The ARLA Regional Meeting

25th September 2017  |  12:00am

The ARLA Regional Meeting

Here at Ashington Page we have a much respected and established lettings team. We are very proud to offer the highest level of customer care for both our tenants and landlords. For tenants we have some of the best rental properties in Beaconsfield and for our landlords, we offer a full management service for your property which is custom built for your requirements.

Part of being a successful lettings agent is our team’s memberships to their professional bodies. We make sure everyone is fully trained and qualified in all the latest legislation in order to maintain our high standards.

On the 14th September ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) held its regional meeting. There were some interesting points made and in the interests of keeping our readers informed we’d like to summarise some of the key points from the meeting chaired by David Cox, Chief Executive.

‘PROPERTYMARK’ BRAND ADVERTISING

Some of you may not even realise what the ARLA Propertymark is. In fact a recent survey showed only 14% of the general public knew or recognised the ARLA and/or NEAA name (compared to 50% for ABTA). As a result you will start seeing a short run of TV adverts over the next couple of weeks and again in January. The TV advert will be followed by radio and digital advertising (Facebook, YouTube, Zoopla, Rightmove) If you would like to view the TV advert to find out more you can find it on YouTube.

TENANTS FEE BAN

After some rather slow progress over the summer the Government are continuing with the entire ban on tenant fees to agents, landlords and third parties i.e. referencing agencies. ARLA will monitor every stage of the process carefully and keep its members informed. At the very least, they would like to see the tenant reference fee ban overturned.

Ultimately a total ban of tenant fees will see rental prices increase as the agency costs will need to be covered, inevitably by the landlord who will then seek to recoup this fee in the form of increase rental payments, ultimately costing the tenants more.

ARLA predict that the ban will be in place sometime between October–December 2018 (possibly as late at April 2019 if Brexit overshadows – watch this space).

IMMIGRATION ACT 2016

Students from overseas will now be able to obtain a letter of confirmation from their college/university which can be used for Right2Rent checks. There is a letter template on the ARLA website.

HOUSING & PLANNING ACT 2016

EPC ratings – From April 2018 all new and existing rental properties must have EPC rating of E or above. Any properties not adhering to the new legislation will not be able to renew their tenancy agreements and will be deemed illegal to rent out. Renewals are under discussion as to whether exempt from the ruling until 2020.

It’s great to note that out of the 210 properties we currently have in tenancy, only 4 properties will be affected and by the time the new law comes to be enforced we aim to have them all compliant.

EICR Certificate – The new Electrical Installation Condition Report will be valid for 5 years. At the moment progress is very slow and there is little information on when it will be enforced but ARLA have strongly advised the government that landlords are given at least 18 months lead time. Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, fire experts are highly likely to push for PAT testing to be included. We’ll keep you updated as and when more information becomes available.

If you are a landlord or tenant and have any questions about this article feel free to get in contact with us. Maybe you are thinking of becoming a landlord yourself or are looking for a change of agent, if so make sure you get in touch with one of the leading lettings agents in Beaconsfield and the surrounding area via email or you can call 01494 685518. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest industry and community news.