In order to determine the correct floor area of a room it must be measured in the following manner:
Take measurements at a point above skirting board level no higher than 1.5m
above the floor.
Room with a sloping roof or ceiling :
The area where a sloping roof or ceiling reduces the height of the room to less than 1.525m (5 feet) this area should not be included when calculating the floor space.
Include area : Subject to any other exclusion, measurement of the floor area should include any floor space formed by a bay window extension, or any area at floor level, which is occupied by fixed cupboards
Exclude area: Subject to any other exclusion, measurement of the floor area should exclude any floor space formed by a projecting chimney breast
Unusable Space: Subject to any exclusion where the space immediately behind the door is no wider than the door itself, this will be considered an unusable space, and will be excluded from the measurement of the floor area of the room. If this space is considerably wider than the door itself, e.g. wide enough to place a wardrobe without a reduction of the circulation space, this space can be included
Disclaimer: Please note these are guidelines only and you may wish to check with your local Council.
The landlord obligations and property management is changing at a very rapid pace. Landlords need to keep up-to-date records of their certificates and provide tenants with all the necessary information as outlined in the new ‘How To Rent’ guide updated in July 2018.
The Guild advises that both the June 2018 and the July 2018 guides should be handed over to the tenant’s.
According to the guidance, landlords are directed that they must provide to their tenant:
- A copy of the guide How to Rent: The checklist for renting in England either as a hard copy or, if you agree, via email as a PDF attachment.
- A gas safety certificate. The landlord must provide one at the start of the tenancy and within 28 days of each annual gas safety check, if there is a gas installation.
- Deposit paperwork. If you have provided a deposit, the landlord must protect it in a government approved scheme within 30 days and provide you with prescribed information about it. Make sure you get the official information from your landlord, and that you understand how to get your money back at the end of the tenancy. Keep this information safe as you will need it later.
- The Energy Performance Certificate. This will affect your energy bills and the landlord must provide one (except for Houses in Multiple Occupation). Properties let on tenancies entered into after 1 April 2018 must have an EPC rating of at least ‘E’ (unless a valid exemption applies).
If your tenancy started or was renewed after 1 October 2015 your landlord cannot evict you with a Section 21 notice (no fault eviction) if they have not provided you with these documents. You can still be evicted with a Section 8 notice if you break the terms of your tenancy.
The landlord should also provide you with:
- A record of any electrical inspections. All appliances must be safe and checks every 5 years are recommended.
- Evidence that smoke alarms and any carbon monoxide alarms are in working order at the start of the tenancy. Tenants should then regularly check they are working.
As a good practice, serve all the documents and attach a tick sheet for the tenants to confirm.
Click here to download the latest guide.
On Wednesday 2 May 2018, the Government introduced the Tenant Fees Bill in the parliament.
Highlights of the bill :
- Ban on Letting Fees.
- Fee / Charges only for change or early termination of tenancy requested by tenant.
- Change to tenancy capped at £50
- Maximum 6 weeks deposit.
- Holding deposit capped at 1 weeks rent.
- Bill prevents landlords from recovering possession of their property via the section 21 Housing Act 1988 procedure until they have repaid any unlawfully charged fees.
- fine of £5,000 for an initial breach of the ban with a criminal offence
The Tenant Fees Bill is now subject to Parliamentary timetables and will be introduced in law next year.
Continue reading “No Tenant Fees soon …”
New regulations effecting HMO’s coming this October. Government wants to protect all tenants who are sharing homes.
A property house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by atleast 3 people who are not from ‘1 household’ (not related) but share facilities like a kitchen and bathroom.
Currently a mandatory HMO licence is required only if a property is 3 storeys or more and occupied by 5 people or more who are not all related.
If the MPs approve the new measures, from April, the government is set to change this in England. Regulations will remove the number of storeys element and so any house or flat with 5 or more occupiers (not all related) will require a HMO licence. In addition, local councils must impose minimum space rules on shared homes.
Bedrooms for one adult must measure at least 6.51 square metres, while those for two adults should be no smaller than 10.22 square metres and rooms for children up to 10 years old must have an area of 4.64 square metres or more. It seems that the minimum bedroom size refers to any HMO (3 or more people sharing) and not just those that need a licence.
Councils will have new powers they need to crack down rogue landlords and put them out of the business for good.
The new HMO licence will specify how many people can live in each bedroom and the total occupancy number put on a property will limit how many people can live in a home. The licence will also tell landlords which rooms cannot be used as bedrooms.
Contact Spectra if you need help to setup, manage and let HMOs. For further details call 0121 444 5252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org