Walton & Allen featured in Best Estate Agent Guide 2021

Walton & Allen has been featured in the Best Estate Agent Guide 2021.

The Best Estate Agent Guide is an independent company which surveys estate and letting agents across the country. They have teamed up with Rightmove to map out the perfect customer experience for sales and lettings across the country.

To do this they conduct the ‘biggest mystery shopping review process ever undertaken of the property industry’.

The criteria they looked for is as follows:

  • How well properties perform and are marketed on Rightmove
  • Time taken for the listing to go ‘SSTC’ or ‘Let Agreed’.
  • How good the customer service is via email and telephone
  • Market share compared to other agents

Analysing over 25,000 branches across the UK, Walton & Allen featured in the top 5%.

Walton & Allen achieved the “Exceptional” rating. According to the Best Estate Agent Guide, branches with this rating ‘showed an outstanding level of service and care towards prospective clients’.

You can find out more by going to their official website, www.bestestateagentguide.co.uk.

Do you have a property to sell or to rent out to tenants? Call us today on 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk to see how we can help you too.

Gedling Selective Licensing: What you need to know

Gedling Borough Council will soon introduce licenses for Colwick, Carlton Hill, Daybrook and Newstead Village

Gedling Borough Council are soon to introduce Selective Licensing to other areas of Nottingham. The City Council introduced a similar scheme for most of their district in 2018, with Gedling Borough soon following suit for Netherfield. Now they are planning to expand to cover further areas.

To talk to our team about Gedling Selective Licensing, please call 0115 924 3304.

What is a Selective Licence?

A Selective Licence is a mandatory scheme for landlords who rent their property to tenants in specific areas of Nottingham. The Council is concerned that many tenants in Nottingham are renting properties which are not safe or of a ‘decent’ standard. The aim behind the scheme is to ensure all properties are kept to good standards.

The scheme also aims to ensure that all properties are managed by ‘fit and proper’ landlords.

Does my property need a licence?

If you own and rent out a property to tenants in Colwick, Carlton Hill, Daybrook or Newstead Village then it is likely that you will need a Selective Licence.

When will the scheme begin?

The licensing scheme is estimated to begin in 2021. A 12 week consultation period will run from 12th October 2020 to 4th January 2021.

After this consultation period the Council will publish more information on the scheme and suggest a start date.

You can have your say about the scheme by visiting https://www.gedling.gov.uk/slphase2/.

What is the cost of the licence?

There are several different costs for the Gedling Borough Council Selective Licence, depending on your circumstances as a landlord.

The fee is split into two different payments; the first when you apply and the second when your draft licence is issued. The total fee lasts for 5 years.

Standard fee

Total = £700
Part 1: £520
Part 2: £180

Accredited landlord fee

The proposed licence holder is accredited with either DASH, NLA, RLA, Unipol or equivalent landlord accreditation body.

Total = £585
Part 1: £430
Part 2: £155

What if I don’t have a licence?

The Council can prosecute you and issue criminal proceedings. They are also able to fine you an unlimited amount of money.

What are the licensing conditions?

The licence holder will be subject to conditions to keep both the property and tenant(s) safe. Below is a summary of these conditions.

  • If gas is supplied to the property then the property will need a valid gas safety certificate
  • Supplied electrical appliances should be kept safe and have PAT tests where necessary
  • The licence holder should ensure smoke alarms are working and maintained throughout the tenancy
  • Supplied furniture should be safe and fire safety labels left in place
  • A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed in any room in the house which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance
  • The licence holder should ensure that repairs are dealt with in a timely manner
  • Any unwanted household items or garden rubbish should be removed
  • Security issues should be dealt with within 24 hours of being reported
  • Security locks and systems should be kept in good working order at all times
  • The tenant should be supplied with security alarm instructions if one is fitted in the property
  • Lock changes should be made for new tenancies if the previous tenants fail to return all keys
  • The licence holder should provide written information on bin collection dates, bulky waste collection services and what each type of bin is used for
  • The licence holder should ensure that the tenants’ right to enjoyment of the property is respected
  • At least 24 hours written notice should be given to tenants before entering the property
  • Inspections should be carried out every six months to ensure the property is fit to live in. A written log must be kept and provided to the Council within 7 days, if requested.
  • At the beginning of a new tenancy, the licence holder must provide the occupier(s) with written information, including contact details, explaining how they can make a complaint about the property and the arrangements in place to deal with emergency and other repairs. Complaints should be dealt with within a reasonable timescale
  • At the beginning of the tenancy the licence holder must provide an information pack which includes a true copy of the property licence, emergency contact details and copies of safety certificates where applicable
  • Written terms or a tenancy agreement must be provided
  • The licence holder should comply with all lettings and landlord laws during the tenancy
  • References need to be sought for each tenants and written evidence kept, should the Council require them
  • Information on the deposit scheme you use, if applicable, should be made available to the tenant(s)
  • The licence holder shall ensure that all reasonable and practical steps are taken to prevent and respond to anti-social behaviour
  • The licence holder must inform the council within 21 days of any material change in circumstances including change of address, change of management or ownership, any criminal charges or any proposed changes to the property layout
  • The licence holder must attend training every 3 years which covers lettings law and legal requirements

All these requirements can be managed on your behalf using our fully managed lettings service. To find out more, call 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Need more advice on Selective Licensing?

If you need more advice on this scheme then you can contact the Walton & Allen lettings team. You can call us on 0115 924 3304 or email info@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Estate Agent Virtual Video Viewings

Walton & Allen Estate Agents Nottingham are producing virtual video viewing tours to keep the property market moving.

We have produced over 25 video tours so far for both sales and lettings and will continue to produce more over the coming weeks.

If you are interested in any of our available properties, either to buy or to rent, please check with our team to see if a video is currently available.

Some are unlisted on YouTube for privacy and will only be made available upon request.

Video viewings

Here are a sample of our video viewings below.

Cavendish Road in Arnold, Nottingham

Hardstaff Road in Sneinton, Nottingham

What happens after viewing online?

If you have viewed a property online via video tour we are still accepting offers and reservations. Please get in touch with either our sales or lettings team to take the next steps to securing your dream property.

Sales can be contacted on salesteam@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Lettings can be contacted on lettingsteam@waltonandallen.co.uk.

Selective Licensing Nottingham Fee Increase

The fees for the Selective Licensing Nottingham scheme have increased as of 1st April 2020.

Prices now stand at £890 for a five year licence and £670 if you are an accredited Landlord. Accreditation can be sought from DASH or Unipol.

Why are Licencing fees rising?

Nottingham City Council claim that the initial set fees did not cover their running costs. They are not allowed to make a profit from the scheme.

Do I need a Selective License in Nottingham?

If you rent a property to tenants and it falls within the Nottingham City Council boundary then it is likely you need a Licence. You can check using this tool here.

If you do not comply then you could be hit with a fine of up to £30,000. Your tenant could also claim back all their rental payments, backdated from August 2018.

Any licensing questions?

If you have any questions about the scheme then we can help. Just email us on NSL@waltonandallen.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

You can also talk to our letting agents on 0115 924 3304.

Nottingham rental price rises still top across UK

Rents are rising at the fastest pace in three years, according to Zoopla. The average cost of renting rose by 2.6 per cent in 2019, with the average rent now at £886 per month.

The top 3 UK cities for rental price rises were Nottingham at 5.8 per cent, Bristol at 5.5 per cent and York at 5.0 per cent. The average rent in Nottingham now stands at £679 per calendar month.

Reasons for rental price increases

There are several potential reasons for rents rising. These include:

New Landlord legislation

Landlords have had to deal with several new costly legislation changes. This includes Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) changes, a restriction on mortgage tax relief and a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge.

Nottingham Selective Licensing

The introduction of Selective Licensing in Nottingham has brought on new costs for Landlords. Licenses cost £780 for non-accredited Landlords and this is soon to rise to £890. Some property owners have increased the monthly rent to offset some of this additional expense.

Landlords may be selling up

Some Landlords are selling up with all the changes in legislation and the rising cost of letting a property in Nottingham.

This means there are lower amounts of available rental stock and tenants are willing to pay a premium to secure their dream rental home.

Tenant fee ban

The tenant fee ban came into place in June 2019. Whilst we have been careful not to pass on any additional costs to tenants, some agents have increased rents to cover lost income.

Rents still affordable

Although costs are rising, tenants are still able to afford to rent.

The last decade saw an average rental price rise of 27 per cent. This was almost exactly in line with the average earning growth at 26 per cent across the same period.

How much is your property now worth to let?

Considering letting your property? Want to know if your current buy to let is getting the maximum possible rent?

Use the form below to get an up to date rental valuation, or call our lettings team on 0115 924 3304.

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    Considering updating your existing buy to let mortgage deal? Why get free mortgage advice in Nottingham?

    EICR new rules in 2020

    Subject to approval by the Houses of Parliament, Landlords will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1st July 2020.

    Existing tenancies will have until 1st April 2021 to comply.

    The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector state that Landlords must ensure every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested at least every five years. This inspection must be carried out by a qualified person.

    Landlords are also required to obtain a report following the results and provide it to their tenant(s) within 28 days. The Landlord must also keep a copy for their own records.

    Current EICR rules

    Currently, Landlords are not required by law to carry out an electrical safety test. However, we have always advised that these tests are carried out for the safety of tenants and to cover a Landlord in case any electrical problem arises.

    Other EICR details

    If required, the Landlord must supply the inspection report to the local housing authority within seven days.

    In addition, the Landlord could be fined up to £30,000 if they fail to comply with the new regulations.

    EPC warning

    This is just one of many new legislative changes for Landlords. In 2018, Landlords had to ensure that a property EPC rating was at least an ‘E’ or above. It is expected that this will change to a ‘D’ rating within the next few years.

    Confused about Landlord legislation?

    Walton & Allen Letting Agents in Nottingham are always available to answer any questions regarding your property investment. We also ensure your property remains compliant to avoid any fines.

    Talk to us today on 0115 924 3304 or use the form below.

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      Council licensing scheme already fined Nottingham landlords £84,000

      The Nottingham Selective Licensing scheme has now been running for 12 months. According to the Nottingham Post, Nottingham City Council have already begun issuing fines totaling £84,173.

      The average fine was £4,208 and the maximum fine issued to one landlord was £12,242.53.

      What are the fines for?

      Some fines have been issued to those who have failed to apply for a licence. If a property is currently rented out to tenants and falls within the Nottingham City Council boundaries you are likely to need a licence. Fines can reach up to £30,000 per landlord.

      We would advise you to apply immediately if you need a licence and do not yet have one.

      Fines have also been issued to landlords who have failed to improve their properties after a Council inspection.

      Council inspectors have also noticed a trend when they visit properties – Smoke alarms regularly do not work or are non existent.

      How can I avoid fines myself?

      If you are a Nottingham landlord and are worried about receiving a fine yourself there are a few things you need to consider. If the Council inspect your property they may look at the following.

      • The property is kept in good general condition
      • The property is free of hazards
      • Are there any maintenance issues?
      • All safety certificates are valid and up to date (EPC, gas safety etc.)
      • Adequate security is in place
      • All tenants have been provided with relevant tenancy information

      You can find the full list of items the council may check here.

      Still unsure if you may get a fine?

      We can help. If you are still worried you may get a fine, Walton & Allen can manage your property for you. Our Fully Managed service covers regular Selective Licensing inspections which will ensure you do not receive any form of fine.

      You can call us for more information on 0115 924 3304 or email nsl@waltonandallen.co.uk.

      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 discounted 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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