01 Apr 2019

Landlord Update - April 2019

Landlord Update - April 2019

Leasing Director, Adrian Sangster is back with another round up of the latest news that will impact Landlords around the country.

Changes pending to minimum EPC ratings

The Scottish Government are introducing changes to the minimum EPC requirements, which are due to come in next year for properties in the private rented sector.

It’s expected that draft legislation and guidance will be published for consultation by the end of May. Regulations are then expected to be laid before parliament in the autumn to introduce the following minimum requirements:

  • properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E at change of tenancy from 1 April 2020
  • all rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E by 31 March 2022
  • properties must have a minimum EPC rating of D at change of tenancy from 1 April 2022
  • all rental properties must have a minimum EPC rating of D by 31 March 2025.

There will be exemptions (technical, legal, social or excessive cost) available in some cases, and these are likely to be:

  • Technical – When the features of a property prevent the improvement of the property to the required standard.
  • Legal – If the work cannot be legally carried out or only under strict restriction, for example due to restrictions on the building type (e.g. listed building, where an energy efficiency measure would be contrary to the current legal status) or area (e.g. in protected areas).
  • Social – When a key actor refuses to give permission for the installation of energy efficiency measures or cannot get agreement from tenant or neighbours where a measure requires joint agreement.
  • Excessive cost – When the cost of the work, exceeds a cost cap of £5,000 to bring a property to an EPC E and a further £5,000 to bring to an EPC D.

The Scottish Government have indicated that a new loan scheme will also be developed for landlords to cover this outlay.

Separately the government has recently published a new consultation on plans to bring forward proposals for all properties in Scotland to have an EPC rating of C where it is cost effective and technically feasible.

Part of this consultation seeks views on requiring private rented properties to have an EPC rating of C at change of tenancy from 1 April 2025. If you wish to take part in this consultation you can do so at https://consult.gov.scot/better-homes-division/energy-efficient/

The government has already consulted on plans to require all properties to have an EPC rating of C by 2040, with social housing already on track to meet that standard by 2020; an aim for all PRS properties to meet that standard by 2030, and for owner-occupied properties to meet it by 2040.

New guaranteed rent payment service launched

Aberdein Considine recently launched a major new service available our fully managed landlord clients - Guaranteed Rent Payments.

Landlords who instruct this service will:

  • Receive their rent every month during the tenancy on time regardless of whether the tenant has paid it or not;
  • Have all their legal expenses covered if their tenants don’t leave the property. The rent will also continue to be paid in full until the recovery of possession;
  • Have 50% of the rent paid for up to 3 months after the tenant is evicted if the property is found to be damaged and needs to be refurbished; and
  • Receive legal expenses cover to pursue the tenant for recovery of the cost of damage to the property, if over and above the value of the deposit.

We are working in partnership with our referencing partner Van Mildert to deliver this service and it will be available for all new tenancies where the tenant has passed their reference checks.

The cost for this is service is only £25 + vat per month for each tenancy which we believe is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that landlords will always receive their rent and that any legal costs will also be paid.

Landlord offers available

Financial services - a free consultation is available for all landlords with one of Aberdein Considine’s independent financial advisers to discuss any of the following:

  • Personal financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Pension advice
  • Investments
  • Protection
  • Inheritance tax planning
  • Long-term care
  • Savings
  • Mortgages

Further details available at https://www.acandco.com/financial/for-you or by contacting our letting & property management team.

Legal – a free consultation is also available to meet with one of Aberdein Considine’s specialist lawyers to discuss:

  • Wills, trusts and estate planning
  • Power of attorney
  • Executry administration
  • Elderly and vulnerable
  • Dispute resolution
  • Employment law
  • Divorce and family law
  • Corporate and business advisory
  • Buying or selling

Further details on all these services are available at https://www.acandco.com/legal/for-you or by contacting our letting and property management team.

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