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Landlord newsletter summer 2024

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Looking ahead

Our local experts have been experiencing an incredible lettings market so far this year with demand to live in west London and the surrounding areas at an all-time high. This increase in demand means that we’re receiving great offers from high-quality tenants - a trend that looks to continue throughout the summer.

With demand at unprecedented levels, more than 70 per cent of tenants are choosing to renew their contracts with us, creating a supply shortage in the market. This, in turn, positively impacts rents, which on average have increased by 22 per cent over the last few years.

International appeal is also continuing to rise. We are receiving hundreds of enquiries every week through our Corporate Lettings and International Relocation team from global companies looking to relocate staff to the capital.

There has never been a better time to be a landlord, and west London remains an excellent place to invest. Robertson Smith & Kempson is here to support you throughout your property journey - whether that’s managing your investment or helping you navigate the latest government legislation. If you are considering expanding your portfolio or need an up-to-date valuation of your property, please contact us.

Keeping you informed

As more landlords opt to have our experts manage their property and keep it in prime condition, we now manage over half of the properties we look after. These managed properties receive the care and attention of our dedicated Property Managers, who are never more than 15 minutes away from the properties in their portfolio.

If you have chosen to self-manage your property, below is some helpful information from our property managers.

Gas safety:

A gas safety certificate is necessary if your property has a gas supply. You can schedule yearly checks up to two months before the expiration date and still maintain the same anniversary date for future checks. If there's a communal boiler, it's also advisable to provide the communal boiler gas safety certificate to the tenant annually. If your current certificate has expired, we can assist you in arranging for a new one.

Electrical safety:

In 2020, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations were introduced. These regulations require that electrical installations in rented properties be inspected and tested by a qualified and Competent Persons Registered electrician at least every 5 years. As a result, many landlords arranged for an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) for the first time in 2020, leading to a high demand for electricians and increased prices. To avoid this situation in 2025, it's important to consider hiring an electrician to conduct the EICR before the end of this year.

Smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors:

It is a legal requirement to have smoke alarms on every floor of a rented property and a CO detector in any room where fuel is burned. Please remind your tenant to test them regularly, and also remember to test them yourself when you inspect the property. Most alarms only last for ten years, so please make sure they do not expire during the tenancy. Our property managers take responsibility for any properties we manage and are equipped to replace faulty alarms or batteries.

Damp and mould:

When you visit your property, please carefully check for any signs of damp and mould, as it is your responsibility to ensure the property is free from hazards. If you notice any signs or if your tenant reports its presence, you must act promptly and agree to a plan of action with your tenant. Our property managers are experts at preventing these issues and will be happy to advise you if this occurs at your property. We also provide a Damp and Mould Guide to all our tenants, which you may find useful.

HMO licensing:

Once a licence has been granted, it's important to carefully review all the licence conditions, with a focus on fire safety. Most councils now require a fire risk assessment, so we recommend hiring a qualified Fire Risk Assessor to evaluate the fire risk and provide recommendations to minimise harm to the occupants and property. Additionally, it's crucial to regularly inspect the property, following the licence conditions. Non-compliance with the licence conditions could result in a fine of up to £30,000 per violation.

Further advice and information can be found here.

If we aren’t already managing your investment and you would like to find out more, please contact your local Robertson Smith & Kempson office.

Here to help

If you’re considering expanding your portfolio, Robertson Smith & Kempson is here to assist you. We have close relationships with independent mortgage advisors who are experts in buy-to-let mortgages and passionate about finding you the best deal. To speak to one of our mortgage specialists, click here.

 
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