Christmas Information | Opening Hours & Out of Hours Emergencies

As we are now within the winter months and approaching the festive holiday period, take the necessary precautions required to ensure that your home is safe and secure if you’re planning on leaving your property.

  1. During cold months, ensure your home is properly heated and ventilated in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent the build-up of condensation / mould.
  2. Outside taps need to be securely covered with insulation  to stop the tap / pipework from freezing. Freezing could result in a burst pipe damaging your home and contents.
  3. Planning on leaving for an extended period? Ensure the heating is left on sufficiently to prevent pipes bursting due to cold. Insurers recommend that boilers are left on a permanent setting no lower than 5 degrees to help prevent pipes from freezing.
  4. We would recommend that you arrange for a neighbour / friend to check the property should you be away for more than 2 days during the holiday period to ensure the landlords building Insurance and your own contents Insurance does not become void.

Property Management Holiday Guide | Hours and Emergencies

Christmas Opening

24th December 2020 – Open from 9:00am till 13.00pm
25th December 2020 – 30th December – CLOSED
31st December 2020 – Open from 9.00am till 13.00pm
1st January 2021 – January 3rd – CLOSED
4th January 2021 – Normal business resumes

Out of Hours Emergencies

Emergencies should be reported immediately. Tenants of our currently managed properties have been notified of the process via email.

Questions? Contact us to manage your property:

Andy Berthier (MARLA)
Head of Property Management – Residential Lettings
D: +44 (0) 207 495 9590
E: +44 (0) 203 131 0080 (Emergency out of hours)
Email

New Electrical Safety Regulations Are On The Way! (England 2020)

This regulation will affect new private residential tenancies from 1st July 2020 and all other tenancies already in existence from 1st April 2021. Currently, this level of regulation only applies to licensed House of Multiple Occupancies (HMO).

Properties let on statutory periodic tenancies where the fixed term expires between July 2020 and April 2021 will require an inspection and test at this point under the regulations. For statutory periodic tenancies – where on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy automatically by statute (rather than by contract) – the periodic tenancy would be a new tenancy.

There are some tenancies that will be excluded from the new regulation; social or resident landlord, long leases or tenancies granting a right of occupation of seven years of more, student lettings in halls, tenancies granted to occupiers of hostels, refuge care homes, hospitals or hospice. All electrical wiring and fixed electrical installations will need to be signed off and reported by a qualified electrician.

This report will be required to be shown at the beginning of every new tenancy and renewed at least every five years or earlier if any electrics or fixed electrical installations are altered or changed by the landlord. If the report highlights any issues, the landlord will be required to remedy these within 28 days or sooner dependent on the recommendations contained within the report.

If landlords don’t comply with the recommendations made in the report and this is reported to the Local authority they have the power to issue a fine of up to £30,000. They will also be granted the power to carry out any required works and seek to impose the costs of such actions onto the Landlord. It is more likely that they will serve a further notice of 28 days in order for Landlords to carry out the specified works before imposing any further actions and potential fines.

An Electrical Installation condition report (EICR) is a report carried out to assess the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and is used to describe its condition. Parts of the system that are reported on include consumer units, protective bonding, lighting, switches and sockets etc.

The EICR will be graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory and will detail a list of observations affecting the safety or improvements required.

Questions about Property Management


These observations will be supported by codes

Unsatisfactory codes are:

C1 – DANGER PRESENT, RISK OF INJURY, IMMEDIATE REMEDIAL ACTION

C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS, URGENT REMEDIAL ACTION REQUIRED

F1 -FURTHER INVESTIGATION REQUIRED

 

Satisfactory code is:

C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED

 

These regulations do not place any defined requirements on fixed portable electrical appliances provided by the landlord, however due to the awful tragedy of Grenfell it is recommended to all my landlords.

Contact  us


Covid-19 Pandemic vs. New EICR Regulations

If landlords can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with their duties under the regulation

you will not be in breach of the duty. You could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications with your tenants and with electricians as you’ve tried to arrange the work.

Further information:

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector ( England ) Regulations 2020: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934

Explanatory Memorandum to The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector ( England ) Regulations 2020 :

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934/memorandum/contents


If your property is managed by Sotheby’s International Realty please contact Andy with your instructions to carry out on your behalf.

andy.berthier@sothebysrealty.co.uk

m: 07525 595 504

Middle East Desk Update

Faith from Middle East buyers ensure steady movement

£2,995,000 – Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge

In light of the continuing political circumstances revolved around Brexit, some investors remain cautious and have adapted a “wait & see approach” prior to pouncing on opportunistic investments. We are ever so close to finding out if & when Brexit will materialise and the results of the upcoming general election should provide the market some clarity about the direction the UK economy will be heading in 2020.

Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge

Having said that, the fundamentals surrounding the UK remain ever so strong regardless of the short term political climate as Middle Easterners continue to view the UK as an education, commercial, technology, social, banking and judicial hub. In addition, the currency volatility has provided ample opportunities which are now “cheaper” relative to pre-Brexit levels. The next couple of months should provide us with much needed clarity about the political & economic climate going forward.

Mohamed Zaghloul
Head of Middle East Desk

British community living in Andorra

For those who have already invested in an Andorran property the benefits of buying a second home, a rental or investment property or moving altogether are detailed below. For more information contact us and our advisors will discuss your options.

British community living in Andorra: conditions and advantages

There has been an established British community in Andorra for many years. +800 British residents are living in the country, attracted by the lifestyle and easy access to skiing, mountain biking, and cycling, as well as its financial sector; many British residents are also retired.

 

Duplex for sale in Ordino
£2,518,206

The Andorran government is taking protective measures in both banking and legal security and in the field of privacy and data protection. Hard or Soft Brexit, your rights are guaranteed.

Andorra is a country with a vested interested in the British entrepreneur with an ever closer collaboration between the UK’s International Trade Ministry and Actua. Andorra encourages innovation offering several growing sectors for British companies, for example the Smart Cities sector.

 

An outstanding fiscal framework adapted to the British resident

Andorra has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe.

Duplex for sale in Ordino
£2,518,206

In order to improve its international relations and end its ‘tax haven’ status, Andorra has opted for OECD approval of its tax regulations since 2009, although tax rates remain very competitive. The signing of bilateral agreements to eliminate double taxation further strengthens the system, with a corporation, income and non-resident tax at a maximum of 10% and where the indirect general tax (IGI) is 4.5%. British citizens will also be pleased to know that there is no tax on inheritances or donations.

Andorra has also alleviated its residence and investment laws to make the country more attractive to foreign investors. According to international consultant Bradley Hackford, in 2017 it was considered the second most attractive fiscal country in the world for investors.

The volume of foreign investment has grown 268% to 3.8% GDP since the new regulations for the opening of FDI in 2012 were approved, higher than the average in neighbouring countries.

An association agreement with the EU is currently being negotiated that will provide British citizens access to the European internal market and its more than 500 million consumers.

The Tenant Fee Ban

The Tenant Fee Ban, known as the Tenant Fees Act 2019, came into effect on 1st June 2019. For those around the world who are unsure about what this means and how it might affect you, here is a little bit of information to make sure you know what’s what going forward.

 

What is the Tenant Fee Ban?

The Lost House
For Let: £2,950 per week

The ban on tenant fees, which was first announced in the Chancellors Autumn Statement on 23rd November 2016, and passed into law on 12th February 2019, applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), which were signed on or after 1st June 2019, regardless of the tenancy start date. For company lets or tenancies where the rent exceeds £100,000 per annum (Non-Housing Act Tenancies) – the Tenant fee ban does not apply.

From 1st June 2019 it is illegal for letting agents or landlords to charge fees to tenants apart from a small number of fees which are referred to as ‘permitted payments’.

 

But what are permitted payments?

 

  • Rent

 

  • Council tax

 

  • Utilities – such as electricity, gas or other fuel, water or sewerage, if this is clear in the tenancy agreement.

 

  • Communication services – telephone (other than a mobile), internet, cable/satellite television, if this is clear in the tenancy agreement.

 

  • TV Licences – A payment that a tenant is required to make to have a television licence if the tenant is required by the tenancy agreement to make the payment.

 

  • Deposits – These will be limited to five weeks’ rent for any tenancy with an annual rent up to £50,000 per annum. If the rent is between over £50,000 the deposit is limited to six weeks’ rent.

 

  • Holding deposits – These will be capped at one week’s rent and can only be held for up to 15 calendar days, unless agreed otherwise in writing by all parties.

 

  • Making changes to the terms of the tenancy – These include change of occupants and will be capped at £50 unless the landlord can demonstrate that greater costs were incurred.

 

  • Lost keys – The tenant can be the charged the actual cost of a lost key as well as the cost of the call out charge of a locksmith, if required.

 

  • Rent arrears – If the tenant falls in to rent arrears of 14 days or more, interest at 3% over the Bank of England Base Rate can be charged, back dating it to day 1 of arrears.

What you need to know for your current tenancy?

If the tenancy you are currently in is an AST and was signed before 1st June 2019, the Landlord / letting agent will be able to charge the fees written into the contract (such as the check-out fee) up until 31st May 2020.

If a tenancy renewal is signed on or after 1st June 2019, the new fees will apply as explained above. On renewal the letting agent will also be required to repay any difference in the deposit amount to the tenant if they have paid over the new limit as detailed above.

I hope this helps and gives you a clearer understanding of the new regulations and should you have any further questions then please reach out to a member of our Lettings team on +44 (0)207 498 9580 or lettings@sothebysrealty.co.uk.

James Somers, MARLA
Head of Residential Lettings

 

North London – Spring Update 2019

The North London property market is known for its seemingly paradoxical suburban lifestyle that is indeed situated in the London metropolis. Living north of the river means you have access to the central business district but can still return to a house on quiet tree-lined roads with privacy and parking. We’ve recently taken on two blockbuster instructions. Marlborough Place, St Johns Wood, is situated only moments away from The American School of London (ASL), and has the added benefit of being on 3 floors only, large rear garden, indoor swimming pool and off street parking for up to 4 cars, set behind electric gates (The asking price is £11,750,000). Heathfield House would be ideal for a family that is looking for a stunning 18,500 square foot family residence, sitting on over 2 acres of private grounds (The asking price is £40,000,000) within prime Highgate. While London’s property market has slowed, gaining instructions like these tell us that the market has not come to a standstill and that there is opportunity to find something truly extraordinary. This is an area where celebrities, government dignitaries, and business elite come to call home. With all imaginable amenities, big-name international schools, and the potential for influential neighbours, people aspire to live in North London to grow their families and enrich their lives.

North London is also looking forward to working more closely with a charity foundation, keep on the lookout for the announcement in the coming months! We have a corporate social responsibility to be active in the communities where we live and work.

If you have a client looking to purchase a property, sell or rent, I would be delighted to assist. Please feel free to contact me

By Lee Koffman
Associate Director
N/NW London – Prime House Sales