Nottingham City Selective Licensing Clinics

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East Midlands Property Owners are hosting support clinics to give advice and guidance around the upcoming selective licensing scheme due to be implemented across Nottingham City in August this year.

The clinics will last for 2 hours and the objective is to provide a step-by-step explanation of exactly what landlords need to do to initially get their properties licensed, along with the ongoing requirement to manage and maintain their properties within the scope of the scheme.

There will also be a Q&A session and attendees will leave with a full practical understanding of what is required in time for the August 1st deadline.

The dates and venue are as follows;

Wednesday 2nd May
11-1pm
1.30-3.30pm
4.30-6.30pm

Monday 18th June
11-1pm
1.30-3.30pm
4.30-6.30pm

Tuesday 10th July
11-1pm
1.30-3.30pm
4.30-6.30pm

Castle Cavendish Works, Dorking Road, Nottingham, NG7 5PN.

The cost is £10 per delegate or FREE for EMPO members.

To reserve your place call 01159 502639.

Join EMPO =>> www.empo.co.uk

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Inventories and Deposits…Why?

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I’ve been out and about again this week but this time it was for an enlightening course about inventories, deposits and end of tenancy disputes hosted by EMPO in Nottingham.

Inventories and deposits, we all know about them but do all landlords bother with them? Despite there importance, there are landlords out there that take the risk to do one or the other or worse, neither. A detailed inventory, reasonable deposit and a clear, timely check out report will make the difference between having a strong case or no case in a dispute.

NO inventory + NO check out report = NO case

Do you know that its free for a tenant to dispute a deposit claim? In 10 years, a tenant could have 10 tenancies which could mean 10 disputes, in a system that appears to favour tenants rather than landlords, how often do you think the landlord loses out…

Firstly, you need to get a deposit and register it deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme otherwise you’re not going to have anything to protect you in the first place. As part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, you must register your tenants deposit with a tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving it, if you don’t you could end up repaying your tenant up to 3 times their original deposit within 14 days of the order. TDS schemes give you two options:

Custodial – a free option where they hold the money for you.

Insured – a chargeable insured option where you hold the money.

Whichever option you go for, it will only take you a couple of minutes to register the deposit so there’s no excuse!

Next you need to get yourself a cracking inventory, time consuming to do but they are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the end of the tenancy. You can do it yourself, use an independent inventory clerk or get your local letting agent to do it as part of their tenant find/managed service then its up to you decide if you want written, photographic, video based, a voice recording or combination. Speak to your agent/inventory clerk to find out what their method is, whatever you decide, make sure your property is tip top and in the condition you would like it back otherwise it’s a waste of time and money…mostly time! Make sure your tenant signs the inventory at the check in or cover your back and add a disclosure that states after x amount of days that if no amendments are requested then it is taken that they are happy that the inventory reflects the condition of the property.

Quick note, even if you have had the property professionally cleaned before your tenants move in, you cannot demand a receipt at the end of the tenancy for a professional clean, you can only request that it is cleaned to a professional STANDARD. If you choose to put it in the tenancy agreement and the tenant doesn’t provide a receipt for the clean but the property is cleaned to a professional standard then the tenant is likely to win in a dispute.

Property visits throughout a tenancy are crucial and the information and evidence gathered at each visit can prove to be priceless in a dispute, whether it’s photographic proof of washing being hung out indoors without ventilation, pet beds, toys and food in an AST that states no pets and even tabacco/cigarettes on the side could help to prove how a cigarette shaped burn just appeared on a carpet. No evidence = No case.

Lastly you need a check out report and a timely one at that, you can’t roll up a week or so later to take photos and meter readings and expect a dispute to be taken seriously. A check out report needs to be conducted on the final day of the tenancy at a time agreed with the tenant, it doesn’t need to be anywhere near as detailed as an inventory however you still need to photograph the keys and take meter readings, but it only needs to highlight any issues and discrepancies from the original inventory. Make sure the inventory is to hand along with any correspondence you may have had with the tenant throughout the tenancy agreeing any changes so you can walk around the property with them and highlight any issues, this way the tenant is prepared for potential deductions. The tenant must be made aware of any deductions within 10 working days of the tenancy end date, you will need quotes to prove your deductions and you will need an agreement in writing of any deductions from your tenant. If the landlord and tenant can’t agree on the deductions then noone gets any money and it has to go to dispute so make sure you have plenty of strong evidence.

I’m not going to unearth the can of worms that is fair wear and tear because i’ll be typing away all night about that but in conclusion, if you have a cracking inventory, a good deposit, routine visit reports and a timely check out report then you can at least say you’ve ticked all of the boxes in what appears to be a tenant friendly dispute system. Only 1% of deposit resolutions go as far as requiring the independant dispute system so i hope that you can negotiate amicably with your tenants and stay out of that minority.

If you’d like to pop in for cuppa and a chinwag about deposits, inventorys and how we do things then i can always make time for a chat :).

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Become a DASH accredited landlord

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We’re aiming to become a DASH accredited letting agency which means getting all our landlords DASH accredited. This is no mean feat but it will really stand us apart from the rest and ensure tenants can be confident that we only work with great landlords with great quality properties for them to make their home.

What is DASH Landlord Accreditation?

The scheme is a membership designed to reward good landlords and to help them differentiate themselves from less reputable landlords in the property market place. DASH accredits the landlord, not the property, therefore identifying them as being competent and professional.

As an organisation DASH supports landlords with information and guidance on changes in legislation as well as sharing best practice. DASH is recognised by our distinctive logo which members are able to use as a badge to demonstrate their professionalism and gain market advantage.

What do I need to do to become accredited?

  • Agree to adopt the Code of Conduct – the scheme manual is available online from the website at http://www.dashservices.org.uk/Accreditation/Scheme-Manual
  • Pass a fit and proper person test – DASH will check with the relevant Local Authority that there are no outstanding items with you as a landlord or any of your properties
  • Complete the Landlord Development course – the course is free as part of your membership package and is available online from the website at http://dashtraining.org.uk/login/
  • Have a health and safety visit to a sample of your properties – a minimum of 10%
  • Commit to increase your professional development as a landlord by engaging with DASH Landlord accreditation e-learning

How can this save me money?

Nottingham City Council are looking to introduce a Licensing Scheme (Find out more information about this at the Nottingham Landlord Forum). Unlike accreditation the licence fee applies ‘per property’ and not ‘per landlord’. Local authorities offer a discount as they find that there is less work required to process and issue a license for an accredited landlord. The ‘proposed’ selective licence fee in Nottingham is £655 per property for 5 years with a discount of £255 (£400 per property) for landlords who carry the Nottingham Standard.

We’ll soon be emailing all our landlords to start getting them on board and if you have any questions about the process feel free to get in touch with me or with Linda Cobb at DASH. Download the frequently asked questions for further information.

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Nottingham & District Landlord Forum

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Nottingham & District Landlord Forum.

This FREE to attend residential landlord forum will begin with networking and refreshments including a light buffet at 6pm. There will be a number of experts providing advice around lettings, landlord tax, Buy-to-Let finance and retirement planning during this period and after the presentations.

Please see below for full details on topics being discussed including various licensing schemes being proposed.

Representatives from the Councils will be in attendance.

Please email giles@empo.co.uk to confirm your delegate booking as spaces are limited.

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Upcoming landlord events around Nottinghamshire

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We’ve got a few dates for your property diaries…

12th September 9.30-12.30pm – Bentley Hotel, LN6 9NH – Lincoln Landlord Legal Update – Organised by EMPO which aims to share the latest guidance and support in offering decent and safe homes across the East Midlands.

14th September 5-7pm – St Marys Rooms, NG24 1UH – Official Launch of St Marys Rooms, Newark – Hosted by Jon Brambles and supported by Buttercross Estates. See the high quaklity apartments with a glass of fizz and discuss their investment potential.

19th September 6.30-9.30pm – Park Inn, Mansfield Road, NG5 2BT – PIN Nottingham – Hosted by Spike with talks from Andrew Parker from SDL Graham Penny on buying property in auctions.

5th October 4.30-6.30pm – Broxtowe Town Hall, NG9 1AE – South Notts Landlord Forum – Hosted by Broxtowe Borough Council providing various updates to the private rented sector.

There are also more forums and events farther afield which you can find on the EMPO website here.

Have an event you are running? Get in touch and we’ll love to share it.

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Selective Licensing Update for Nottingham City

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Nottingham City Council commenced their 10 week Selective Licensing scheme consultation on Monday. It will run up until the 31st March 2017.

Complete information can be found HERE.

Please take time to respond to the consultation and mobilize your tenants to do likewise as costs associated with this scheme may translate into higher rents.

To see EMPO’s earlier notification about Selective Licensing click HERE.

Nottingham City are hosting two Selective Licensing landlord forums in February at the Council House in Nottingham.

These forums will give landlords an opportunity to ask questions and learn more on why the council believes a city wide scheme is necessary.

The forums will be on:

Tuesday 21st between 1-3pm

Thursday 23rd between 4-6pm

To reserve you place please email:

selective.licensing@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

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Training for Property Professionals

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East Midlands Property Owners is a landlord accreditation raising the standards of the private rented sector. Here are details of the upcoming training events they are arranging.

In the fast changing world of the Private Rented Sector, professional training will keep you and your business one step ahead of the competition. Details of how to book can be found at the bottom.


Legal Update 2015 And Complete Possession Claims

Wed 05, Oct 2016, 09:30am – 04:30pm. (Nottingham)

This course covers the following:

Legal update part

• Housing & Planning Bill 2015/16 to include rogue letting agent / landlord database and abandonment

• Confirmation of the Deregulation Act changes and how they have worked in practice

• Immigration Act 2014 and the proposed amendments in the Immigration Bill

• Hidden Letting Agent Fees and an update on the Foxtons case

• Minimum EPC rating in 2018

• Supreme Court Decisions – McDonald v McDonald and Edwards v Kumarasamy

• Other current topics

Complete Possession claims online

• Get a greater knowledge of Possession Claims online

• Experience a demonstration of online form completion for both Possession Claim online (PCOL) and Accelerated Possession (APP)

£ 90 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 140 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


Capital Gains Tax Course

Wed 12, Oct 2016, 06:30pm – 09:00pm. (Nottingham)

This half day course will help you understand and benefit from a deeper knowledge of Capital Gains tax (CGT). The course also includes how CGT is calculated with explanations of jargon and CGT allowances and reliefs that are available.

£ 50 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 75 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


Inheritance Tax Course

Wed 09, Nov 2016, 06:30pm – 09:00pm. (Nottingham)

This half day course will help you understand and benefit from a deeper knowledge of Inheritance tax (IHT). This may be a significant potential tax costs for property owners being up to 40% of the market value of the portfolio.

£ 50 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 75 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


Basic Law For Lettings

Thu 24, Nov 2016, 09:30am – 04:30pm. (Derby)

Covering the following:

• Pre-Tenancy

• The responsibilities and liabilities of the landlord / letting agent

• Setting up a tenancy

• During a tenancy

• Ending a tenancy

£ 90 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 140 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


Understanding And Managing HMOs Including The Housing Act 2004

Tue 06, Dec 2016, 09:30am – 04:30pm. (Nottingham)

This course comprises of 2 parts

Understanding HMOs

• Licensing (Mandatory & Additional)

• HMO General information

• Management of HMO Regulations

• Amenity Standards

• Enforcement

• Register of licenses and Management Orders

• Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order

This Course Also Includes The Following Additional Information: Housing Act 2004, HHSRS, Deposit Protection

£ 90 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 140 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


Intermediate Law For Lettings

Fri 20, Jan 2017, 09:30am – 04:30pm. (Derby)

Covering the following

• Tenancy Agreements: Special clauses

• Correct dates for serving a section 21 notice

• Grounds for possession – overview

• Accelerated possession procedure

• Requirements for overseas landlords

• Considerations for instructing contractors

• Abandonment and surrender

• Deposit Protection Oddities

£ 90 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 140 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


PAT Testing Course – Morning

Thu 02, Feb 2017, 09:30am – 12:45pm. (Nottingham)

3 hour PAT Testing course which will enable landlords to carry out their own PAT testing. The course which is broken into 5 Parts contains practical and theory sessions.

£ 50 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 75 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


PAT Testing Course – Afternoon

Thu 02, Feb 2017, 02:00pm – 05:15pm. (Nottingham)

3 hour PAT Testing course which will enable landlords to carry out their own PAT testing. The course which is broken into 5 Parts contains practical and theory sessions.

£ 50 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 75 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members


Landlord Responsibility And Compliance On Fire Safety

Thu 02, Mar 2017, 09:30am – 12:45pm. (Nottingham)

This half day course looks at fire safety in HMOs and highlights the responsibility of landlords and the main pitfalls and hazards.

£ 50 / Delegate For EMPO Members
£ 75 / Delegate For Non EMPO Members

For details on how to book any of these courses visit the EMPO website here.

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Save The Date: Empty Home Fair and Landlord Forum

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Following the success of our Empty Home Fair back in March with Newark & Sherwood District Council we have been asked to help co-ordinate an Empty Home Fair and Landlord Forum for Rushcliffe, Gedling & Broxtowe Councils.

The details are as follows;

Date: 6th October 2016
Time: 4-6pm Empty Homes Fair. 6-8pm Landlord Forum.
Venue: Rushcliffe Borough Council, Civic Centre, Pavillion Road, West Bridgford, NG2 5FE

The events are aimed at empty property owners, landlords, investors and developers, to get help and information from the local authority and local property industry suppliers.

There will be talks throughout the event with plenty of opportunity to network with other attendees and you are free to come and go as you please. Light refreshments will also be provided.

The following organisations will be on hand;

  • East Midland Property Owners – Landlord Accreditation
  • DASH – Landlord Accreditation
  • National Landlords Association – Landlord Accreditation
  • The Nottingham – Estate Agent
  • Slater & Brandley – Letting Agent
  • Auction Estates – Auctioneers
  • Duncan & Toplis – Accountants
  • Sterling Capital – Finance Brokers
  • Elvin & Co – Conveyancing Solicitors
  • Buttercross Estates – Letting Agent
  • LNPG – Material Purchasing Group
  • BB Mortgages – Mortgage Broker

Plus more to be confirmed.

The event is free and for more information or to RSVP please email jsheil@rushcliffe.gov.uk

I look forward to seeing you there.

Photo courtesy of the Newark Advertiser.

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Post auction opportunity in Newark

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Alexander Avenue, Newark

Yesterday I was at the Lincolnshire Landlord and Letting Agent EXPO over at the Bentley Inn Hotel.

The event was organised by East Midlands Property Owners and for their first event in Lincoln it seemed like a success. There were plenty of people in attendance, some very useful seminars running and a lovely networking lunch.

Another draw for people was the Graham Penny auction where they had 8 lots for sale. This again was their first attempt in the area but given their successes elsewhere across the East Midlands I am sure it wont be the last.

One property I had my eye on was lot 2 in the catalogue, a 3 bedroom semi detached house on Alexander Avenue, Newark. There were 3 interested parties bidding with the highest bid reaching £82,250. This ended up being slightly short of the ambitious £85,000 reserve price.

The property is in a very bad condition and requires a substantial refurbishment but realistically, in good condition it would fetch around £125,000. Being very close to the Knowhow distribution centre it is sure to let well at £595 PCM.

You can contact the auctioneers for a viewing on 0115 958 8702 but be quick as no doubt the other interested parties will be negotiating.

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