IT has never been more important to keep our team up to date with legislation changes and industry best practice.
At Chelton Brown we have quarterly team meetings that are a mixture of reporting on our success, planning for the future and training our people. Our clients expect us to be up to date with all the industry changes and protect them from prosecution now the legislation changes have become law.
We also present an award to the Employee of the Quarter, this quarter was won by Josh Buswell, who was nominated by his manager and other team members. He was presented with a certificate and cash prize. We also recognise other achievements such as, five star reviews and supporting social media. We discuss and promote our chosen charity which this year is the Cynthia Spencer Hospice. We will be handing out medals on the finish line at Cycle 4 Cynthia and dancing in Strictly Northampton 2019. All great fun for a great cause which is close to everyone's heart.
Client Money Protection (CMP) - Insuring landlords and tenants against loss and fraud
This year, on 1 April, mandatory client money protection became law. Agents are not allowed to take and process clients' money if they are not part of one of the government's approved schemes. Make sure you check with your agent that they are a member of one of the professional bodies that give this protection. The penalty for the agent could be up to £30,000 with a £5,000 penalty for failing to display the certificate.
Tenant Fees Act 2019
The principle of this act is that a landlord or letting agent cannot charge any fees to the tenant in respect of a rented property, unless the law specifically allows it. In simple terms this means that a comprehensive ban has been introduced.
Changes and payments at a glance
Note that there are certain conditions/restrictions to what constitutes a permitted payment. There are also strict rules for when (and how much) an agent/landlord can charge a tenant.
Permitted payments - from a tenant
1. Payment of rent under the tenancy
2. Tenancy deposit
3. Holding deposit
4. Default fee - late rent payment fee up to three per cent above Bank of England base rate
5. Variation or assignment
6. Early termination
7. Council tax
9. TV licence
10. Communication services eg. phone and broadband
1. Some tenancy breaches
2. Breakages/loss of keys or entry fobs
3. Payment for damages (deducted from the deposit)
4. Early termination
A one-off offence carries a penalty of up to £5,000. Any second offence which is committed within five years receives a penalty of as much as £30,000. These penalties are imposed for every offence detected and if an agent has charged fees which are not permitted after 1 June 2019, every single offence will be counted as a separate offence and will result in up to £5,000 for each stated reason. Failure to comply could amount to fines of tens of thousands of pounds and could put rogue agents out of business.
From 1 June 2019 the deposit must not exceed five weeks' rent on a tenancy with a rental value of up to £50,000 per annum, or six weeks' rent over and above that level.
These changed in legislation apply to landlords as well as agents - so don't be caught out!