For property services to continue to operate in the “new normal”, we’ve all had to adjust our working practices to comply with Covid-19 rules. Yet in one key aspect of inventory management, we already had systems in place that enabled effective social distancing – our fully comprehensive property inventory software
What you need from property inventory software
At No Letting Go, we have a specifically designed property inventory software called Kaptur. With compliance at its core, it captures, stores, reports and manages property information.
In a previous post, The benefits of using a property inventory reporting system, we discussed in detail how these systems facilitate great property management from check-in to check-out, making them a great time-saving tool for letting agents. But in these times, when social distancing is paramount, the efficiency and operation of these systems take on new importance. Not only do they improve the property inventory management process, but they also enable letting agents continue supporting the letting of properties while observing social distancing.
How property inventory software enables social distancing
Our property management software was created to facilitate the smooth operation of property inspections and cause minimal disruption to tenants, landlords and letting agents by taking away the requirement to be physically present for inspections. This also supports social distancing:
- Inventories are electronic, so no documentation is passed by hand between individuals
- Inventories are reviewed online
- We use Digisign so all parties can sign reports online
- Allows parties to review reports online
- Parties are able to amend reports online
- Queries can be managed online
- Photos added to reports make it easier to illustrate issues to tenants and landlords
Ensuring tenants and landlords have confidence in the system
Property inventories provide key evidence should a dispute arise about the state of a property. As a letting agent, it’s important for you that all parties can trust this process and feel comfortable that outcomes are objective, even when tenants and landlords haven’t been present at any inspections.
Landlords and tenants also feel that a third party conducting a property inspection is a good way to ensure an independent perspective. Providing a tool that generates detailed reports and lets all sides engage demonstrates how you, as the letting agent, are committed to meeting compliance obligations, which builds confidence.
There are many reasons why property inspections are so important, even in these challenging times. If it’s proving difficult to provide property inventory management for your landlords and their tenants while observing social distancing, then it’s time to reconsider your current approach and look for a system that ensures the safety of your client landlords and their tenants.
No Letting Go
If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could become your property management partner, streamline your cost, reduce workload and keep accurate property inventories then contact us today.
For landlords, there are seemingly endless responsibilities to keep track of. Every self-respecting landlord wants to provide safe and comfortable homes for their tenants, but it can be difficult to stay on top of changing developments.
One such responsibility that’s vital to stick to is getting an EPC for your property. The EPC is a certificate to ensure the sufficiency of a buildings energy performance and is required for all properties being put on the market to sell or rent.
We know it can be tricky navigating complex requirements and laws. That’s why we’ve put together this information on landlord EPC obligations.
So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about EPC for landlords, all in one place.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate?
Put simply, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) tells you how energy efficient a property is. Factors such as carbon dioxide emissions and heating costs are taken into consideration to give the property an EPC rating.
An EPC is required every time a property is put up for sale or rent.
Introduced in 2008 as part of the Home Information Packs (HIPs), the EPC aims to give potential buyers and tenants clearer information on the energy efficiency of their building.
As well as rating the building for its current efficiency, the EPC also gives suggestions for improving energy use and will provide a predicted rating for when these are implemented.
Energy Efficiency Rating
The energy efficiency of your property is given a rating between A and G, with A being very efficient and G being inefficient. An older property without double glazing or proper insulation is more likely to get a lower rating than a new build.
The property will also be given a number between 1-100. The higher the number, the more efficient the building is and the more cost-effective energy bills are.
The EPC will also provide estimated energy costs for heating, lighting and water bills. As well as advice on how to improve the energy efficiency of your property. From installing better quality wall insulation to something as simple as switching to energy efficient light bulbs, there are many ways to make your property greener.
What’s the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for Landlords?
As from April 2018, landlords in the private rented sector need a minimum rating of E for their rental properties. Failure to meet this standard could result in fines so must be avoided at all costs!
Tenants have the right to make improvements to the energy efficiency of the property, with the permission of the landlord.
From April 2020, these regulations will also apply to all ongoing assured tenancies in existence.
For more information on landlord requirements consult the government web page.
Which Properties Need an EPC?
Every domestic and commercial building in England and Wales must have an EPC. If you are leasing a property, you must have ordered the EPC before the property goes on the market.
The only types of buildings that are exempt include some listed buildings and residential buildings or rented holiday accommodation which are in use for less than four months a year. A room rented out by a residential landlord is also let off the hook.
The EPC must be shown to potential tenants and a copy supplied free of cost. Make sure you don’t get caught out!
How Long is the Energy Performance Certificate Valid for?
An EPC is valid for 10 years from when it’s completed. If the property holds an EPC from an existing tenancy, it’s fine as long as it’s within this period.
How to Get an EPC
As a responsible landlord, you must only use an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor when acquiring the EPC for your property.
To find a list of approved EPC organisations in the UK, check the energy performance certificate register.
What does the Energy Performance Certificate Cost?
An important question for landlords! Unfortunately, there is no fixed rate for EPC’s currently, however prices usually start at £35. Factors such as the size of the property, the type of property, how many bedrooms it has and its location are all taken into consideration.
Therefore EPC’s for larger homes in desirable locations are likely to cost more.
EPC’s and Feed in Tariffs
If your property has solar PV and you want to receive payments from the government’s feed in tariff (FIT) you will have to provide evidence of an acceptable EPC rating.
The Benefits of Having an EPC
It may sound like a bit of a hassle, but there are actually some benefits to getting a CPE for your property.
For one thing, having an EPC means you can feel safe in the knowledge that your property is within the required energy efficiency standards. That’s one less thing to worry about.
Another advantage, is that by periodically checking your property’s energy efficiency, it will be easier to save money on energy bills for your tenants. The EPC will also help you to plan for future costs with its breakdown of energy expenditures. For landlords managing multiple properties this will be particularly helpful.
Recent Changes to the EPC
From 1st April, 2019, the ‘no cost to the landlord’ exemption will no longer apply and landlords will be required to pay up to £3,500 on works to increase their property’s rating up to an E. If costs exceed this figure, landlords will be allowed to register for a ‘high cost’ exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register provided they give significant evidence.
This is a significant change that landlords in the private rental sector need to stay on top of.
Let us Lend a Hand
With all these obligations to wrap your head around, it’s worth delegating some tasks to make the process of organising a new tenancy that bit simpler.
No Letting go provide professional, unbiased inventory services to make the process as fuss-free and efficient as possible and help you stay on top of your responsibilities.