Private Rented Sector ‘Code of Practice’ Launched

Private Rented Sector Code

Private Rented Sector Code

A new Private Rented Sector Code of Practice has been launched by 17* leading Private Rented Sector organisations.

The code, requested by the Department for Communities and Local Government, was a created with the intention driving up the quality of Private Rented Sector letting and management standards.

The document contains guidance for agents and landlords that outlines their mandatory obligations as well as recommended industry best practices

Read more of this post

Share Button

Supporting Gas Safety Week 2014

Gas Safety Week 2014

Gas Safety Week 2014

Yesterday the Gas Safe Register kicked off their annual ‘Gas Safety Week’, a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness of gas safety for the UK’s 23 million gas fuelled homes.

Gas Safety Week 2014 will be backed up with national advertising and media coverage as well as various events throughout the week.

The campaign hopes to get across its gas safety message as September is the time when many people will be turning on their boilers for the first time in preparation for winter.

Read more of this post

Share Button

Time is Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme

Time Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme

Time Running Out for Letting Agents to Join a Redress Scheme

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has confirmed that October 1 is the deadline by which all letting agents in England must have joined an approved redress scheme (the Property Redress Scheme, Ombudsman Services Property and The Property Ombudsman).

It seems there will be no grace period so agents operating in England (the obligations do not yet apply to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) should deal with the matter with all haste.

In 18 days any agents that has not signed up to a scheme will be breaking the law and can be fined up to £5,000. Local council trading standards offices have been charged with policing the law.

Read more of this post

Share Button

Young Group Sponsor RESI Café

After a successful 2013 Young Group is again proud to be returning to The Celtic Manor today as the sponsors of the RESI Café.

If you’re attending the event we hope you enjoy the fare on offer. This year, to minimise queueing and to keep up with demand, the Celtic Manor has doubled the number of servers throughout the Café area.

Also, all delegates will receive a complementary copy of our latest PRSupdate publication – with articles from industry leaders who are all currently active in the PRS, talking about their experiences of delivering a new, larger scale, modern Private Rented Sector.

We’re proud to be involved with the UK’s premier residential property conference and are sure it will once again provide a great forum for discussion of the current, and future, status of and plans for the Private Rented Sector.

While you’re having lunch on us feel free to seek one of the Young Group team out as we’d be delighted to discuss any of the issues raised in our latest PRSupdate edition, or the sector in general.

Enjoy Lunch On Us at the RESI Conference

Enjoy Lunch On Us at the RESI Conference

 

Share Button

Calls to Make Client Money Protection a Legal Requirement

SAFE Agent

SAFE Agent

SAFE (Safe Agent Fully Endorsed) Agent, the kitemark that denotes that a firm protects landlords and tenants money, has been urging ministers to use the Consumer Rights Bill to make Client Money Protection a legal requirement for all letting agents.

John Midgley, chairman of SAFE Agent, has written to the Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, saying: “Currently, if an agent misappropriates clients’ funds or uses them fraudulently, there is no recompense if the agent is not covered by a CMP scheme.

Read more of this post

Share Button

PRSupdate Autumn/Winter 2014 Has Arrived

PRSupdate has arrived

PRSupdate has arrived

The hard work has paid off and the 2014 Autumn/Winter printed edition of PRSupdate has arrived!

This invaluable publication is full of insightful articles focusing on Delivering the Private Rented Sector.

We are pleased that a raft of top contributors wrote articles for this issue and made it such a great success. We know you’re looking forward to reading what they have to say on topics that are fundamental to delivering a successful Private Rented Sector scheme, such as; financing, land acquisition, master planning and space planning, asset management, branding, and much more.

Our PRSupdate publication is a great resource for anyone developing, investing or operating in the Private Rented Sector.

Through PRSupdate, Young Group shares best practice and encourages discussion about the Private Rented Sector and we’re pleased that so many of you are continuing that conversation with us and helping to improve our sector.

Don’t miss out!

If you haven’t already, sign up here to receive a complimentary copy straight to your letterbox. It’s quick, easy and you get to control what you want to receive from us.

Share Button

Immigration Act Pilot Area Announced

Compliance Corner

Compliance Corner

The government has announced the pilot area and start date for the first stage of the Immigration Act.

The area, in which agents and landlords will have to check an immigrants ‘right to rent’, will be the West Midlands, with a start date of December 1. This area will include Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, but will not apply in Solihull and Coventry.

Read more of this post

Share Button

Looking Ahead to RESI 2014

Young Group is again gearing up for the annual Property Week RESI conference, where we will again be sponsoring the RESI Café. We will also be providing conference delegates with a must read publication in the form of the latest edition of our biannual PRSupdate.

But we’re not the only ones looking ahead to the event. Cathy Fuller, Head of Events at Property Week, is here to provide us with a rundown of the latest preparations for, arguably, the most important date in the UK residential calendar.

Cathy Fuller, Head Of Events at Property Week

Cathy Fuller, Head Of Events at Property Week

RESI, the UK’s premier residential property market conference, is back for its eighth year and with our best line up yet.

I am proud to say that between September 10-12 the Celtic Manor, host location of the 2014 RESI Conference, will welcome more than 1,000 delegates from across the investment and development sectors; providing a forum for intellectual debate and unrivalled networking opportunities.

Read more of this post

Share Button

Caution Needed in the Rent Setting Debate

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation

Ian Fletcher, Director of Policy at the British Property Federation

In May the British Property Federation (BPF), like many other organisations, heard alarm bells ring when Ed Miliband, realising the voting potential of ‘Generation Rent’, set out a range of rental reforms that included the possibility of what looked like ‘rent controls’.

Recognising the pressing need for more rental accommodation and the disquiet of many of those forced to rent, Miliband proposed that a Labour government would introduce three-year tenancies, ban letting agent fees, and put a ceiling on rent increases.

The latter part of the proposals caused particular unease amongst the property sector, which feared that a ceiling on rents posed a very serious threat to the health of the UK’s emerging Build to Rent sector.

Read more of this post

Share Button

In Conversation With… Phil Buckle

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First

Phil Buckle, Director General of Electrical Safety First

We are regularly in conversation with a plethora of leading figures in the property, investment, finance and charity sectors, many of whom are guest authors for PRSupdate. The purpose of this feature is to get them to discuss the topics and issues that are currently affecting the Private Rented Sector.

If you would like to take part in an In Conversation piece then please do get in touch with us.

Today we are in conversation with Phil Buckle, Director General at Electrical Safety First.

Read more of this post

Share Button

The Importance of Referencing

The Importance of Referencing

The Importance of Referencing

It is best practice for an agent, on behalf of their client, to carry out a thorough reference check to reassure the landlord that they are doing everything in their power to reduce the risk of letting to an unsuitable tenant.

Referencing is used as a tool to check the suitability of a tenant generally before a Tenancy Agreement is drawn up and signed. A thorough investigation is carried out to confirm the tenant’s identity, income, financial status in terms of affordability, employment status and rental history in an attempt to expose any issues that could be a concern for the landlord.

The necessity for tenant referencing stems from the need of the landlord to mitigate any risk of possibly letting their property to a tenant who could cause them an issue at a later date. Also, with the Immigration Act potentially taking effect from October, the onus is now on landlords, or their agents, to check the immigration status of any prospective tenant.

Read more of this post

Share Button

The Importance of an Inventory

The Importance of an Inventory

The Importance of an Inventory

As an award-winning property management agency we realise how important it is to compile a comprehensive and clear inventory at the start of every tenancy.

A detailed inventory will make sure the resident is aware of the condition that the property is expected to be in when they vacate (after taking into account fair wear and tear incurred during the tenancy).

What goes in to an inventory?

An inventory is a full and detailed report which outlines the contents of a property including all furniture, fixtures and fittings, crockery and kitchenware. There will also be a record of the condition of each room that will detail the location and extent of any visible knocks, marks, chips, stains, scratches or damage.

Read more of this post

Share Button

10 Golden Rules for Dealing with a Disappointed Customer

10 golden rules for dealing with a disappointed customer

10 golden rules for dealing with a disappointed customer

No matter the size of your business it’s likely you will have to deal with a disappointed customer at some point.

While the old adage “you can’t please all of the people all the time” springs to mind when dealing with an issue this should never be used as a reason to shy away from the issue at hand. What many fail to grasp is that for every issue raised there could be 100 people who have faced the same problem but decided to stay quiet and to simply take their business elsewhere.

While it’s easy to play the blame game the best course of action is to remain professional and have a proactive approach to problem solving. Dealing with an issue should be seen as a great opportunity to learn and in doing so; save a deteriorating relationship, protect existing customer relationships and maybe even generate some new referrals too.

As the Head of Service Delivery I have complied these 10 golden rules on how to handle an issue raised by customer:

Read more of this post

Share Button

European Standards for Safety of Internal Window Blinds

British Standards Institution

British Standards Institution

In February 2014 the British Standards Institution (BSI) published a forty page document outlining the new Standards of safety requirements to address certain risks posed to children by internal blinds and corded window coverings.

The Standards apply to blinds which have cords or chains fitted with a hazardous loop that could create a danger in premises where there are children aged between 0 and 4 years who are likely to have access or be present.

Read more of this post

Share Button

Immigration Bill Factsheet

Government

Government

Since the Immigration Bill received Royal Assent on 14 May, and became the Immigration Act 2014, letting agents and landlords have been awaiting further details.

In simplified terms the Act will require landlords, or their agents, to carry out checks on the immigration status of any prospective tenant.

More detailed information pertaining to the ins and outs of the act have been thin on the ground – there isn’t even a confirmed date for when the Act will come into force – and this has left landlords and agents confused.

At the start of August, The Home Office released their ‘Factsheet: Tackling illegal immigration in privately rented accommodation‘. The “factsheet”, far from being the comprehensive list of answers that was expected, is in fact a vague collection of information that has created more questions than it has answered.

We continue to wait for the government to release further information and hope that any new releases will answer the many questions that have been left unanswered.

Share Button
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Linkedin