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Keeping you up to date with the latest news from the industry

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Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill is here

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill has now made its journey through parliament and received Royal Assent, which means it is now a law. The bill makes it a requirement for a landlords to ensure that their property is “fit from human habitation” at the start of, and for the duration of the tenancy. […]

Condensation and Black Spot Mould

Condensation and mould are a regular problem within residential property and are often mistaken for a “damp” problem. We receive a significant number of reports of mould between the months of October and March – many more than throughout the warmer months of the year and tenants are often unaware that their own actions have […]

Changes to Tax Relief for Buy-to-Let Landlords

When calculating the amount of tax payable, landlords normally offset their expenses against their gross rental income, leaving their taxable income or “profit”. The total profit combined with other income will allow them to be categorised into a tax band – Basic Rate (20%), Higher Rate (40%) or additional Rate (45%). Historically, mortgage interest could […]

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm Obligations

Under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, from 1st October 2015 landlords of rented property are required the make sure their property has: 1) At least one working and in date smoke alarm on each floor of the property 2) A working and in date CO alarm in any room with a solid […]

Electrical Safety Obligations

Unlike the gas safety legislation, there is currently* (*see below) no legislation which states that a landlord has is a legal duty to arrange for an annual electrical test to be carried out. However, under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1975, The Housing Act 2004 (in particular the HHSRS), Part P of the Building Regulations […]

Gas Safety Obligations

As a landlord, you have several legal obligations under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.These are: 1) Arrange an annual gas safety check to include all gas appliances and flues within the property.This must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. 2) Provide a copy of this report to your tenants within 28 […]

Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ disease occurs when droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria are inhaled. It is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and the symptoms are similar to that of flu – high temperature/fever, cough, muscle pain, headache, diarrhoea, confusion. If you suspect Legionnaires’ disease, you must get help immediately.  Why is this relevant to rental properties? […]

SAFEagent Scheme

We are now registered with the SAFEagent scheme, so you can rest assured that your property is in safe hands.

Legal development relating to the service of the Section 21 Notice

There has been a very worrying new legal development relating to the service of the Section 21 (eviction) notice and the requirement to serve a valid gas safety certificate, valid EPC document and the current government “How To Rent” leaflet prior to occupation. In the London case Assured Property Services Ltd v Ooo 2017, it […]

Mandatory Client Money Protection coming soon

Client money protection for agents is to become mandatory from April 2019. Here at SWR we have been voluntarily subscribing to client money protection through the National Approved Letting Scheme for over 10 years and therefore already comply with the new legislation.

General Data Protection Regulations

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force on the 25th May 2018. Building upon the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), the GDPR will bring in much more stringent rules around the processing of personal and sensitive data. It will apply to every single business in the EU, and that includes landlords who receive a rental […]

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 – Electrical Safety Aspects

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 came into force in May 2016 and it included the introduction of measures to make it a legal requirement for landlords to carry out: 1) A fixed wire test (also known as an Electrical Installation Condition Report) every 5 years 2) A visual condition report on an annual basis/every […]

The (Revised) Payment Services Regulations 2017

Further to the implementation of The (Revised) Payment Services Regulations 2017 which came into effect on 13th January 2018, we will no longer be accepting payments by credit card. Debit cards can still be used free of charge to make payment to us.    

New EPC Regulations (MEES 2018)

From the 9th January 2013, there has been a requirement for all landlords to hold a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) prior to marketing a property for rental. This document is an assessment of the property to confirm its energy efficiency in comparison to its potential – and makes suggestions on how that potential could […]

Ombudsman membership approaching

Speaking at the weekend’s Conservative Party conference, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid,  pledged to offer private tenants greater rights by making it compulsory for landlords to register with an ombudsman scheme. Under the initiative, all private landlords would have to become members of an ombudsman scheme or use an […]

Right to Rent Checks

From the 1st February 2016, all landlords of residential rented property are obligated by law to check all occupants over the age of 18 have a right to legally reside within the UK prior to renting a property to them, under the Immigration Act 2014/Immigration Act 2016). If you do not carry this out correctly, […]

Thornbury Carnival 2015

Thank you to all who came to support us at Thornbury Carnival this year, we had a fantastic day with lots of familiar faces popping in to visit us. Congratulations to the winners of our raffle, drawn by our new local MP Luke Hall. The winners are: 3 Months free management from SWR – Richard […]

Update to CO Monitor and Legionella Legislation

From 10th October 2015 there will be a legal requirement for landlords to provide carbon monoxide alarms in their rental properties, in addition to smoke detectors. Current advice from the Health and Safety Executive recommends that a CO Monitor is installed in each “high risk room” (rooms containing a gas heating/gas powered appliance) within your property; […]

A Fond Farewell

It is with a heavy heart we wave goodbye to our long term block administrator Marlene Britten. Marlene has been part of our team for the best part of 10 years and she has now made the decision to retire. We wish her all the best for the future.

Update to the immigration bill

Few topics have proved as contentious in the private rented sector (PRS) recently as the Immigration Bill. The legislation will make landlords, or the letting agents acting on their behalf, responsible for checking whether potential tenants have a legal right to live in the UK and has been heavily criticised by a number of figures […]

Superstrike vs. Rodriguez: The Facts

On 14 June 2013, Lord Justice Lloyd delivered his judgement on an appeal from the Wandsworth County Court in the case of Superstrike Ltd vs Marino Rodrigues. Since its publication there has been a lot of discussion on the online property forums and at local NLA meetings about the potential impact that this judgement may […]

ASA Clamps down on hidden letting agent fees

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) today ruled against an estate agent for not being upfront about admin fees. “We want to make sure that all quoted prices are transparent to ensure that consumers get a fair deal.The advertiser did not make clear that administration fees were excluded from the rental price on the property, and […]

The Green Deal: A guide for Letting Agents

Now the Green Deal has been launched there are number of issues Estate and Lettings Agents should be aware of. To help we have created the following overview and FAQ covering the questions most relevant to Estate and Letting Agents: What is The Green Deal? The Green Deal is the governments flagship scheme to help […]