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New electrical safety regulations introduced, the latest on lets and pets and more property news from around the UK ….

As we move further into a new year, you’ll want to keep abreast of the news about buying to let. Here are a few of our latest snippets to help ensure you stay well informed and fully up to date.

Mandatory electrical safety regulations to be introduced in England

New legislation is making its way through parliament that requires private sector landlords to carry out electrical safety checks on let property, reported the Sun newspaper last month.

With effect from the 1st of July 2020, an electrical safety certificate must be obtained before any new tenants move in and the requirement will be extended to all existing tenancies on the 1st of July next year.

After the first such inspection by a qualified electrician, further checks must be made at least every five years.

The new legislation gives greater, specific force to general regulations which are already in place that impose a requirement on landlords to ensure that electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained in any let property.

Lets and pets

The government is amending its model tenancy agreement in a bid to persuade more landlords to welcome tenants with pets, revealed a story in Landlord Today recently.

Although some 40% of all UK households own a pet, only an estimated 7% of private sector landlords currently allow them. Designed to make renting easier for those many households who want to keep a pet, the government statement puts the emphasis on animals that are well-behaved and do not cause damage to a landlord’s property.

At least one sector of the private rental market appears to have taken heed of the government’s encouragement for landlords to accept pet-owning tenants, revealed Property Investor Today on the 10th of January.

The story describes how many Build to Rent developments – which includes some 150,000 homes – not only allow pets but also provide onsite managers and amenity spaces for gyms and roof terraces.

BBC probe into quick home sales

On the 27th of January, Estate Agent Today lifted the lid on the possible scam being run by so-called “quick sale” firms – which may be losing homeowners thousands of pounds when they sell their property.

Trading Standards officers are currently investigating a number of firms that promise to sell your home as quickly as within seven to 14 days – but at the cost of reducing the sale price by tens of thousands of pounds, sometimes without the vendor’s knowledge or authorisation.

Lawyers warn that actions such as this may amount to a breach of the law on Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading 2008 – which may be attract the penalty of up to two years in prison or an unlimited fine.

37% of UK property investors are planning on selling this year

More than a third of buy to let landlords are planning to sell one or more properties in their portfolios this year, revealed Luxurious Magazine on the 22nd of January.

Giving their reasons for withdrawing from this investment market, 72% of respondents cited their belief that regulation of the private rented sector and an unfair tax regime tied the hands of landlords. 61% of those surveyed gave this as their reason for selling up.

69% also complained that the costs of running any buy to let operation had also increased significantly in recent years. A further 53% complained that they would not have invested in buy to let property at all if they had been aware how the private rented sector was to become so tightly regulated.

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