Hope that everyone is safe and well. I had some useful suggestions and feed back from the last email, which I thank you all for.
In light of the easing of the lockdown in the United Kingdom being discussed and some questions about how things will change going forward I will address what I can at this time, although this may change as the virus situation does.
With lockdown meaning that many rental properties are sitting unoccupied, there is a risk of legionnaires bacteria growing in water systems. This can cause legionnaires disease which is a type of pneumonia caused by water droplets containing legionnaires bacteria getting into the lungs.
All landlords must carry out a legionnaires risk assessment, implement control measures to minimise the risk and regularly review the risk assessment.
To reduce the risk from empty properties landlords should ensure that before the water system is used again it is flushed out by running all outlets for at least 2 minutes. Where a property has stored water it is prudent to flush the system for longer to ensure a fresh supply of water in the storage tanks. When flushing the system avoid spraying or splashing the water which could release droplets into the air.
We are having tenants starting leases during this time and we are conscious of making sure that the taps are run and the toilet flushed, but also ask the tenants when they gain entry to do the same.
In previous emails this was discussed, the tenant can give 28 days notice to leave however at this point in time the landlord notice period has changed. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 is now in force and gives additional protection to protect tenants from eviction during the outbreak. Initially these changes will apply from 7 April 2020 until 30 September 2020 but there is provision in the legislation for the end date to be changed.
Please note that the changes detailed below do not apply to any evictions where the landlord served notice on the tenant before 7 April 2020.
During the period detailed above all evictions will be discretionary, which means that if the tenant doesn’t voluntarily vacate and the landlord has to apply for an eviction order at the tribunal, the tribunal may decide to exercise a reasonableness test in deciding whether to evict the tenant or not. In simple terms, this means that the tribunal will decide based on the circumstances of the case whether the tenant’s need/right to occupy the property is outweighed by the landlord’s need/right to repossess the property .
The legislation also makes changes to the notice period that the landlord is required to give the tenant. The notice period depends on the type of tenancy and the eviction ground being used.
Whirlpool has added another 55,000 Hotpoint and Indesit models to its washing machine recall amid concerns the appliances may be at risk of catching fire. Whirlpool has set up a model checker online. Owners of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines bought since October 2014 will need to enter the model and serial number of their appliance – found inside the door or on the back – to see if it is one of those affected. If you have an affected model in a rental property it should be repaired or replaced as a matter of urgency.
I have been sent some wonderful suggestions to keep busy during lockdown. There have been suggestions of jigsaw puzzles, knitting, DIY projects, clearing out wardrobes, getting fit, learning an instrument or language and the one that I will do while the sun is shining this afternoon, reading a favourite book. My family started a lockdown WhatsApp group which has been a lovely way for us all to keep in touch, even if it is withsilly jokes, games and memes.
Hope that you and your family have a lovely weekend,
Michelle & The Glasgow Property Letting Team
17 Elmbank Street
Registration number LARN1903009
VAT : 174415411
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