Peace of mind for Lettings First landlords
If you have property to rent, it pays to come to Lettings First. We'll help you make the most of your investment by taking the hassle out of the rental market with our free services designed to give you maximum income for minimum fuss.
We have a growing list of people waiting to move into your property now.
Check out our fantastic package of benefits
If you're renting through us for one to two years, you get:
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* In most cases the LHA rules apply. See LHA section
Local Housing Allowance
From April 2008 the way Housing Benefits payments are made to landlords changed. New claims will be worked out using the Local Housing Allowance rates. This will affect tenancies which commence on or after 7th April 2008. If a tenant is already receiving Housing Benefits by 7th April 2008, they will not be affected by this new rule unless:
For tenancies signed on or after 7th April 2008, housing benefit will be paid directly to the tenants who will then have to pay the landlords, except in certain circumstances.
Local authorities will pay the landlord if the tenant is eight weeks or more in arrears with their rent. Direct payments may also be made when the tenant is:
This information can be passed to the Housing Benefits section by, the tenant, landlord, family or friend, or a suitably qualified person. This is not an exhaustive list as most councils are regularly updating the list of safeguards and guidance. Watch this space for more details in the near future.
The Local Housing Allowance is a system based on the property size (number of rooms), and location. The system will make it easier for both landlords and tenants to find out how much they will get for property in a particular area based on the room sizes.
Other rooms are not taken into account when working out the rate.
According to the Citizens Advice, this reform has made a significant impact in overcoming the problem of shortfalls between HB entitlement and rent owed. The DWP evaluation shows that in the pathfinder areas 58% of claimants faced shortfalls averaging £24 per week before the LHA was introduced. These figures fell to 39% and £17 under LHA. Each local authority will be divided into Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA). Rent Officers will set individual LHA rates for each BRMA. These will be published by the local authority so that landlords and prospective LHA customers can be clear about the amount of rent that property.To see the current rates (which change monthly) click on
If you have any questions about how the Local Housing Allowance will affect you and your tenant, you can contact our Landlord Services Development Manager here at Lettings First by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. who will be happy to try to answer all your questions.
Deposit Protection Scheme
As you are aware, new legislation came into force on 6th April 2007. This is known as the Deposit Protection Scheme.
Landlords and agents must now protect their customers deposit and can do this by either insuring the deposit or placing the whole of the deposit in a Custodial Scheme.
To make sure you are protecting your customers deposits and do not find yourself challenged on this new piece of legislation go to www.communities.gov.uk/tenancydeposit
For further information you can contact Lettings First where our team of officers will be happy to advise you.
In order to make things easy for our landlords, Lettings First is offering a Deposit Guarantee service. This means that Lettings First will not pass on the deposit to you, but will give a letter of guarantee for the whole of the deposit. At the end of the tenancy, Lettings First will release this deposit to either the landlord or tenant depending on the outcome of the tenancy checks.
If you require information on Lettings First's Deposit guarantee service, please call the office and one of the team will be happy to assist.
Private Sector Leasing
Lettings First regrets it can no longer offer long term leasing to its customers
CORGI IS BEING REPLACED
Gas Safe Register, the official gas safety body in Great Britain and the Isle of Man from 1 April 2009, is making the public aware that a big change is imminent – the CORGI gas register is going.
The campaign makes use of; public relations, TV, radio, national press, online and outdoor advertising to get the message about the change of gas register into homes.
The public relations activity has been ongoing since January, but with the theme ‘Big Change’, the national advertising campaign for Gas Safe Register starts from 30 March 2009.
Adverts are appearing in the Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and the Times. Large outdoor posters will start appearing at more than 450 sites across the country near heavy footfall national rail stations. Adverts showing around the perimeter at rugby and cricket matches televised on Sky TV from March to October 2009.
Radio adverts run from March to June on channels across the regions from TalkSport, Magic FM and Heart to Key 103, Hallam, Metro and Clyde 1. Gas Safe Register is running TV adverts with more than 100 spots during a week from 16 April 2009.
What information should the certificate contain?
As a minimum, the record of a gas safety check must contain:
Any gas safety record given to you after 1 April 2009 will only be valid if the engineer is registered with Gas Safe Register.
15 October 2008, Lettings First held its second Landlord's Conference at the Rity Cinema in Brixton. The conference was free to landlords and aagents and provided an opportunity for everyone to attend presentations on new legislation and network with other landlords and letting agents.
Chris Lee, executive director for Housing, Regeneration and Environment at Lambeth Council opened the conference stating how important landlords were to the housing strategy and Councillor Lib Peck confirmed that landlords had a large role to play in assisting with Lambeth's long term housing plans.
Many of the landlords who attended the conference were accredited landlords and Maura Butcher, one of the first landlords to become accredited said 'thanks for a great seminar - it was very worth while'.
For information on how to become an accredited landlord and take advantage of the many benefits of being an accredited landlord, please refer to our Landlord Accreditation section on the website. http://www.lettingsfirst.com/?id=81
click on the link below for pictures of some of the Lettings First team who where there on the day