Congratulations to Andrew Hargadon winner of Deacons Quarter 4 Prize Draw
Date posted: 06.02.2013
Deacon would like to congratulate Andrew Hargadon of Burns Property Management for winning an Apple IPAD
Andrew was presented with the Ipad by Adrian Potter (Sales Manager, Deacon).
Andrew’s name was drawn out of the hat from all entrants that attended the same industry events as Deacon during the 4th Quarter
including PMAS, ARMA, FPRA AGM and Bournemouth Landlords and Lettings Show.
New Forest Nightstop wins a National Lottery Award!
Date posted: 07.12.2012
Our hearty congratulations go to Jude Todd and all the team at New Forest Nightstop on their fantastic National Lottery Award!
Deacon’s Marketing Manager, Dave Hitchins joined New Forest Nightstop hosts, fundraisers, service users and Bournemouth University’s Media School students at Ringwood council offices to see Nightstop’s Jude Todd being presented with a National Lottery Award by BBC TV presenter Jenni Falconer. (Pictured below)
The award is the result of public nominations and Jude will be appearing on the BBC’s Saturday night lottery programme on the 8th December – we are all so proud of Jude and her team and we’re really excited!
Congratulations to Bev Squire at Essex Properties Ltd for winning ‘Property Manager of the Year’
Date posted: 01.11.2012
Congratulations go from the Deacon Insurance team to Bev Squire at Essex Properties Ltd who, against strong competition, has won the ‘Property Manager of the Year’ award at the Negotiator Awards 2012.
With a judging panel consisting of top industry experts and awards presented by impressionist and comedian, Jon Culshaw, the glittering ceremony took place in the Grand Ballroom of the London Hilton on Park Lane. Deacon’s David Fitzgerald said, ‘The whole of the Deacon team is delighted for Bev and she fully deserves this award for all the hard work she does.’
MMA Changes its name!
Date posted: 01.10.2012
Covéa Insurance plc was formed in 2012 through the merger of Provident Insurance and MMA Insurance, two well established insurers with a combined experience of over 100 years in the UK insurance market. Covéa Insurance plc is a financially secure, well established UK insurer with a Standard and Poors rating of A- Stable and 1.1 million policyholders**.
Covéa Insurance plc is part of the Covéa Group; a leading French Mutual Insurer with assets of €71bn, 10.7m members and customers and over 25,000 employees*.
*As at the end of 2010 ** As at the end of 2011
Deacon insures major new Battersea development
Date posted: 27.06.2012
Bournemouth-based blocks of flats insurance broker, Deacon, has announced that it has won a contract to insure a major new residential block; the Regent, situated in London’s trendy Battersea.
Built on a brown-field site, 200m from the Thames and situated close to one of the capital’s best known landmarks, the iconic Battersea power station; the Regent is a new-build development by Linden Homes comprising 108 residential and commercial units.
Managing Agent, Pentland Estate Management Limited has awarded insurance of all four phases of the build to Deacon with the final phase having just been completed.
Pentland Managing Director, Mike Rajfur says, “The Regent is a large development that includes private residential, affordable housing and commercial use and is typical of the sort of mixed-use development that Linden Homes asks us to manage.
We’ve been working with Deacon for about a year, during which time they’ve developed a service, which through application and delivery of quality, has established Deacon as a group preferred supplier”..
Deacon’s New Business Account Executive, Hannah Baker says, “Deacon’s experience of this type of risk has been key in helping us grow our relationship with Pentland and we are delighted to continue working with them, as they secure new and interesting management contracts.”
New HSE Guidance on Portable Electrical Appliance Testing
Date posted: 10.05.2012
“It's a myth that all portable electrical appliances in a low-risk environment, such as an office, need to have a portable appliance test (PAT) every year”, says the HSE as it introduces revised guidance on PAT testing.
The law simply requires employers to ensure electrical equipment is sufficiently maintained in order to prevent danger - it doesn't state what needs to be done or how often.
This revised leaflet explains the simple and sensible precautions that need to be taken to prevent danger from portable or movable electrical equipment in low-risk environments such as offices, shops, some parts of hotels and residential care homes. It also provides examples of this sort of equipment to help you to decide what you need to do to maintain portable appliances in your workplace.
“Maintaining portable electrical equipment in low-risk environments” and HSE reference INDG236(REV2) can be downloaded here.
Flash flood warning Vs Hose pipe ban!
Date Posted: 12.04.12
The majority of the east of the country, from the Humber to Kent, is in drought and the met office reports that we are in desperate need of rain! Media advises there are penalties enforced for using hosepipes; yet with April showers inevitable for the next few weeks the prospect of rain is now perceived to be more of a danger than a blessing.
The environment agency has warned that at the end of the summer the ground will be baked hard which will increase the risk of flash flooding. Craig Woolhouse, the head of flood incident management at the Environment Agency, said families must continue to save water while considering the risk of floods in case of a sudden downpour.
The catastrophic floods that cost homeowners and insurers a small fortune in 2007 came after two years of dry weather made the ground impenetrable. You can review further information on our claims pages.
This morning the Telegraph advises that four months of sustained rainfall will be required to refill reservoirs and rivers; which are now lower than they were in 1976!
For further information on whether you are at risk, you can review the met office website here.
£18,000 saving on insurance and premiums, Deacon hits the mark
Date Posted: 28.02.12
Through a combination of industry knowledge and our strong buying power in the market place, Deacon has been able to provide the best possible cover and premiums for Essex Properties, saving them a huge £18,000, on their 257 apartment development overlooking the Thames Barrier.
Essex Properties is a family run business which has been operating in Essex and the East London areas for 31 years and comprises two divisions specialising in Residential Lettings and Block / Estate Management.
Carol Sullivan MIRPM, Director at Essex Properties comments: “From renewals, new business and training for our staff through to its in-house claims management and settlement, we really can’t fault any aspect of the service provided by Deacon. This latest cost saving has helped further cement the relationship between our businesses and we look forward to growing our portfolio with them for many more years to come.”
Read more here.
Date Posted: 31.01.12
It is expected that there will be severe night time frosts from the 31st January – 7th February, leading to a low of -8°c over much of central and southern England by the weekend. In addition to this the daytime maximum temperatures will also be particularly low, rising to barely above freezing from Thursday 2nd – Sunday 5th.
Deacon wins 'Highly Commended' in the PMA Block Insurer of the Year category!
Date Posted: 23.01.12
An update on a previous news story.
Just in case the Deacon claims team thought it was going to take all the awards glory this year, the whole business is pleased to have been awarded 'Highly Commended' in the Block Insurer of the Year category at the News On The Block Property Management Awards held at Lord's Cricket Ground in London and hosted by comedian Dominic Holland. Once again, Deacon was up against some strong competition and we are delighted to have been recognised by the PMA's independent judging panel for the third year in a row.
The award was judged on categories that included product innovation, customer satisfaction and quality of service. As well as out own entry, Deacon also sponsored the Regional Property Management Company of the Year award, which was presented to Warwick Estates Property Management by Deacon's Head of Business, Penny Jepson. Our congratulations go to Warwick Estates and everyone else who took part.
Buy-to-let mortages rise by 16%
Date Posted: 05.12.2011
The number of new buy-to-let loans increased by 16% in the third quarter of 2011, while the value of mortgages advanced in the sector increase 19%.
In the three months to September, a total of 34,500 buy-to-let loans were advanced, up from 29,700 in the previous years' quarter, therefore showing an increase in lending from £3.2bn to £3.8bn.
According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, these statistics show buy-to-let lending was at its highest level since the final quarter of 2008.
Out of the buy-to-let loans, 18,580 of them were for buy-to-let purchases, accounting for nearly 12% of all house purchase loans.
As at the end of September, there were 1,378,700 buy-to-let loans outstanding worth a staggering £157bn, up from £150bn in the previous year.
Risk assessment 'must be carried out before winter'
Date Posted: 16.12.2011
Bodies that have blocks of flats insurance in place could reduce the chances of needing to make a claim on their policy by getting ready for winter.
Zurich has called on groups in the UK to make sure they are prepared for extreme weather conditions during the winter months. This, it said, means they should carry out a full risk assessment of any buildings they own to make sure they are safe and able to run in the event of severe ice and snow, Post Online reports.
In addition, it said companies should put procedures in place to minimise supply chain disruption, as well as devise a back-up plan to ensure employees can work remotely if necessary.
John Scott, Zurich Global Corporate's chief risk officer, commented: "Snow and frost, flooding and storms and bouts of intense heat have caused property damage to businesses and in some cases resulted in businesses shutting down."
As a result, owners of residential properties such as blocks of flats could find it worthwhile to look at what steps they can take to continue providing an effective service during a severe weather event, which could in turn cut the likelihood of having to make costly insurance claims.
Zurich noted that a number of bodies can offer support and advice on what steps can be taken to adapt to extreme winter conditions, including the Environment Agency, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Met Office.
This comes after the Met Office encouraged organisations and individuals to keep monitoring weather forecasts and ensure any property they own is ready for harsh weather.
The organisation insisted that it "never too early to be prepared for winter", particularly as the UK can experience a variety of severe weather types during this time of the year. Last December was the coldest on record.
Extract: Organisations have been encouraged to make sure they are ready for harsh weather this winter.
Holiday lets to be spared EPC guidance
Date Posted: 02.12.2011
Following the Department of Communities and Local Government publishing guidance on the requirement of holiday home owners to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) it is believed that the Government is to let landlords of holiday lets off the hook.
Holiday homes which are rented out for less than four months annually will be exempt, as will holiday lets that are let under a licence to occupy, regardless of the occupancy length.
The Government is to publish detailed guidance shortly and amendments will be made to the Energy Performance of Building Regulations, housing minister Grant Shapps advised the House of Commons.
Landlords going for gold during Olympics
Date Posted: 01.12.2011
Letting agents in the City are being put under pressure from landlords and house owners, some of whom are asking huge rental prices during the 2012 Olympics.
The asking rents in some cases are already hitting six times the normal value, while some letting agents are being put on the spot because of legalities.
In addition, owner occupiers are often unaware that their lease may prohibit letting out their property and they might also need to seek permission from their lender or insurers and in some cases even obtain planning consent for change of use.
In some areas of London, properties that are already let out may breach local council requirements if they intend to become short-term lets of less than 90 days, which could lead to a fine of up to £20,000.
Olympic lets are hitting record-breaking prices, with one agent advertising a penthouse in Knightsbridge at £100,000 a week.
Not all agents are keen to cash in on the Olympic action however, believing this may cause a number of problems that include getting tenants to leave when the Games are finished and any tax implication
Online surveys and customer satisfaction
Date Posted: 29.11.2011
We have started to conduct regular online surveys to help us understand how we can develop new products and improve the services we provide. This is a quick and easy way for you to tell us what you think, so if you see a survey invitation in your inbox, it won’t take long to complete and we’d love to hear your opinion!
So far this year you’ve told us about the products you would like us to develop and given us direction about how you’d like us to communicate with you; the reintroduction of the Leaseholder was just one such suggestion, so this is the living proof that your opinion counts!
You also said that you’d like us to provide regular updates about the progress of your claims, so we’ve introduced a brand new SMS claims update service straight to your mobile phone, which is another quick and unobtrusive way to keep you informed.
We’ve recently introduced an online post-claim satisfaction survey to give customers a quick and easy way to tell us what we do well and how to make our service even better.
Deacon is nominated for the Block Insurer of the Year award
Not wishing the Deacon claims team to take all the glory, the whole business is pleased to have been shortlisted as finalists in the News On The Block Property Management Awards ‘Block Insurer of the Year’ category. We are up against some strong competition and we’ll let you know the outcome on the Deacon blog, which can be found here.
Deacon is also sponsoring the Regional Property Management Company of the Year award and we await the judges’ outcome with baited breath!
Pipe protection in winter
Date Posted: 14.11.2011
According to recent ABI figures, last year's December freeze saw 450,000 customers helped by insurers, with 103,000 claims for burst pipe damage.
A single burst pipe can cause havoc in any property and can lead to the collapse of ceilings and even result in months of repair and disruption in your home.
With this in mind and the temperature starting to drop, we'd like to provide you with some tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting this winter:
- If you're going away and the temperature is likely to drop considerably, keep your heating at a minimum of 15 degrees C for a few hours each day
- Ensure that sufficient lagging and insulation is in place
- Seal up any gaps around areas where you have your TV, cables or telephone lines to stop any cold air getting through
- Leave your loft hatch open - allowing warm air to circulate to the loft can prevent your water tank from freezing
- If you're planning on going away, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check your house at least once a week to ensure everything is as it should be
Bonfire Burglary risk
Date Posted: 04.11.2011
With Bonfire Night fast approaching and the clocks due to go back, property owners are being warned to beware of vandalism, theft and burglary.
Recent research has shown that reported burglaries increased by more than a quarter (26%) between 30th October and 5th November, compared to the remainder of the year.
We would therefore like to advise you to take the necessary precautions to help deter burglars from your home.
For hints and tips, take a look at our Burglary Advice page here.
Many start-ups at risk from lack of PI cover
Date Posted: 20.10.2011
A recent survey by PolicyBee has shown that many small businesses and freelance consultants delay purchasing professional indemnity insurance for around six months after initially setting up.
The survey also revealed that 39% of respondents hadn't purchased PI insurance at least three months after being in business. A further 20% of respondents waited a staggering two or more years before they purchased the insurance.
Those most at risk from delaying their purchase of PI cover were businesses involved with design, engineering or marketing and communications.
Accountants proved to be the most keen to purchase the cover, with a massive 90% buying PI insurance straight away, the remaining 10%, however, did purchase within six months.
Deacon has launched a professional indemnity policy designed specifically for managing agents that includes tailored cover and extremely competitive premiums - take a look here.
Source - Insurance Age
Lightning usually strikes twice
Date Posted: 19.10.2011
Recent research has shown that lightning strikes twice for nearly 1 in 10 people who make a related insurance claim, with property owners located in Wales and the West of the UK 89% more likely to suffer damage caused by lightning than any other location.
Not only did the research show that insurers have seen a 68% rise in him insurance storm claims in the past year but those living in Yorkshire are 142% more likely to make a claim caused by flooding.
Residents of Central Scotland, however, are 117% more likely to make a claim following storm damage and those living in London are 47% more likely to make a claim due to a falling tree.
With winter approaching and unpredictable weather looking to continue, it is important to check home insurance policies to make sure adequate cover is in place.
Energy Efficiency rental ban from 2018
Date Posted: 18.10.2011
Since 2008 it has been a legal requirement for landlords to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) prior to letting out a property.
From 2018 any private buy-to-let landlord whose property has an F or G energy efficiency rating will no longer be able to rent it out and there is now speculation that the Government may implement the ban two years earlier.
From 2018 landlords will be given the choice of either upgrading their property or removing it from the rental market.
Source - Residential Landlord
BIBA calls for the notification period to be increased on the Riots (Damages) Act permanently
Date Posted: 09.09.2011
The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has called upon the Government to permanently change the Riot Damages Act notification period from 14 to 42 days.
This call was made following the Home Affairs Select Committee's Inquiry - 'policing large-scale disorder: lessons from the disturbances of August 2011.'
BIBA's Head of Corporate Affairs Graeme Trudgill commented: "14 days is not a remotely realistic period for business to quantify losses and make a full submission under that Act, and there is no obvious necessity to have such a strict deadline. The move to extend this to 42 days in August was correct and we now want to see this changed permanently to help future victims."
BIBA have also pushed for the Government to provide advice for consumers and businesses on the value and benefits of insurance and what is specifically covered under the Riot (Damages) Act.
*Source - www.biba.org.uk
Increase in people investing in Buy to Let Properties
Date Posted: 01.09.2011
With lower house prices, the increasing availability of mortgages and most importantly, rental income reaching a new record high, there has been an increase in the amount of people investing in buy to let properties.
In the second quarter of 2011, rental income rose by 2%, reaching an average of £867 a month by the end of June 2011 and following on from this increase, research has also shown a 9.7% rise in the number of properties being offered for rent.
*Source - Residential Landlord
ABI and government in talks over riot compensation
Date Posted: 19.08.2011
It has been confirmed that the ABI are in talks with the House Office and Treasury to determine exactly which claims can be refunded under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886.
Under the act, insurers and the individual affected can be refunded for all legitimate claims relating to a riot, from the local police authority.
Prime Minister, David Cameron announced in the House of Commons: "On repairing the damages, I can confirm that any individual, homeowner or business that has suffered damage to, or loss of, their buildings or property as a result of rioting can seek compensation under the Riot (Damages) Act, even if uninsured."
The act outlines that authorities will pay out for damage caused by at least 12 people "riotously and tumultuously assembled."
There has also been confusion in relation to motor claims; these are not specified under the act however David Cameron has suggested that insurers can be refunded for claims from motorists with third party, fire and theft cover.
With confusion on where the funding will come from to compensate these claims, a government official advised: "Discussions are ongoing between the Home Office and the Treasury as to how this will be funded. There is no estimate yet for the total cost."
The ABI recently estimated the riots would cost around £200m in damages.
Source - Insurance Times 5-18 August 2011 issue
Riot claim notification periods causing confusion
Date Posted: 17.08.2011
Following on from the riots which hit our nation's largest cities last week, it seems a large majority of insurers have failed to adopt a blanket policy on increasing their claims notification period since the government made the decision to extend the notification deadline from 7 to 42 days, under the Riot (Damages) Act.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) welcomed the Prime Minister's decision on Thursday 11th following a revised estimation figure for claims likely to be paid reached well over the £200m mark.
The director general of the ABI, Otto Thoresen said: "We will work in partnership with the government, and share our expertise, to make sure the police compensation schemes work effectively and get compensation to people who need it quickly. It is important that, after the sad events of recent days, we do everything we can to help people recover."
If you've suffered loss or damage as a result of the riots, you may be able to claim compensation from your local police authority - http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Nl1/Newsroom/DG_198958
For further information on how the riots may affect your policy or how to notify us of a claim, please click here.
Prevent water damage in your property
Date Posted: 11.08.2011
The first signs of water damage might seem minimal, however these can lead to further problems, including roofing or floorboard damage, as well as damage to your personal property and prized possessions.
Recent research which has been conducted by the Association of British Insurers has revealed that nearly one in five claims made on buildings and contents insurance is for damage caused by escape of water, which is estimated to cost £2m every single day.
The research also found that in the past year alone, 371,000 claims were made costing on average just under £2,000.
Other has also shown that the most likely rooms to be damaged as a result of internal water damage were: kitchen, main bathroom, lounge and main bedroom.
Why take the chance in your own property?
We have created a useful advice page, where you will find what part of your property is most likely to be affected by water damage and most importantly, how to prevent it.
Learn more here.
Cost of major city riots could top £100m in damages
Date Posted: 11.08.2011
The Association of British Insurers has commented on the recent riots which have swooped over our nation during the past few days, saying the industry's liability could run up to "well over" £100m in damages and lost business.
The shocking riots started on 6th August in Tottenham; however since then they have reached some of the nation's larger cities including Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.
With Britain recovering from a recession, these riots have hit at a very fragile time, whilst smaller retailers have been hit the worst, the riots will undoubtedly affect larger businesses and tourism in the UK.
*Source - The Independent.
Change in Sewer Ownership Legislation
Date Posted: 11.08.2011
From 1 October 2011 sewer ownership laws for residential and commercial properties in England & Wales will change.
Currently if a problem arose with sewer or wastewater pipes outside your property's boundary but connecting to the main sewer, you would be responsible.
After 1 October 2011 you will only be responsible for pipes within your property boundary.
For more information please visit Consumer Council for Water http://ccwater.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/522 or www.directgov.uk
ABI warns against announcing holiday plans
Date Posted: 26.07.2011
With 35 million of us using social media sites, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is urging users not to disclose their holiday plans.
With a rise in burglary and an estimated third of all people disclosing their holiday plans via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it is important to ensure your tweets and statuses aren't providing this type of information.
Last year saw a spike in burglaries during the holiday season, with insurers dealing with 752 claims a day, making this time of year the busiest for burglary claims.
Source - http://www.insurancedaily.co.uk/2011/07/25/abi-warns-against-announcing-holiday-plans/
Rental income rose by 0.7% in June, reaching a new record high!
Date Posted: 21.07.2011
Rental income in England and Wales rose by 0.7% in June, reaching a new record high of £701 per month, meaning that annual rent inflation was increased to 4.1%.
Average rental income for properties in London reached over £1,000 for the first time, rising by 1%.
Not only has rental income increased but properties in London are frequently let within a day of being advertised and it seems there aren't enough rental properties to accommodate the high demand.
The past year has seen London rents increase by 6.9%, a faster rate than any other region of England and Wales. Steep increases were also experienced in the North East and the West Midlands, from 4.6% to 5.1%. The only region which saw a decrease in rents was the East of England, by 0.3%.
If property values continue to rise, property investors could expect to make a total annual return of 2.3% over the next year, an average of £3,776 per property.
Who would be your ideal housemate?
Date Posted: 20.07.2011
Following a recent poll organised by the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) tenants have revealed what type of celebrities they'd like to share a home with.
Singer and X-factor judge, Cheryl Cole, emerged as the most popular, with 1,000 votes.
Other celebrities ranged from Johnny Depp, footballer David Beckham and Lady Gaga, through to Johnny Vegas and Robocop.
Rise in crime statistics
Date Posted: 19.07.2011
The latest British Crime Survey statistics reveal a 14% rise in domestic burglaries over the past year, in a potential sign that the economic slowdown could be fuelling a rise in domestic break-ins.
The annual crime statistics show that thefts of unattended mobiles, wallets and purses from public houses, property from gardens and metal or industrial equipment recorded by police had risen by 10%.
Earlier this week a Freedom of Information request from insurer Liverpool Victoria revealed that only 44% of burglars were given a custodial sentence and of those who were not in prison, more than half (52%) re-offended.
Short-term lets in high demand
Date Posted: 19.07.2011
Short-term lets are becoming more popular with UK and overseas visitors looking for accommodation close to traditional annual events and with the Olympics set for 2012, Landlords are predicted to demand up to six times the price for short-term lets.
WA Ellis, the Knightsbridge-based sales and lettings agents have seen the rental market go from strength to strength and predict with the Olympics next year, short-term let prices may increase up to six times more.
*Source - Residential Landlord
Is your home address stored on your SatNav?
Date Posted: 18.07.2011
Are you aware that your small devices are providing burglars with the perfect opportunity to burgle your home?
SatNav ownership across the UK is believed to have increased to nearly half of the adult population over the last few years and a large majority of SatNav owners have their home address stored on their devices.
Technology is developing day by day and with a surge in burglaries across the UK, it is important to ensure your personal information isn't stored on your devices.
Short-term lets becoming very popular
Date Posted: 15.07.2011
Short-term lets are becoming increasingly popular and with many events and festivals planned this summer, now is the perfect time to start thinking about short-term lets for your property.
Short-term lets tend to last anywhere between one week and one month and can be an excellent opportunity for many landlords across the UK. Landlords in London and other Olympic venues around the country are expecting a huge increase in rental demands ahead of the 2012 Games.
To make your short-term lets run as smoothly as possible, follow these useful hints and tips:
- Meet the tenant - with short-term lets it is much safer to communicate with the tenant yourself rather than via an estate agent. This enables you to clearly outline your expectations, as well as handing over the keys in person and advising when you are going to collect them.
- Property preparation - ensure that your property is clean and all appliances are in good working order. As well as larger items, it is also important to ensure smaller items such as light bulbs are in good working order.
- Rent & Bulls - it is important to set a price and confirm this to the tenant to cover the rent and utility bills over the specific rental period, this will avoid any problems should there be any disputes over costs.
- Payment options - advise your tenant of how you would like to be paid. Ensure that the funds are cleared in time ready for the tenancy start date. Be vigilant when accepting cheques as a form of payment; these funds may not clear in time or in some cases not at all.
National Insurance fraud register launched
Date Posted: 07.07.2011
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has released further information on the national insurance fraud register, due to be fully operational by early next year.
The register which is funded by ABI members will be an industry-owned database enabling insurers to share information on known fraudsters. The trade body claimed the database will allow insurers to identify anyone who fails to declare any previous fraudulent insurance claims.
The ABI also advised that insurance fraud costs reach an estimated £2bn annually, leaving policyholders to pay on average an extra £44 a year.
MP calls for a national register of private landlords
Date Posted: 24.06.2011
Labour MP Phil Wilson recently gave a speech to the House of Commons, calling for a national register of private landlords. Wilson claims this issue has been on his agenda following meetings with residents from his Sedgefield constituency, who had voiced their concerns about housing and anti-social behaviour.
At the start of his speech he outlined how a register of private landlords might require landlords to take specific actions in the event of anti-social behaviour by their tenants. He also highlighted additional powers that could be given to private landlords and local authorities in cases of anti-social behaviour and a community fund to which private landlords would be expected to contribute.
Wilson advised that the basic problem is not with private landlords, as there are some very good ones, but he believed the majority are amateurs without the right skills to deal with being a private landlord.
The register could potentially be run by local authorities or housing associations or could even be outsourced to a third party. Sanctions for failing to register could include preventing landlords from serving 21 notices, rent payment orders or fines.
Government releases plans for sustainable building
Date Posted: 23.06.2011
The Government has released proposed changes to a planning policy that aims to increase building across the UK as well as protecting the environment.
Local authorities will be urged to create local plans which outline what type of building is most preferred in their area.
A National Planning Policy Framework will also ensure that any building proposals are in line with environmental regulations for sustainable development.
Housing minister Greg Clark commented "By putting this presumption at the heart of our new framework we will give the planning system a wake-up call so the right sort of development gets approval without delay."
Britain will become a nation of renters
Date Posted: 22.06.2011
It is believed that Britain is turning into a nation of renters following recent surveys, which could have major implications in the future.
Recent research revealed a high percentage of people had no plans to buy their own homes due to steep house prices and the ongoing shortage of mortgages and first-time buyers are expected to reach the age of 38 before being able to buy their own homes.
The research showed that 77% of non-homeowners still plan to own their own homes, however nearly half of 20 - 45 year olds believe Britain will become a nation of renters, just like the rest of Europe.
Landlords legally responsible for plasterwork
Date Posted: 15.06.2011
The New Law Journal has recently reported that Landlords are legally responsible for the upkeep of the plaster of a rental property, as well as the walls.
This follows a Court of Appeal hearing after a tenant brought despair claim against a landlord, complaining of damp and mould on the walls, however the landlord disputed liability of this claim.
The court held that plasterwork was included in the Tenant Act 1985, overruling the case of Irvine v Moran in 1991, meaning that private and public landlords, including local authorities and housing associations have a legal duty to maintain the plasterwork of their properties.
Landlord insurance a must for UK landlords
Date Posted: 10.06.2011
In this climate it is important to keep your property and tenancy safe.
Do you own a property which is not used as your home, but as a source of income for rental purposes?
If you do, are you aware that standard policies for buildings and content often lack sufficient cover? In some cases your insurance can be declared void if you haven't declared your property is used for rental purposes and occupied by tenants rather than yourself.
Landlord insurance policies from Deacon are designed specifically for anyone who owns a property that is used for rental income and we can arrange cover for properties let to professionals, students, Local Authorities, housing associations and holiday lets, as well as unoccupied premises awaiting tenants.
Having a Deacon policy can ensure you are protected should you need to make a claim whilst your property is occupied by paying tenants other than yourself.
Fire Safety Legislation warning to landlords
Date Posted: 08.06.2011
Following recent news of a landlord being fined £5,500 and ordered to pay £2,400 in prosecution costs after a fire at one of his flats, landlords and agents are being warned to make sure they comply with fire safety legislation.
An investigation was made into the flats and revealed serious fire safety deficiencies; however the landlord continued to rent out the flats despite them not having the correct fire precautions. The block of flats did not have an adequate risk assessment, a fully functioning fire alarm and fire detection systems.
Energy efficiency advice issued for UK landlords
Date Posted: 06.06.2011
According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), landlords with residential properties in the UK should consider measures to improve their energy efficiency.
The Government's Green Deal will enable many landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their properties with upfront financing. However, for those landlords who don't comply, the Government has advised that they may introduce regulations to ensure landlords improve their properties by 2015.
It is believed that the Government's aim is for all properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G are to be improved from that grading, which may be a challenger for older properties.
There are a number of ways in which landlords can make their properties more energy efficient and these include:
- Installing cavity wall and floor insulation
- Having effective loft insulation - Check the depth and quality, the recommended thickness is between 250mm and 300mm.
- Install lagging around water pipes and boilers to prevent heat loss.
New Marketing Manager
Date Posted: 03.05.2011
Hi, I'm Dave Hitchins and I've just joined Deacon as its new Marketing Manager. The sun is shining down here in Bournemouth and I'm really looking forward to posting all the news and gossip from Deacon and any interesting snippets from the industry, as it happens!
Getting ready for the PPS show at Olympia
Date Posted: 28.04.2011
Well, it's event season once more and this year we have decided to open with the Property Professional Show at Olympia, London on May 10th and 11th. We'll be running an exciting Red Letter Day experience competition during the show and if you'd like a chance to win, come and visit Adrian, Mark and the team on stand B39C!
Deacon is an Insurance Times UK Claims Excellence Awards finalist!
Date Posted: 21.04.2011
Great news - the Deacon Claims team has been shortlisted as an Insurance Times UK Claims Excellence Awards finalist.
Deacon's Business Manager, Penny Jepson and Claims Manager, Sunil Bhatt recently travelled to London to make a presentation to the Awards judging panel and showed video representations from members of the Claims team, explaining why they believe they should win the award.
The awards ceremony is on the 25th May and we'll keep you posted!
Deacon attends PMAS Dinner
Date Posted: 25.03.2011
We were delighted to continue sponsorship of the PMAS annual dinner which took place on 11th March at The Radisson BLU Hotel 301 Argyle Street, Glasgow.
Guests arrived at 6pm for pre-dinner drinks in the McConnachie Suite and the top table entered the room accompanied by a Piper - This was the first event held by Lorraine McDonald, the new president of PMAS. Dinner was then served following grace delivered by Alan Maxwell, the previous president.
Deacon was represented by Alysa Weiner, Business Manager and Chris Cadwallender, Business Development Manager.
The after dinner entertainment started off with 'The Truth Gospel Choir' followed by a speech made by Peter Brown, the previous chairman of the Scottish Building Society. Lorraine took to the stage and delivered a heart warming acknowledgement of the tragedy in Japan that previously unfolded that evening, Lorraine laid out her aspirations in taking on the mantle of president in these tough economic times.
The evening continued with further entertainment by Terry Neason and a final word by Martin Rochfort, Vice President.
For more information visit the official PMAS website.