Taking a little inspiration from the “Ant and Dec Santander” advert which I think is really nice ( not an endorsement only personal thoughts), this week I have touched base with all our tenants to make sure they are okay, any problems issues, financial concerns etc. This has proven to be very useful, as although we have the fixflow system to report repairs, some things are nice to talk through with someone and although we have been keeping tenants informed of the financial schemes, it can be easier to understand a verbal explanation and screen share!
If you have any questions, concerns about your properties, please get in contact, we can book a time slot for a chat.
At the start of the pandemic in one of the first emails I said that communication was the key to work through this, and I still believe that to be the case.
Resumption of tribunal cases
Due to coronavirus, the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing & Property Chamber) has not been conducting any hearings or case management discussions (CMDs) since 19 March. As lockdown arrangements are now beginning to ease, work has started in re-scheduling postponed CMDs. These will commence from 9th July onwards by teleconference.
Consideration has been given as to whether hearings may be conducted using video conference facilities. However, it is not possible for the Scottish Courts & Tribunals Service to support this at present for cases within the Housing and Property Chamber. Therefore it has been decided that teleconference hearings should be arranged for all cases which are able to be taken forward.
Options for the resumption of oral hearings are under consideration but are likely to take longer because of the safety risks associated with face to face proceedings. Property inspections (e.g. for repairing standard cases) are not currently being undertaken due to safety concerns.
The government has advised landlords and letting agents should postpone routine certification requirements (other than gas safety checks) during the crisis and carry them out as soon as possible after it is over. The government has now stated in revised guidance that unless there is evidence of existing defects or concerns about individual properties, routine electrical safety inspections should not be carried out at tenanted properties until at least phase 3 of the route map.
At the beginning of the year the date that all properties had to be compliant with a minimum EPC certificate was April. In light of the pandemic the date was moved to November. We have not been informed this date has changed. This means that if your property has a low EPC rating you may not be able to rent it out for a new tenancy. There are options and help to improve the EPC rating.
Hopefully you will have recently been thinking about or have completed your HMRC self assessment, if you have noticed several boiler repairs, it may be the opportunity to take advantage of the Government grants, loans and schemes to make the boiler more energy ( and financially) efficient .
Take care and hope that you have a lovely weekend,
0141 221 3990
17 Elmbank Street
Registration number LARN1903009
VAT : 174415411
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