The past twelve months have been a whirlwind for the private rental sector. With many new laws making an appearance and 2018’s legislation taking full swing, 2019 has kept landlords and letting agents on their toes – and there’s even more to expect in 2020.
So, what has this year brought us?
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards
In April this year, the Energy Efficiency Regulations were introduced – meaning all rented properties must now have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before a new tenancy is started.
Landlords who’s properties were already being let before the regulations came into force have until 1 April 2020 to make the improvements required to meet the minimum standard.
With the government’s increasing focus on taking environmental precautions, it’s likely that the minimum standard will be increased in the next couple of years.
The Tenant Fee Ban
On the 1 June 2019, the Tenant Fee Ban came into force – preventing landlords and agents charging fees to tenants. Tenancy deposits were largely affected by the ban; deposits for properties with an annual rent less than £50,000 are now capped at 5 weeks rent and those more than £50,000 are capped at six.
The new legislation also affected holding deposits, capping them at 1 week’s rent and limiting their holding time to 15 days.
Read our full article about the Tenant Fee Ban here.
One year of GDPR
Back in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation was introduced to monitor the compliance of those handling personal data. A year later, landlords are far more familiar with their GDPR responsibilities, however, it’s still an area of concern and worry for some.
Take a look at our guide to GDPR for landlords here.
So long Section 21
Landlords have been continually warned of the possible abolition of Section 21 and changes to the eviction procedure and now – as the year draws to a close – the government have publicised their plans for the rental sector.
In the Queen’s Speech on Thursday 19th December, it was announced that a new Renter’s Reform Bill will “introduce a package of reforms to deliver a fairer and more effective rental market”.
The Bill is said to put an end to no-fault evictions by removing Section 21, yet will also “strengthen the rights of landlords” who need to legitimately gain possession of their property.
A new lifetime deposit will also be introduced so that tenants will not need to save for a new deposit every time they move house.
2019 for LettingaProperty.com
This year has been jam-packed with new legislation and changes to the industry. As a result, LettingaProperty.com have been busy staying on top of updates, switching up how we do things and keeping landlords and tenants in the know - but despite the chaos, we've had a record year!
Pacing the peaks and protecting the planet
Back in July, LettingaProperty.com took on the Welsh Three Peaks Challenge. We walked over 17 miles and – thanks to the generosity of our landlords and tenants - raised over £2300.00 for the Marine Conservation Society! We’re very passionate about our reducing our environmental impact here at LettingaProperty.com; approximately one truckload of plastic enters our ocean every single minute and there is enough plastic in our oceans to circle the Earth 400 times over.
We were delighted to exceed our fundraising target of £2000 and help the Marine Conservation Society in their mission to preserve our seas and protect our wildlife.
One year in our new office
In the summer, we celebrated one year in our new offices in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire. Along with our new space, we’ve welcomed a few new members of the team across our departments in Operations, Sales and IT.
This year, we are honoured to have been recognized for a number of awards across the property sector.
We were Area Finalists for the Digital Innovation Award run by the Federation of Small Businesses.
We were also shortlisted for Best Online Agency at the Landlord Investment Show Awards and were up for Most Innovative Business (Property), Adoption of Tech and Service Excellence (Property at the UK Proptech Awards. Unfortunately, we were pipped to the post this time around and didn’t come away with any trophies – but keep your eyes peeled for 2020!
Expanding our knowledge
Our team have been very busy burying their heads in the books this year! Natalie, our Assistant Lettings Manager achieved her Level 3 Diploma in Management and Shannon, our Sales Manager, has completed her Level 4 Diploma in Business and Administration and NALS Foundation Letting Course for Scotland.
Natalie and Shannon also received their Rent Smart Wales qualifications, Charlie will shortly be completing her Level 3 Diploma in Property: Residential Letting and Management and a few team members have just started courses that will carry on into the new year.
The training the team have undergone is very exciting - both for us as individuals developing as part of a constantly evolving company, but also for our landlords, who know they have access to approachable and friendly agents with a bank of qualified knowledge.Katie, Lettings Executive at LettingaProperty.com
Celebrating 10 years online
This year, LettingaProperty.com celebrated 10 years of helping landlords online. Since 2009, over 20,000 landlords across England, Scotland and Wales have registered to use our service and we’re delighted to say – even a decade on – that we’re still serving our first ever landlord.
Our best year so far
2019 has been our biggest year yet.
We’re beyond proud of the phenomenal work we have achieved over the last decade, but we’re only just getting started. Bring on 2020!
I'll sign off with a very special thanks to our loyal landlords and tenants for your continued support of our business and to our amazing team at LAP that help us realise our vision by demonstrating passion and integrity in everything you do.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Jonathan and Matthew