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2011
What can you do to beat the recession? Can you protect your assets and your business? Is there a fast and low cost way to plan the sale of your property? You always have a choice - make sure you make the right one! Ring us and we will provide you updates on the most recent changes to regulation and to markets.

Tenancy
Rules for landlords to follow and to protect tenants regarding deposits details

Combatting Money Laundering
New and detailed amended rules to combat money laundering are in force As a result professional advisers must ask more questions and in some cases require more information and documentation from clients before they can accept instructions to act or advise. We will need to ask for more information in connection with acting for companies, partnerships, trusts, other bodies of people (such as clubs) and anyone who is acting as agent for another person. We may also need to go through the identification and verification procedures for shareholders, directors, managers, partners, trustees, beneficiaries, club members, anyone acting under a power of attorney, a receiver, administrator or insolvency practitioner or anyone appointed as an agent or broker of any kind. In addition, the exemption under the old rules for existing clients from the procedures for identification and verification has been removed. As a matter of policy we operate the new rules in relation to all clients and all matters. All we ask is that you attend at our offices with - your passport or picture driving licence - an original council tax, gas or electricity bill addressed to you and dated within the last three months For Data Protection Act purposes, we must also advise you that we are required to retain this information for at least five years.

HIP
The new government has kept one of its manifesto promises by suspending the HIPs legislation with immediate effect. EPC’s remain though under EU law but they are changing too: The EPC has to be commissioned before the start of marketing Commissioning means the Inspector has been asked to prepare the EPC and it has either been paid for or payment has been promised The person acting for the seller on the sale must be satisfied commissioning has taken place The seller and seller’s agent must make reasonable efforts to get the EPC within 28 days Penalties will be imposed for breaching these relaxed requirements The EPC will have a life of 10 years, not 3 years as at present or 3 months as originally envisaged. This brings it in line with EPC’s for rented property. Let marketing begin

Will
Did you see the Panorama programme on BBC 1 on 9th August? If you do not have a Will you need to know what to look out for so why not pop in for a chat. Link to the programme at www.bbc.co.uk/i/tfqqj or http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tfqqj/Panorama_Wills_the_Final_Rip_Off/


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    Landlord & Tenant

The cost of residential property is rising along with a scarcity of funding opportunities. This is especially so in London and the Home Counties. More and more people are considering long term renting to meet their housing needs. Kagan Moss Solicitors are experienced in advising both landlords and tenants.

Tenancy arrangements - An Assured Shorthold Tenancy is fairly simple and can be a suitable arrangement when renting.  Both landlords and tenants need to take advice before agreeing to a tenancy arrangement to ensure both parties know what their rights and obligations may be.

How can we help?

 

We can both prepare letting documents for landlords and advise on the meaning of them for tenants.

We can make clear consumer legislation requirements regarding:

  • Minimum standards
  • Servicing equipment and installations
  • Maintenance of equipment and installation
  • New legislations that arise.

Landlords and tenants deposits

There are regulations regarding deposits which applied from 6th April 2007. Landlords must abide by these in order to avoid problems unless they come into the following categories:

  • Resident landlords (living in the property with the tenant)
  • Landlords of properties where rent is over £25,000 a year
  • Company lets
  • Student accommodation let directly by universities or colleges.

 

Taking and holding tenant's deposits:

If a landlord takes/holds a tenant's deposit he/she must belong to a Tenancy Protection Deposit Scheme. If a tenant's letting agent holds a deposit on a tenant’s behalf they must also belong to a similar scheme.

Types of scheme

There are two types of scheme: Custodial Scheme and Insurance backed Scheme.

The Custodial Scheme

This is free. It is run by The Deposit Protection Service [DPS]. It is funded by the interest earned on the deposits. It is open to Landlords and letting agents. There are no preconditions for membership. There are on line facilities for members to scrutinise at www.depositprotection.com.  In the event of a dispute any undisputed amount is returned to the tenant and the balance continues to be held until a decision is made by ADR or court proceedings.

The Insurance - Backed Scheme

There are two approved insurance - backed schemes:

     Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited: run by the National Landlords Association and Hamilton Insurance.

     The Tenancy Deposit Scheme run by The Dispute Service.

The procedure for insurance - backed schemes is slightly different from the custodial scheme.  If the landlord fails to comply, the insurance arrangements come into play to ensure that the tenant receives the whole or part entitlement of the deposit back.

Both landlords and tenants are wise to take a solicitor's advice to avoid pitfalls. For more advice contact Michael Garson .

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