from Sugarhouse Properties
We've had a busy summer on the refurbishment front and have completed a number of projects, both large and small, for our landlord clients with a real "wow" factor.
It's been dubbed in some quarters as "The Landlord Tax Grab," but regardless of your viewpoint the tax changes that come into force on 6th April this year are going to have an impact on Landlords' tax bills and it's important that we all understand what this means.
The dust appears to have settled since the rise in stamp duties payable for buy to let investors and second home buyers at the beginning of April. We are happy to report that there is still a strong demand for stock in Leeds and many of our investors have not been put off by these extra expenses.
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Summer 2016 Newsletter
In this issue, we welcome our new members of staff. We also discuss the stamp duty changes, smart meters, gas safety legislation and we put another one of our Sugarhouse staff "In The Spotlight".
To get your copy, please click here.
Smart Meters - A Clever Idea or Are The Energy Companies Spying On Us?
What is a smart meter?
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters and offer a range of intelligent functions.
We have seen a huge increase in the amount of tenants asking for all-inclusive deals and the new smart meters are going to revolutionise how these are managed.
For example, we can get a real time reading on how much energy the tenants are using and can tell how they are performing against their allowance for their inclusive energy. The meter will also communicate directly with your energy supplier meaning that no one will need to come and read your meter in future.
Another benefit to the smart meter is that the energy company can quickly change the meter to a pre-payment meter where the tenant will have to top up with credit by calling the energy company. This can be reverted at any time which sees the end to expensive meter changes.
We will be rolling out the smart meters in all the properties which sign up to the All-Inclusive Bills package as soon as we have the green light from the supplier.
Spring 2016 Newsletter
In this issue, we look at Right To Rent legislation. We also discuss the wear and tear allowances for landlords, buying student property and we put one of our Sugarhouse staff “In The Spotlight”.
To get your copy, please click here.
Right To Rent - What We Know
From the 1st February this year, landlords are now obliged to make sure that anyone renting a property from them has the right to rent a property in the UK.
If a landlord is found to be renting property to someone who does not have the right to live in the UK then they may face a penalty and civil prosecution. There are exemptions but generally any private residential accommodation that is not run by local authorities, social housing, charities or owned by educational establishments will be included in this new legislation.
For most private landlords this will mean that they will need to carry out basic ID checks for all applicants wishing to reside in their properties.
The Government has stipulated what forms of ID it classes as acceptable with passports being the easiest and preferred choice. Original documents should be checked, verified and copied and then kept for at least a year after the end of the tenancy agreement.
“Essentially, the Government is asking landlords to be on the front line as part of the initiative to crack down on the number of illegal migrants & their ability to obtain the basic services in this country.”
Whilst the thought of carrying out immigration style checks may seem daunting for many landlords, the process and guidance for doing so is fairly straightforward, albeit creating more work particularly when tenants do not have original documents to hand.
For tenants, the new legislation will simply mean that you will now need to provide copies of original ID from the Government's approved list prior to the start of any tenancy agreement. If you can, always bring your passport when undertaking the application process (although other documents are still acceptable if you don't have one).
For full details of the Right to Rent checks and a list of acceptable documents please visit www.gov.uk and search for Right To Rent Guidance.