Landlord Compliance

Gedling Borough Council has recently issued a fine of £2,500 to a local Landlord for non-compliance.

What was the fine for?

The fine was issued because the property did not have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). These certificates last for ten years and must be valid when tenants are renting a property. They are also required when you come to sell.

What else should you look out for?

Remember, you need a number of different documents to remain legally compliant when you rent your property. These include:

  • Nottingham Selective Licence
  • EPC
  • Gas Safety (If applicable)
  • Electrical Safety (Not required but recommended)
  • PAT test (If providing electrical appliances)

How can you prevent Council fines?

You must ensure that you are fully compliant when renting your property to tenants. Details on Selective Licensing compliance can be found here. You can also read more about preparing a property for tenants on the Nottingham City Council website. This information applies to every local Council area.

Another safe option would be to have your property fully managed by Walton & Allen. All properties managed by us are monitored for full compliance on a regular basis. This means you should avoid any fines without having to monitor compliance yourself!

If you would like to talk to us about staying compliant through our fully managed service, please call Ricky on 0115 924 3304. You can also use the form below to get in touch.

Talk to Walton & Allen to get help

If you are worried you may not be compliant with any area of your lettings property then talk to us for advice today. Use this form to ask any questions and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

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Do I need a Selective Licence in Nottingham?

If you own a buy to let property in Nottingham then you may be wondering ‘Do I need a Selective Licence?’. You may have also received a letter from Nottingham City Council explaining that you may need a Housing Licence.

Walton & Allen Letting Agents Nottingham have an expert team dedicated to Selective Licensing. We explain some key points below in this post.

How to check if you need a Selective Licence

If you rent out a property which is within the Nottingham City Council boundary you will probably need a licence. There are only a few areas which are not covered by the scheme.

Your first point of call would be to go to their interactive map and type in the postcode of your buy to let property.

What happens if I do need a Selective Licence?

If you find that your property is within the Selective Licensing scheme then you will immediately have to apply for a licence. The scheme began in August 2018 and you could now be liable for a £30,000 fine. It is a criminal offence to not have a licence and rent your property to tenants.

You may also be liable for a rent repayment order. This means that the tenants can claim back their monthly rent for up to 12 months.

How do I apply for a Selective Licence?

You can apply for a Selective Licence by going to the Nottingham City Council website.

If you are finding the application process complicated and need more help, we can do the application for you. Call our Selective Licensing team on 0115 924 3304 to find out more.

The application process is free of charge if your property is fully managed by Walton & Allen. The licencing fee payable to the Council still applies.

Get more information on Selective Licensing

Do you need to find out more about Selective Licensing? You can call us on 0115 924 3304 or you can visit our Selective Licensing Hub. This features all there is to know on the Nottingham scheme.

Selective Licensing area map

To find out if you legally need a Selective Licence, visit the Nottingham City Council website.

Lettings Fire Safety – Top Tips

Fire safety is obviously extremely important when letting your property to tenants. Below we provide some basic tips on how to ensure your tenants stay safe throughout the tenancy.

We would always recommend talking to a fire safety expert to ensure your tenants are completely safe, however we have issued some guidelines below.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list and other fire safety methods may need to be considered.

1. Ensure there are adequate means to escape the property

This may seem obvious but you must ensure that tenants are able to escape the property easily in case of a fire.

2. Carry out a fire safety inspection

Before you let your property you should carry out a fire safety inspection. We would recommend to do this with a fire safety expert.

During the inspection you should look at all fire hazards and detect the level of risk they pose to the building and the tenants. Those

Significant hazards should be addressed and safety measures should be put in place where possible.

3. Use smoke detectors

Smoke detectors should be installed on all floors of a building as a legal minimum. For most, this means placing one in the hall way and one on each landing of the property. These can be battery operated or mains powered.

You also need carbon monoxide alarms in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance.

Remember to check alarm batteries when a tenant moves out as they may fail to replace them.

4. Fit self closing doors

It would be advisable to fit self closing fire doors into your buy to let property. These will contain any fire and help tenants to escape.

5. Have doors open from the inside

It is advisable to have front and back doors with a thumb turn lock. These can easily be opened from the inside without a key.

6. Get an electrical safety certificate

An electrical safety check is always advisable when renting out a property. This is a document issued by a certified electrician to test all electrical circuits and appliances in a property.

You should also check all sockets are in good working order at the end of the tenancy.

7. Ensure any furniture is fire safe

If you leave any furniture in the property, ensure it is fire safe. It is also advisable to leave fire safety tags still attached to each individual item.

HMO Fire Safety

Note that there are additional fire safety regulations for HMO properties. This includes providing fire extinguishers. HMO properties are also required to have self closing fire doors fitted.

Remember, always check with a fire safety expert to ensure your property is fit for tenants to live safely. You can also check the government website for more fire safety information.

Need your lettings property fully managed?

Walton and Allen Letting Agents Nottingham can help manage your property, including advising on fire and safety matters. We will also manage the Nottingham Selective Licensing process for you.

Have everything taken care of for your own piece of mind. Chat to us today on 0115 924 3304 or use the form below.

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Nottingham Selective Licensing 2019 Update

The Licensing scheme has now been in place for eight months. Here we provide a Nottingham Selective Licensing update.

Nottingham Selective Licensing Update

In 2018 Walton & Allen submitted over 250 applications to Nottingham City Council on behalf of our Landlord clients. All applications were sent on time, well before the deadline.

To date, the Council have not issued any licences to our Landlords, although it appears all applications have been accepted.

We will of course update all of our Landlord clients when their licences are issued.

Ensuring properties remain compliant

By now, all our Landlord clients should be well aware of all Selective Licensing conditions. Those properties which do not remain compliant could be subject to a fine of up to £30,000. This is payable by the Landlord. If you are unaware of these conditions, please read our Selective Licensing article.

We are helping you to avoid fines

If you are a fully managed Landlord client at Walton & Allen, you may have noticed that we have begun thorough Licensing inspections.

These are included as part of our fully managed service where Walton & Allen is the licence holder. The reports will ensure that your properties are kept to a high standard which should help to pass any City Council inspections.

As far as we know, we are the only Letting Agents in Nottingham to be doing this for our Landlord clients. This is just a part of our commitment to providing an outstanding level of service.

A sample of the inspection reports are shown below.

Nottingham Selective Licensing Update 2019

Nottingham Selective Licensing Landlord Training

Another condition of the Licence is training. Landlords are required to submit evidence to the Council that they are receiving relevant training at least once every three years.

We have now had confirmation that no Landlord training is applicable if we are holding the licence on your behalf.

If you are not already a fully managed client with Walton & Allen and wish to have all licensing responsibility taken on by someone else, talk to us today on 0115 924 3304.

Do you have a property which is not licensed?

If your rental property is within the Nottingham City Council boundaries you will almost certainly need a licence to continue letting to tenants. It is now a legal requirement.

To avoid potential £30,000 fines, talk to us today about submitting an application to Nottingham City Council as soon as possible.

You can contact me, Brady, the Selective Licensing Coordinator on 0115 924 3304 or email nsl@waltonandallen.co.uk. Alternatively, use the form below to ask any questions.

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Nottingham Lettings

Are you looking for an agency that provides Nottingham Lettings? Then we can help!

Nottingham Lettings advice

Walton & Allen Letting Agents Nottingham provide property for sale, to rent, mortgage advice and more. Established in 2000, we are the local, family run Nottingham Lettings agency.

How we help Landlords

The Nottingham Lettings market is currently providing great returns on almost any property investment.

Our expert sales team know what Landlords want – To get rent on time and in full every month and to ensure that their property will remain in great condition throughout a tenancy.

If we can push rental values up in the area then we’ll also try our best to do that as well!

Our partnership with Experian and how it helps you

If your tenant signs up to our partnership with Experian, their credit score will change if they pay their rent on time and in full. As a result, if they don’t pay on time then they may struggle to get a mortgage in the future or apply for credit cards and other finance.

Helping Landlords at all times

When new legislation comes into force, such as Selective Licensing, we act immediately to ensure our Landlords remain compliant. You will be kept informed at all times and we’ll work to ensure you don’t receive any necessary fines.

We have no hidden fees or excessive charges

We understand that you want to make a profit from your buy to let investment. For this reason we are committed to ensuring we do not charge excessive fees to our Landlords.

Some letting agents may raise their fees when the tenant fee ban comes into place later in 2019. We will not use our Landlord clients to recover all of these costs.

We have been nominated as the number 1 letting agent

We received this nomination from The Negotiator awards, a leading industry award body. This was for the work we do which helps our Landlords.

We are also rated as the number 1 agent for lets agreed in Nottingham city centre, meaning we quickly find tenants for all properties we list.

Nottingham lettings outperform every other UK city

Did you know that Nottingham has been rated as the best city for buy to let investment throughout the whole of the UK? This is why Landlords are choosing to buy property in Nottingham and receive a fully managed service through Walton & Allen.

To find out more you can read our blog post on why Nottingham is the best buy to let city.

Purchasing a buy to let property

Are you a first time investor or are you an experienced Landlord looking to buy more property to let? View our property to sale or talk to us on 0115 924 3304.

We’ll be able to recommend property based on expected gross yields, rental income calculations and more.

Nottingham Lettings Valuations

If you are considering letting your property then book your free, no obligation valuation with Walton & Allen Letting Agents today. My name is Ricky and I’m your local Investments Manager. You can call me on 0115 924 3304 to ask questions or use the form below.

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Landlord Insurance: A five minute guide

A 5-minute guide to insurance for landlords

Insurance is one of the most complicated and time-consuming tasks that, as a landlord, you may have to do. It is also one of the most important. In the event of an accident, it is insurance that can help you out.

Landlord insurance types

There are different types of insurance available for landlords with different needs. Three most common types are:

  • Landlord insurance
  • Landlord energy cover
  • Rent guarantee insurance

Landlord insurance explained

Landlord insurance is technically made up of 3 different types of insurance. This provides you with flexibility as to what level of cover is right for you. This is especially important with a buy to let mortgage as there is a minimum level insurance needed for the duration of the mortgage.

Whilst it is not a legal requirement to have landlord insurance, it is wise to have it. Especially considering that the average landlord insurance price in the UK is around £230, meaning it shouldn’t break the bank, but not having it could.

Buildings insurance explained

Buildings insurance covers the structure of the building itself in the event of a catastrophic event where it is completely destroyed.

Something important to note is that the insurance will only pay out the cost to rebuild the property and not the market value of the house.

A way of understanding what is covered in this type of insurance is if it is fixed and cannot be picked up. An example would be cabinets which cannot be picked and are fixed.

Buildings insurance is required by most lenders as a minimum for buy to let mortgages.

Contents insurance explained

If building insurance covers the permanent fixtures of the house then contents insurance covers the impermanent. Examples include electronics and furniture.

Though it should be made clear to tenants that contents insurance will only insure the landlord’s property, not the tenant’s property. In the event of a break-in, the tenant and landlord will have to make a separate claim through their own insurance provider.

Need more information on landlord insurance?

If you need more information on landlord insurance, talk to the team at our letting agents in Nottingham. You can call us on 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Letting a property to tenants

Letting a property to tenants: Your essential guide

So you’re considering letting your property to tenants. As letting agents in Nottingham, Walton & Allen have decades of experience in the rental market.

Whether you’ve bought a new property as a buy to let investment, or you’re thinking of letting your residential home, this guide will help you get started.

Getting started with letting a property

You will need to make a few changes before you consider letting a property.

Talk to your mortgage company

If your property is mortgaged and you have previously been living there, it is likely you will have to change over to a buy to let mortgage. Be honest with your mortgage lender as there could be serious consequences.

Look at your insurance policies

You’ll need to talk to your building insurance provider and tell them you are letting the property. You’ll also want to look at getting landlord insurance. This could cover you for damage to your property, tenants not paying rent or public liability if your tenant injures themselves and blames you.

Check your EPC rating

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a legal requirement when letting a property. As of April 2018, all EPCs legally have to be above an E rating. Anything below an E and you cannot let your property to tenants.

Check to see if you need a licence to let your property

Nottingham City Council have introduced a Selective Licensing scheme to most properties within their boundaries. This means you will need to apply for a licence before you can legally let your property. There are many requirements which need to be adhered to which will ensure you remain compliant. Read more about Selective Licensing.

Your property needs to be gas safe

Your property will need a Gas Safety certificate before tenants move in. This is another legal requirement to keep your tenants safe. Some blocks of flats do not have gas and will not need a Gas Safety certificate. You must check this.

Check your detectors!

You will need at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the property. You’ll also need to look at carbon monoxide alarms in any room where solid fuel appliances are contained.

Do your checks

Can you afford it?

Letting a property can be a big financial strain. To begin with, buy to let mortgages usually have higher fees.

You’ll also need to consider how you will pay for the mortgage when the property is left empty. Most landlords ensure they have some savings to cover this as it could take two or more months to find new tenants.

Think about maintenance work to your property as well. Properties naturally deteriorate over time and general repairs will have to be made. Tenants may also cause damage which will need to be fixed when they move out.

How much rent can you achieve?

This is a big question for new landlords. Talk to Ricky, our Investments Manager, who will be able to give you a free rental valuation. This can be done either over the phone or in person. Find out how much rent you can achieve today by calling 0115 924 3304 or visit our rental income page.

What else needs to be considered?

Whilst we have tried to include all essential information in this guide, lettings legislation can change regularly and there may be other things you need to consider based on your individual circumstances. Our advice would be to speak to our lettings team directly to go through the finer details. We’ll aim to ensure nothing is missed. Just call 0115 924 3304 today.

Walton & Allen Property Investment Club

Property Investment Club: Helping our buy to let investors

Walton & Allen have launched an exclusive property club for landlords and investors. Those who join for free gain access to:

  • Exclusive email notifications on investment properties with high potential gross yields
  • Free initial investment mortgage advice
  • Exclusive deals on lettings management fees
  • Free advice on Nottingham Selective Licensing applications
  • Free property investment advice

Join other Nottingham landlords and investors by joining our Property Investment Club. It’s completely free to become a member.

To join and take advantage of these exclusive investment offers, use the form below.

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Landlord Property Valuation Nottingham

Landlord Property Valuation Nottingham

Are you looking for a Landlord property valuation, Nottingham?

Walton & Allen Letting Agents in Nottingham were recently nominated as one of the best letting agents across the country. We manage hundreds of properties for happy Landlords and are proud to say that we have a 97% occupancy rate at all times.

Get a free property valuation

If you are a Landlord with a buy to let property then talk to us today about how we can help you. Our dedicated Investments Manager, Ricky, aims to always get the best possible rental price for your property. Furthermore, he is always looking to actively increase rent in all areas of Nottingham.

You can call Ricky on 0115 924 3304 or use the form below to request a Landlord property valuation.

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About Walton & Allen Letting Agents Nottingham

Walton & Allen Letting Agents in Nottingham have been established since 2000. We were recently nominated as one of the best letting agents with a single branch across the whole country.

We are located in the Lace Market in Nottingham and let properties for Landlords across the whole of Nottinghamshire and further afield.

Buy to let fixed mortgages cheaper than a year ago

Buy to let mortgages now cheaper than last year

It has been revealed that most buy to let fixed mortgages are now cheaper than a year ago. Some are down by as much as £29 per month on a typical mortgage of £150,000.

Landlords who have chosen a 5 year fixed deal have seen the biggest drop in costs. This is pleasing for most Landlords as 5 year deals have slowly been gaining popularity over the last few years.

Most Landlords choose to go for a mortgage deal with 50, 60 or 75 per cent of the property value. Savings were calculated as £8 per month at 50%, £29 at 60% and £21 at 75%.

Those Landlords who were looking at a 2 year fixed mortgage deal didn’t make as much of a saving. However, those on a mortgage deal at 65 per cent of the property value made an average saving of £11 per month.

Landlords encouraged to act now

Landlords are being encouraged to act now if they are looking to remortgage soon. Interest rates could change with Brexit so serious thought should be given, particularly from those looking at 5 year buy to let deals.

Nottingham buy to let market

In recent months, Nottingham has been rated as the best city for buy to let investments. This is reportedly down to the large student population where particular areas in NG1 and NG7 can produce very high gross yields. Rental values have also risen dramatically across the city in the last twelve months – Great news for Landlords.

Want to check on your buy to let mortgage deal?

Do you want to check how much you could potentially save on your buy to let mortgage deal? Perhaps you are coming up to the end of your term and need to compare the mortgage market? Talk to our mortgage broker today by calling 0115 924 3304 or by using the form below.

You can also see what we do for Landlords here.

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