Housing officials slapped the landlord and property manager with a legal notice asking them to take action after the tenants complained to Lewisham council in south London in November 2021 about the leak from the bathroom ceiling. 
The bathroom ceiling collapsed two weeks later as a result of no repairs being made despite repeated council warnings. 
The occupants had to be relocated into temporary housing because the collapse prevented them from accessing the bathroom and caused a power failure in the apartment. 
 
A £4,067.83 fine was imposed after the landlord admitted to ignoring the initial repair notice. 
 
A spokesperson for Lewisham council said “We are committed to helping private renters in Lewisham and taking action against landlords who flout the law. Everyone has a right to a good-quality, safe place to live, and we’ll keep fighting to raise expectations in the private-rental market.” 
 
At Coast & County Group, because of the relationships we build with both landlords and tenants, neither party would have faced going to court or paying a fine. We are committed to educating our landlords and ultimately save them money in situations like this. By working with the tenant and making the landlord aware of the situation, we would have found a solution before it ever getting as far as it did in the case above. 
 
Had the situation got to the point where the tenants couldn’t have access to the bathroom or electricity, it would then be referred to our partner, Kevin Cook, Loss Assessor for Aspray Ltd. Kevin would liaise with the insurance company to ensure the highest possible payout from the insurance company and instruct a team to carry out the repairs. Paying the excess on an insurance claim would be significantly less money and stress caused by the lack of knowledge or care from the landlord. 
 
Landlords have a responsibility to their tenants to provide good quality, safe homes and when these responsibilities are not met, that’s when relationships break down. Coast & County Group prides itself on meeting and exceeding both tenant and landlords’ needs, it’s at the heart of what we do. 

THINKING OF SELLING YOUR PROPERTY WITH A LOW EPC? 

Landlords and property owners are being warned that houses with low levels of energy efficiency could need a price cut in order to sell. 
 
The government legislation states that by 2025, rental properties must have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) of C and above. According to Rightmove, purchasers will try to negotiate price reductions on homes with the lowest EPC ratings in the upcoming years to account for the costs of making upgrades. 
 
Improving a property’s EPC is to enable the government’s commitment to the UK becoming net zero by 2050. Promoting clean energy, will lessen Britain’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and will shield consumers from global price increases. Something that we’re all feeling the pinch on at the moment; with energy prices set to rise even further in October. 
 
The amount of properties that are now below an EPC grade of C and the costs associated with fixing this pose an urgent problem. It is believed that the government’s proposals to require landlords to make necessary improvements to bring their properties up to an EPC rating of C will, in the short term, result in more stock shortages and higher rents. 
 
An easy, affordable way to help raise an EPC is to introduce LED lighting throughout the property. Something we’ve discovered and use in our own home are motion sensor lighting. The ones we use automatically detect movement and stay on for around 20 seconds, they’re charged by USB and each charge lasts around a month, they also don’t come on during the day, which is really clever, they’re magnetic so you can stick them anywhere and they look pretty cool too! 

PETS IN LETS 

For anyone that hasn’t heard, landlords will be forced to permit pets in their rental properties, according to the new government whitepaper published last month. Tenant’s requesting to be allowed pets will be subject to consideration by the landlord but is not allowed to refuse under unreasonable circumstances. 
 
In 2021, the English Private Landlord Survey found that 45% of landlords said they would not rent to tenants who had pets. Because of this, some people have had to give up their cherished pets when they move, while others have been denied the opportunity to bring a pet into the house that may improve people’s both mental and physical wellbeing. Pets may bring their owners joy, happiness, and comfort as well as help their emotional and physical welfare, even through trying times, according to the government’s Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper. 
 
This change is a part of the government’s larger initiative to better the lives of tenants, 2.8 million of whom, according to the government, are housed in buildings “unfit for the 21st century.” 
 
The government legislation is to guarantee landlords do not unfairly deny consent when a tenant wishes to have a pet in their house, with the tenant being able to dispute a decision, according to the plans, which go on to provide further specifics. 
 
The government states, “additionally, we will make it simpler for landlords to allow pets by adding pet insurance to the list of authorised payments in the Tenant Fees Act 2019 amendment. So that any harm to their property is protected, landlords will be entitled to demand pet insurance.” 
 
What are your thoughts on any of our topics in today’s blog? We’d love to hear your thoughts 
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