Compliance

Compliance

Register Your Agency With HMRC

With just weeks to go until the deadline, letting agents must register themselves with HMRC to remain AML compliant. By June 10th 2021, any letting agent, residential or commercial who lets property at or above 10,000 euros or £8,600 or more per month must register. Of course these changes came in last year under the Fifth Money Laundering Directive bringing agents in line with estate agents, so many letting agents will already be compliant. Further information can be found on HMRC’s website – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/registration-guide-for-estate-agency-businesses. Registering an agency is much more than simply clicking register, agents must put certain documents in certain places in order to remain anti-money laundering compliant. As well as this, there are clear, defined procedures that need to be put in place in order for agents to remain completely compliant. Agents must be aware of customer due diligence, the roles and responsibilities of their staff, whilst an …

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Compliance

Section 8: What Do You Need To Update?

From Tuesday 4th May 2021, letting agents and landlords must have updated their Section 8 eviction notices to include details of the Breathing Space regulations. Agents must ensure the paperwork is up to date with the new Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium). Should a Section 8 fail to be updated, your eviction could fail in the courts, leading to tenants remaining in your property. Whilst updating your Section 8 paperwork is crucial, understanding the Breathing Space regulation is also vital. The main changes mean that people receiving debt advice can apply for a break for up to 60 days, this break can also take place under mental health grounds. Further information on the Breathing Space changes can be found on VTUK’s LinkedIn page – https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6795980731387641856. The good news is that our Openview property software has a full directory of legal documents at your fingertips, …

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Compliance

Right To Rent: What’s Changing On May 17th?

From May 17th 2021, Right to Rent Checks can be carried out in person as per the changes to the coronavirus restrictions. Previously, on March 30th 2020, restrictions were put in place for agents and landlords to carry out Right to Rent Checks via video link to the tenant. Should an agent or landlord have carried out a video link check between the 30th March 2020 and 16th May 2021, a repeat Right To Rent Check is not necessary as an online check via video call is suitable enough. From May 17th 2021, agents must either: Check tenants right to rent face to face, keeping a record of their original documents. Or Use the Home Office’s Right To Rent Online Service. This can be found at the link below – https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-rent. Of course, keeping copies of these checks is vital in order to maintain compliance. With so many properties on …

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Compliance

Set Up A Specific Google Alert

It’s vital you issue the correct “How To Rent Guide” to your tenants before the start of a new or renewed tenancy. With the guide being updated on a regular basis ensuring you’re using the correct guide is becoming more and more difficult to keep track of. We recommend setting up a Google Alert to ensure you’re notified of any changes to the How To Rent Guide. According to the government’s website, the most up to date guide has been published from the 10th December 2020. The most up to date guide can be found by clicking here. Setting Up A Specific Google Alert Click here to visit Google Alerts. Type your keyword in quotations in the alerts box, in this instance it would be “How To Rent”. After the keyword, add the specific website you’d like the Google Alert to update you on. Before the URL ensure you type …

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Compliance

Do Landlords Need To Register With The ICO?

As a landlord or agent, under GDPR legislation you’re required to be registered with the ICO. Many will already be registered and paying a fee to the ICO. If you’re not registered and you are handling data from your tenants in electronic format, you must get in contact with the ICO to register. How much is the registration fee? Should your business have no more than 10 employees and as long as your turnover does not exceed £632,000, the fee is £40 with a £5 discount if you pay by direct debit. What if I do not comply? If you fail to register you may be liable to pay a penalty up to £4,350. How do I register? To register with the ICO, please visit the ICO’s official website by clicking here. Keep compliant with Openview property software, call 0800 328 0460, email info@vtuk.com or visit vtuk.com. THE INFORMATION IN …

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Compliance

What Must You Publish?

Letting agents must publish certain information to clients. The information must be clear, not misleading and be visible to the eye in your office, on your website and on third party websites. Third party websites includes portals, social media and other websites. It may not always be possible to advertise all the details on social media, in this case a link to your fees on your website is acceptable. Below we’ve outlined what you must publish: A Detailed Breakdown Of Fees/Charges A detailed list of ALL your fees, charges and potential penalties must be published in your letting agency, on your website and on third party websites. This must be clearly visible, not misleading, setting out your fees inclusive of VAT, in your office and on your website, the customer shouldn’t have to ask for the information. On your website, the information must be together. Should it be on a …

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Compliance

HHSRS Checklist: Size

Size is just one of 28 hazards you need to consider on the HHSRS (Housing Health And Safety Rating System) checklist. When it comes to the size of your property, assessing whether your property is overcrowded is a vital part of complying with the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Bill. Is my property overcrowded? To assess whether your property is overcrowded you should abide by the “space and room standard”. This involves counting the number of people living in the property whilst measuring the number of rooms and floor space. As well as this, you should ensure your rooms are of adequate size. Available for all Openview and VTUK users, our e-guide outlines in detail how to assess whether you property is overcrowded, download it on our Openview Enterprise Facebook Group.

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Compliance

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) Checklist 

Every hazard you need to consider in a property from the 20th March 2019. If you’re unsure what the changes mean to you, please click here to read more about the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Bill. The government has announced a reformation of the list below in order to make it more accessible for landlords and tenants. Further information will be available when it is announced. Water – Think legionella. Is your water supply contaminated? Fire – Is your property prepared for a fire? Install smoke alarms whilst consider how your property would cope in the event of a fire. Noise – How loud if your property? Too much noise can be a hazard to your tenants. Carbon Monoxide/Fuel Combustion – Maintain products within the property that could leak carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and smoke (boilers, furnaces, BBQs etc.) Food Safety – Are your kitchen facilities suitable for preparing, …

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Compliance

The Regulation Of Property Agents

ROPA (The Regulation Of Property Agents) have announced major changes to the property sector which are still due to come in. In a new report, the working group announced minimum standards as well as a new code of conduct to the sector including lettings and sales, auctioneers, rent to rent providers, property guardians, international property agents, and online-only firms. Click here to read the full report published by ROPA. To summarise the report, the main changes agents need to know include: The introduction of a new independent property agent regulator (ROPA). A single, mandatory and legally-enforceable code of practice for property agents. The launch of minimum entry requirements and continuing professional development for property agents. Potential changes to fees, charges and the ability to choose a managing agent for leaseholders and freeholders. ARLA and NAEA have summarised the changes in a short video below. Keep compliant with Openview, call 0800 …

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Compliance

Things Landlords Should Be Aware Of

With over 150 forms of landlord law, the complexities of drawing up a tenancy agreement and the continuous maintenance of the let, letting a property is getting more and more difficult. As a letting agent, you should elaborate on this when trying to win business from your landlord, convincing them to turn to a managed strategy. Below we’ve outlined key things your landlords and yourself as a letting agent need to consider. 1 Repairs Ensuring you correctly manage your repairs and maintenance will not only allow you to successfully serve a Section 21 but will also keep the property in good condition, reducing the risk of the tenant living in conditions unfit for human habitation. Openview’s Task Manager ensures tenant’s report repairs, instantly, online to yourself, meaning you can consult the contractor immediately, resolving the repairs process. 2 Tenants Knowing your tenant is an important part of letting a property. …

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