As restrictions ease week on week, the much anticipated return to normality is flourishing down at Kelham Island, and it’s been a great sight to behold!
After lockdown measures have been relaxed the lettings market is starting to boom again in Sheffield.
The lettings market in Sheffield is booming!
Viewings and house moves are allowed to take place, but they still need to be managed carefully, and adhere to social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. There’s also a couple of big legislation changes on the horizon that you should be aware of.
Electrical Safety Standards Regulations
We’ll be making sure that all of your tenancies are compliant with the new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, which will apply to new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1st April 2021. The new regulations require landlords to ensure that all electrical installations in their rental properties are inspected and tested by a qualified person every five years. Reports of each inspection to be supplied to all tenants of the property within 28 days of the inspection, and retained by the landlord until the next inspection takes place. Breaches of the regulations could result in financial penalties of up to £30,000.
End of transition period for the Tenant Fees Act
The Tenant Fees Act was introduced in England last year, banning letting agents and landlords from charging tenants any fees other than those expressly permitted under the legislation. There was a one-year transition period for existing tenancies, which ends on 31 May 2020. This means that, from 1 June 2020, all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs), student accommodation, and licences to occupy housing (including HMOs) in England will be subject to this legislation, regardless of when the tenancy agreement was originally entered into and any payment term in a tenancy agreement that’s prohibited by the Tenant Fees Act – even one that was entered into before 1st June 2019 – will not be binding. We’ve updated all of our processes and contracts to ensure that your tenancies are compliant with the Tenant Fees Act at the end of this transition period.
Viewings allowed to take place
Physical viewings are allowed to take place, however, they must take place by appointment and should only involve members of a single household. When viewing a property, everyone should wash their hands and avoid touching any surfaces and social distancing rules should be followed wherever possible. Agents can accompany people on viewings, but again, social distancing rules will need to be followed. It is highly recommended that viewings take place virtually first and prospective tenants should only visit a property in person if they are serious about making an offer. Here’s more detail on how we are managing this ever-changing situation to protect our staff, tenants, and your properties:
Keeping house moves safe
Removal firms are allowed to operate, but they may need to adjust their processes to make sure moves happen as safely as possible. Tenants should contact removal firms as early as possible to organise their move. They should try and do as much of the packing as possible themselves and clean their belongings with standard cleaning products before they are handled by anyone else. While the removers are in their home, they should ensure any internal doors are open and seek to minimise contact with the crew, maintaining a distance of at least two metres where possible. Everyone should wash their hands and avoid touching surfaces where possible to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus. Removers should have access to hand washing facilities, with separate towels or paper towels if possible, which should be washed or disposed of safely afterwards.
Inspections, repairs, and maintenance
Routine inspections, essential and non-essential repairs and maintenance (both inside and outside the home), and gas safety checks can now resume, as long as letting agents, landlords, and contractors are following the guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.