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East Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme

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e-Bulletin Issue 4

Welcome to the fourth edition of the new eBulletin.

A service for EMLAS landlords bringing you news and information on housing issues, legislation and training opportunities which we think you may benefit from.

Not an EMLAS landlord but want to receive the Bulletin, then to join our mailing list.

Note: EMLAS does not endorse products and services, but at times may bring to your notice services which may be of benefit or interest to landlords.

EMLAS Customer Satisfaction Survey

Results Summary

Emlas aims to provide a professional service that landlords feel is of benefit to them. This survey showed that 96% of the landlords were happy with the communication they received from EMLAS, and only 10% stated they would be “very likely” to cancel their membership if charges were introduced

Accreditation provides Landlords with an emblem of good practice. The findings of this survey show that 66% of landlords agreed that accredited landlords provide a better service to their tenants that a non-accredited landlord with 77% thinking that EMLAS landlords were more knowledgeable than non-accredited landlords relating on their role and responsibilities. This could be in part associated with the help, advice and training opportunities given to accredited landlords.

In conclusion it appears that Landlords are satisfied with the scheme and find it beneficial to them. The information gained from this survey will focus the project for future growth.

EMLAS would like to thank all our landlords and agents who took part in the survey. You can see the full finding of the EMLAS Landlord Customer Satisfaction survey.

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Student Safety

As many universities look to house students in the private rented sector landlords from year 2, landlords should be aware that this is sometimes their first experience of having their own “home” and often they need advice on basic safety tips.

In Nottingham last year 466 burglaries took place in private sector homes. It is in your interest to have your tenants aware of the risks.

To help you EMLAS has prepared a safety list for students:

  • 1. Lock it up Don’t give thieves the opportunity to enter the building by leaving windows open or propping open doors. Half of all burglaries happen because the opportunity is there. If you're in a private home or flat, lock it up whenever you go out.
  • 2. Be Prepared Protect yourself with good insurance which will cover the cost of replacing your goods if they are stolen.
  • 3. Mark it up Marking your property is a great defence against crime and can sometimes ensure that you get it back. Mark your property with your initials, postcode and house number.
  • 4. Put it away Don’t flash your cash, mobile phone, or laptops. Never leave them on a table or the back of a chair whilst you pop to the toilet. Keep cards and cheque books separate, and note down all your card and mobile details at home so you can cancel them quickly.
  • 5. Think when you drink Everyone is more vulnerable to crime when they've been drinking so be more vigilant and take care. Also, men and women alike can have their drinks spiked- so keep an eye on your drinks and leave it with a mate if you go to the toilet.
  • 6. Never Walk alone Thieves are after an easy target. Walk in groups at night, travel by taxi or stay over with a trusted friend. Your safety is worth more that the cab fare home
  • 7. Watch it Use cash machines wisely, in groups and during the day if possible. Put your card and cash away quickly and be aware of who's around you. NEVER write down your PIN
  • 8. Think Ahead Keep lists of the make, model and serial numbers of your electronic items to help police track them down if they are stolen.
  • 9. Open House? Don't put your name or address on your key ring. If it’s lost or stolen, people could have information that directs them to your property.

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Water companies adopt Private Sewers

October saw the introduction of transferring responsibility for all sewage pipes outside your property boundaries and those which are shared with another property within your boundary over to the sewage / water companies.

This should mean:

  • greater clarity over ownership
  • more effective management of the sewerage network; and
  • removal of the burden of maintenance from householders by spreading the cost across water and sewerage companies’ customer bases

How will my responsibilities change?

Previously property owners were responsible for everything up to the main sewer – including the connection. Now, all sewers outside the property boundary or shared sewers will transfer to the water companies. Property owners will remain responsible for the private drains within their boundary.

Will this affect the bills?

Yes, sewage bills will change. It is expected that the water companies will charge and extra £3 to £14 per customer per year – but this could be higher depending on the number of blockages and war and tear in pipes.

How can I reduce the risk of blockages in my pipes?

Collect kitchen fats, oils and greases in a container and dispose of them in the bin. Many people do not realise the harmful effects of disposing of fats, oils and greases (FOG) via the drains. FOG quickly solidifies when it hits the cool walls of the sewer and it sticks to the side. Other debris is then trapped and causes a blockage. With no way through, the waste water backs up the system, coming out of the drains, sewers, and potentially your property.

Having a responsible attitude to waste management in the home is very important. Flushing personal and disposable products down the toilet can cause huge problems - synthetic materials that are disposed of down the toilet cause over two-thirds of all blockages of the sewerage system and add to the problems of sewage flowing out into rivers and even into homes. To maintain your flush you should bag and bin cotton buds, ladies tights, dental floss, tampons and applicators, condoms, bandages and plasters, baby and other wipes and disposable nappies

Flushing fats, oils and greases down the drain contributes to sewer floodings, pest and disease problems and creates havoc in the sewerage system. Pour them into a FREE Fat Trap instead!.

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Tenancy Deposit and the new Regulations

Since the introduction of Tenancy Deposit Protection, a number of court cases interpreted the legislation which changed the whole meaning of why tenancy deposits should be protected. The cases changed the Court’s ability to award compensation for tenants against landlords who had failed to deal with the deposit as they should lawfully do. The new rules governing tenancy deposits are likely to come into effect in April 2012.

What does this mean for Landlords?

  • all deposits must be placed into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme - and there can be no exceptions
  • the deadline for complying with the scheme requirements will be extended from 14 days to 30 days following receipt of a deposit
  • information about where the tenancy deposit has been placed must be given to the tenant, or any person who has provided the deposit, within 30 days of the deposit being received.
  • Compensation can be claimed by the tenant if the regulations are not followed – this applies even where the tenancy has now ended.
  • There will no longer be a mandatory penalty - Courts will be able to use their discretion when awarding for an unprotected deposit.

If a landlord has failed to pay the deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days, they cannot use a Section 21 Notice at all during the tenancy agreement. Although these amendments to the Housing Act 2004 are not due to come into effect until April 2012, all landlords must be prepared for the change. No landlord should end up in the position where they are unable to evict their tenant because they failed to comply with placing a tenancy deposit into an authorised scheme.

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Dates for your diary……..

(please note attendance at any of the events listed counts towards your continual professional development)
  • Thursday 26th January.EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at the Denewood Centre, Nottingham. Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.
  • Monday 9 January. Northampton NLA branch meeting . 6pm at Hunsbury Hill Centre, Harksome Hill, Danes Camp Way NN4 9QX For more information contact the NLA.
  • Thursday 16th February.EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at the Kettering Conference Centre. Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.
  • Tuesday 13th March.EMLAS Landlord Development Day training day for landlords. 9.30 - 4.30pm at Loughborough. Book your place on this free training course for EMLAS members.

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