The new General Data Protection Regulation takes effect from 25th May. What does this mean for landlords and letting agents?
Protecting our customer's data has always been of upmost importance to us, but with the new General Data Protection Regulation legislation coming in we have taken the opportunity to make improvements including full audits of what data we hold, why we hold it, where it is collected and where it is held. We have then improved transparency by making it clearer to our customers why we need their data and how it will be used. We have also improved the data security by encrypting ALL personal information within our database. Click here for further information on our commitment to protecting your data.
After an extremely busy month we have reached a record number of jobs and revenue. A huge thank you to all of our customers on trusting us with your business and we hope to be working with you for years to come.
Following the suggestion last year to ban letting fees to tenants, a new Tenants Fees Bill was announced in the Queen's speech, which will stop tenants having to pay money to agents. When the bill becomes law it is likely that landlords will have to find the money to pay for such fees themselves. Letting agents fees are already banned in Scotland. A government spokesperson said a draft bill will be published "later this year".
During the Queens speech it was proposed that deposits will now be capped at no more than one month's rent. The move has been made to make private rental more affordable and competitive however the NLA (National Landlords Association) have already predicted tenants might be tempted to use the deposit as the last month's rent meaning landlords will be out of pocket should the property be damaged.
On 1st October 2015, the law changed regarding smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. From that date, landlords in England are required to have fitted smoke detectors (alarms) on each storey of a rental property. CO detectors are also required in rooms where solid fuel appliances (e.g. those containing an open fire or log-burning stove) are installed. In general, smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space, i.e. a hall or a landing, and CO alarms should be positioned at head height, either on a wall or shelf, approximately 1‒3m away from a potential source. The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms (such as hard wired or battery powered) to be installed. Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the best alarms for their properties and tenants, but it is recommended that 10-year guarantee lithium battery or hard-wired alarms are installed.