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Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Sign Up to the Green Footprints Challenge?

The Challenge covers the following themes –

  • Carbon Reduction;
  • Energy;
  • Travel;
  • Waste Reduction & Recycling; and
  • Biodiversity.

By signing up to the Challenge you are making a commitment to improving your organisation’s ‘green’ footprint.

for more infomration please see the green footprints challenge website.

Where Can I Find Advice on Managing My Business Waste?

We offer competitively priced trade refuse and recycling collections, and can offer advice on how to comply with relevant waste legislation.

Further information is available in the Commercial waste and recylcing section of the councils website, or by emailing karen.hulse@nwleicestershire.gov.uk

Where Can I Find Advice on Pest Control?

North West Leicestershire District Council can advise on pest proofing measures and can offer single treatments or contracts to businesses for pest control.

Further information is available in the pest control section of the councils website, or by emailing pestcontrol@nwleicestershire.gov.uk

How Important Is an Inventory?

The inventory is vital & probably your greatest piece of protection. Should you need to make a claim from the bond it is vital that the property is inspected before the tenancy begins & that both the landlord (or their agent) & the tenant have signed it.

It is this document that will form the benchmark should a dispute arise.

Ideally a similar exit survey should be conducted & if possible should also be signed by the tenant. This will leave only the costs of the remedial action to be decided & agreed.

What Are the Consequences of Not Protecting the Deposit

Where the landlord does not inform the tenant of the whereabouts of the deposit, the tenant can apply to the local courts. The courts can then order the landlord to either repay the deposit or get it protected.

If the courts wishes are not carried out within 14 days the landlord will be ordered to repay three times the amount of the deposit to the tenant within 10 days.

Futhermore where the deposit has not been protected the landlord can not evict the tenant using a Section 21. Therefore, by not securing the deposit you will not be able to get your house back and face a large fine.

What Happens at the End of a Shorthold Period

Assuming you are happy for your present tenant to remain you have two choices. You can either offer another fixed term contract & both parties, assuming they agree, will be bound by those terms for that period.

Alternatively you can let the present tenancy roll on. (Periodic tenancy)

By issuing a new shorthold the landlord gains the security of another fixed term but may incure additional administrative costs & will not be able to regain possession of the property until the end of the fixed period. In addition some agents may charge the tenant an additional fee. This can annoy tenants who may be less willing to renew next time.

By creating a periodic tenancy (allowing the tenancy to roll on) reduces costs & can make it easier for landlords to gain possession should they wish to.

What if I Rent Out a Room Out in My Own Home?

If you let out a room in the house in which you live yourself your tenant is treated as a lodger and has very few rights in law. You will not have to go through court proceedings to evict and you can adjust the rent as you please

What Insurance Do I Need?

The building itself is insured against most risks such as flood and fire for the cost or repair or rebuilding. Even risks such as terrorism or subsidence can normally be purchased as optional extras for added security from most insurers.

It is important to remember that you when you declare the value of your property you are actually estimating the cost of rebuilding it should it be totally destroyed (this is what insurance companies call a total loss). Most insurance companies work out a rate to charge the landlord based on the location of the property and then apply it to the amount specified to rebuild the building (which is called the Buildings Sum Insured). It is therefore cheaper to insure a building that is worth less than an expensive building which is as expected.

It is equally important to make sure that you do not underestimate the cost of rebuilding your property. If you have paid a lower premium by underestimating the Buildings Sum Insured, then the insurer will normally only pay your claims up to the proportion of the building that you have insured. For example: If your house is worth £100,000 but you only declare a Buildings Sum Insured of £60,000; should you have a claim of £10,000 then the insurer will only pay you £6,000 as they will deem that you under-insured. It is important not to be caught out by this by being tempted by lower premiums for lower Buildings Sum Insured.

What Safety Certificates Should I Have?

Gas safety:

You will be required by law to have all gas equipment checked & certificated by a registered Gas Safe engineer. All equipment must be certified as safe every 12 months. The consequences of failing to comply can be very serious with hefty fines or even imprisonment should there be an accident.

Energy Performance Certificate:

Each new let will now require an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). The certificate lasts 10 years, but landlords may consider having it reviewed should insulation improvement works be carried out or improvements to the heating system. A copy of the certificate must be passed to the tenant.

Electrical Equipment

If you let property you must ensure that the electrical system and all appliances supplied are safe - failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and may result in:

  • A fine of £5,000 per item not complying
  • Six month's imprisonment
  • Possible manslaughter charges in the event of deaths
  • The Tenant may also sue you for civil damages
  • Your property insurance may be invalidated
  • These regulations are enforced by the Health & Safety Executive.

There is no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical equipment as there is with gas, but it is advisable for landlords to have periodic checks done by a qualified electrician

Why Can't I Buy Normal Home Insurance for a Buy to Let Property?

By renting a property out to a tenant, you are effectively operating as a business, even if the income is very small. For this reason you must purchase business insurance, of which Landlord Liability is a subset. As a landlord you have legal responsibilities towards your tenants in a way that you do not have for your own home. A landlord insurance policy covers you for this.

Who Will Be Able to Apply?

Any home seekers on the Council’s housing register will be able to apply for any advertised property for which they are eligible.

What if I Need Help Completing the Housing Application Form?

Our staff are trained to help you complete the form. For further advice contact North West Leicestershire Housing Advice Team. Freephone: 0800 183 0357, or email housing.advice@nwleicestershire.gov.uk or visit our offices at Whitwick Road, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 3FJ

 

 

What Identification Will I Need to Provide?

Once you have filled in your housing application form you will need to provide all the information and documents requested (see the “Home Seekers Supporting Evidence Checklist” enclosed with the form for examples of what is needed).

What if I Don’t Have Any Photo Id?

Photographic proof of identity will normally be required in every case e.g. by supplying a copy of your photo driving licence, valid Passport or bus pass etc. If you have no photo ID, a copy of your original Birth Certificate or National Insurance Card will be accepted provided it is accompanied by a passport sized photo that is countersigned on the back by someone who can confirm your identity.

Please do not send your original photo I.D

 

 

 

Can You Refuse to Accept Me Onto the Housing Register?

There are some people who are not eligible to be included on the housing register. These are

  • people who are subject to Immigration Control under the 1996 Asylum and Immigration Act.
  • people from abroad who are not subject to immigration control but who are not habitually resident in the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland
  • people (including members of their household) whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to be a tenant.

For more detailed information contact Housing Advice Team on Freephone: 0800 183 0357

 

 

 

 

 

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