory again from the 20th of June.