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Bringing a “Spark” to 2021

October 2020 Property News

In her first article, Ellie Ramwell provides a guide to the new regulations for Electrical Safety Standards: In June 2020 the new Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector (…

Bringing a “Spark” to 2021
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Bringing a “Spark” to 2021

October 2020 News

In her first article, Ellie Ramwell provides a guide to the new regulations for Electrical Safety Standards:

In June 2020 the new Electrical Safety Standards in the private rented sector (England) came into force. This being said, the new regulations are applicable to all new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and to existing tenancies from the 1st April 2021.

These regulations will apply to assured shorthold tenancies, multiple occupation (HMOs) and licenses to occupy with exceptions to regulations including social housing, lodgers, those on long lease of seven years or more, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.

Landlords must have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is “qualified and competent”, at least every five years. A copy of the electrical safety report must be provided to the tenants and to their local authority if requested. Breaches of regulation could result in financial penalties of up to £30,000.

PFK manage a number of residential properties across broad range of sectors and we are currently in the process of ensuring all our managed properties are and will be compliant with the new regulations set to come in next spring.

If you have a residential property you are thinking of opening up to the rental market please feel free to contact us in order to make sure the property is compliant prior to securing a tenant.

If you would like to discuss any of the above or you would like an insight into how we can help you manage your property in the future please contact me via the details below.

T: 01768 866611

M: 07776958360

E: ellieramwell@pfk.co.uk

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme

October 2020 Grants News

Round 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme has been launched today. The application window is open until 4th November. This grant scheme, as in the past, is there…

Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme
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Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme

October 2020 News

Round 3 of the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme has been launched today. The application window is open until 4th November.

This grant scheme, as in the past, is there to help farmers improve their efficiency and benefit the environment by making available grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to purchase new equipment to help improve productivity and business efficiency. Grants will provide up to 40% of standard costs of the purchase price on an item. Therefore the minimum grant is £3,000 (which is the equivalent of £7,500 spend) to a maximum of £12,000 (the equivalent of £30,000 spend).

If you are interested in applying for this grant then please contact PFK Land Agency for further advice and guidance on 01768 866611 or landagency@pfk.co.uk

Six Month Notice Period For Residential Properties Introduced

October 2020 Property News

This month, Abi Wass, Assistant Land Agent, provides a useful update on new rules introduced for notices on residential properties. Further to changes introduced by the Government during the Coronavirus…

Six Month Notice Period For Residential Properties Introduced
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Six Month Notice Period For Residential Properties Introduced

October 2020 News

This month, Abi Wass, Assistant Land Agent, provides a useful update on new rules introduced for notices on residential properties.

Further to changes introduced by the Government during the Coronavirus pandemic under the Protection from Eviction Regulations, it is now a requirement for most residential landlords in England to serve six months’ notice in order to terminate residential tenancies (such as Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs)).

This rule was meant to expire on 30th September, but has now been extended until 31st March 2021 in order to provide greater protection for tenants during the pandemic and over the winter months.

The six months’ notice period for Section 21 notices will not however apply in cases of antisocial behaviour (4 weeks’ notice), domestic abuse (2-4 weeks’ notice), false statements (2-4 weeks’ notice), over six months accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice) or breach of immigrations rules (‘right to rent’) (3 months’ notice).

As such, eviction cases are to be prioritised by the courts so that those including the most serious cases can be heard more quickly.

In addition, new court rules have been agreed, meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

A Section 21 notice also now has an extended ‘shelf life’ from 6 months from serving the notice to 10 months.

In summary, the main change is that a minimum of 6 months’ notice will be required in pretty much most situations unless you have 6 months rental arrears or more.

Abi Wass

T: 01768 866611

E: abigailwass@pfk.co.uk

 

Crosby Ravensworth Common - Secretary of State Public Consultation

September 2020 News

The documents on this page support the application by the Crosby Ravensworth Commoners Association to the Planning Inspectorate for consent for fencing under Section 38 of the Common Land Act…

Crosby Ravensworth Common - Secretary of State Public Consultation
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Crosby Ravensworth Common - Secretary of State Public Consultation

September 2020 News

The documents on this page support the application by the Crosby Ravensworth Commoners Association to the Planning Inspectorate for consent for fencing under Section 38 of the Common Land Act 2006.

Details of the consultation process are in the following Public Notice:

Click here to view the Public Notice

The Section 38 consent Application Form submitted is below:

Application Form

The application form refers to a series of Appendices.
Please note that Appendix 3 and 4 provided below give the detail of the proposals, plus the feedback from the informal consultation process undertaken ahead of this formal application

Supporting documents for the Application are below:

Appendix 1 – Crosby Ravensworth Commons Register

Appendix 1 – Part 1

Appendix 1 – Part 2

Appendix 2 – Active and non-active graziers

Appendix 2

Appendix 3 – Proposals for Crosby Ravensworth Common, Bank Moor Common and Hardendale Common; including informal consultation feedback

Appendix 3

Appendix 4 – Map of existing and proposed fencing

Appendix 4

Appendix 5 – Landscape and Visual Assessment

Appendix 5

PFK welcome a Trainee Assistant Land Agent to the team at Penrith.

September 2020 News

In September 2020, PFK welcomed Ellie Ramwell to their Land Agency Team. Ellie has been appointed as a Trainee Assistant Land Agent in the Penrith office. Born in Lancashire, Ellie…

PFK welcome a Trainee Assistant Land Agent to the team at Penrith.
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PFK welcome a Trainee Assistant Land Agent to the team at Penrith.

September 2020 News

In September 2020, PFK welcomed Ellie Ramwell to their Land Agency Team. Ellie has been appointed as a Trainee Assistant Land Agent in the Penrith office.

Born in Lancashire, Ellie went onto study Rural Land Management BSc Hons at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester for three years. Coming from a rural background and a family farm, Ellie has always had a keen interest in the industry, from getting her “hands dirty” on the farm, to representing her club, region and county in Young Farmers competitions. Her passion towards Agriculture is evident.

Aged 24, Ellie moved up the M6 this summer to the “Heart of Cumbria”, Penrith. She has settled in well to the area and is enjoying her weekends visiting and exploring what she has described as “one of the most beautiful areas of outstanding beauty” She went on to comment “PFK have been extremely welcoming and I am looking forward to starting my career with the company in the fast moving time the industry faces ahead”.

PFK Head of Land Agency, David Stout commented “Ellie’s arrival adds further strength and balance to the existing team. The department is experiencing strong growth which has led to this appointment. We look forward t helping Ellie with her training and progression within the profession.

Looking to the Future

September 2020 News

In this article, Jo Edwards explores what's next for agriculture in our ever-changing world. As we are all fully aware the world is currently facing interesting and pretty…

Looking to the Future
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Looking to the Future

September 2020 News

In this article, Jo Edwards explores what’s next for agriculture in our ever-changing world.

As we are all fully aware the world is currently facing interesting and pretty unprecedented times. The UK agricultural industry is also facing upheaval that it hasn’t seen for many decades. It would be easy to look at the negatives, the lack of a trade deal at the time of writing, cheap imports and tariffs on exports, falling BPS payments, but these are things over which you have no control, so it is pointless using up vital resources and emotional energy worrying as they are outside of your control – yes you need to be very aware of these things, but do not get bogged down in them.

British agriculture is facing huge opportunities, and this is the time to take stock of your own business, and look to control those things into which you have an input.

This is an ideal opportunity to look at your business to manage risk and to look to maximise any opportunities which present themselves.

There are positives to look to – the removal of the Greening rules under BPS will allow more flexibility, livestock prices are holding up at present, a lot of the general public have seen British farming in a new light during the Covid pandemic and many people have been shopping locally, so it is not all doom and gloom.

During times of change those who are at the top of their game are always looking at their businesses to see where there are opportunities, and what cost savings and efficiencies can be made. With the reduction in BPS and possible tariffs on exports, all businesses need to be looking hard at their overheads and direct costs to see if there are any savings to be made in order to streamline their enterprises to ensure a viable future.

The face of farming is going to have to change, with the now well heard phrase of “public money for public goods” being here to stay. Farmers need to think outside the box as to what their farm holding has to offer – be it areas of upland hill with peat soils which capture carbon, less productive land which could be planted with trees, which benefit not only the environment but also benefit to the farm, rotational grazing with benefits both to grass production and soil health. None of these ideas are new or ground breaking, but now is the time to look at your business in light of future changes so that you are ready for whatever the next few years has to throw at you.

As the world changes PFK Land Agency believe it is vital that farm businesses seek professional advice and guidance to help them through the maze of what is to come, and sometimes a fresh set of eyes can see something which those who are immersed in the business have missed.

Jo Edwards MRICS

01768 866611

joedwards@pfk.co.uk 

Solar in Cumbria?

July 2020 News

As most will be aware, the continued growth of the renewable sector and its effect on the agricultural community continues to expand, providing further opportunities for those looking for alternative…

Solar in Cumbria?
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Solar in Cumbria?

July 2020 News

As most will be aware, the continued growth of the renewable sector and its effect on the agricultural community continues to expand, providing further opportunities for those looking for alternative income streams in their farm business or other potential land uses.

Whilst not entirely new to the area, there is now strong evidence of the gradual arrival of potential solar systems into the County which is now becoming a reality resulting, as much as anything, from the increasing levels of saturation of such schemes in the Southern and Midland areas, where climate in particular is more favourable.

Solar companies are increasingly looking at our area identifying sites that they consider to be potentially suitable to meet their criteria. This will often result in companies contacting land owners or farmers directly, looking to engage in discussions upon the potential for installing solar farms on their land.

As with any renewable schemes, there can be significant gains to be had from entering into such arrangements as well as some risks. The risks however can be greatly mitigated by the taking of experienced, professional advice on the potential implications of entering into any arrangements.

Such advice should also include consideration on the potential tax implications as well as the practical and financial elements arising.

The choice of operator is also highly significant with proven track record and financial security being of primary importance when entering into any long-term arrangement.

The better operators are also willing to meet farmer’s and land owner’s professional fees arising from negotiations which reduces the extent of any risk to those considering such ventures.

As we head towards the end of what has been a very wet July, some may question whether solar really has a place in our County, however this does not tell the entire picture as with improvements in both equipment and it’s efficiency, there is definitely scope for such ventures in our area which may well provide significant financial attraction as well as further opportunities to obtain different income streams to the business.

If you have either already received approaches or would consider wishing to promote land for this use then do get in touch as we would be delighted to help.

David Stout

01768 866611

davidstout@pfk.co.uk

BPS 2021 Rule Changes

July 2020 BPS News

The RPA have announced that for BPS claims in England as from 2021, claimants will not have to comply with Greening requirements. This means that there will be no three…

BPS 2021 Rule Changes
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BPS 2021 Rule Changes

July 2020 News

The RPA have announced that for BPS claims in England as from 2021, claimants will not have to comply with Greening requirements.

This means that there will be no three crop rule or Ecological Focus Areas required from 2021.

For further information on grants and subsidies, contact Jo Edwards on 01768 866611.

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020

June 2020 Property News

Many Landlords already arrange for a qualified electrician to carry out regular inspections of the electrical installations in their let property. However, this is not currently law but rather best…

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020
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Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rental Sector (England) Regulations 2020

June 2020 News

Many Landlords already arrange for a qualified electrician to carry out regular inspections of the electrical installations in their let property. However, this is not currently law but rather best practice; this is set to change.

On 1st June 2020, the UK Government released their guidance on the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector. This places a duty on Landlords to ensure that rented property meets the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations (the national standard to which all domestic wiring must conform).

Landlords in the private rented sector must ensure that electrical installations in their let property(s) are tested at intervals of no more than 5 years by a qualified electrician. Testing will focus on the fixed electrical installation i.e. sockets, light fittings, consumer unit, fuse box etc.

In England the regulations apply to:
• New tenancies from 1st July 2020
• Existing tenancies from 1st April 2021

The regulations cover most forms of tenancies, including Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’s). There are some exemptions, including long leases of seven years or more, however these may have their own regulations.

The electrician testing the installation must be qualified and produce an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) setting out the results of the inspection. The regulations require this report to be provided to the following people;
• For new tenancies, a copy of the EICR must be given to all tenants before they occupy the property.
• For existing tenancies, where an EICR is replaced, a copy of the new EICR must be provided to the tenants within 28 days of the inspection.
• Where a local authority requests the ECIR, it must be provided within seven days.

If a Landlord has already obtained a satisfactory EICR, which is less than 5 years old, and there have been no significant changes to the letting arrangements or the property, then the report will remain valid until the next inspection date specified.

It is important to retain a copy of the report until the next inspection.

If the EICR recommends any remedial work then it should be completed within 28 days of the report (or a shorter time period if specified). The electrician should then provide written confirmation that they have completed the work.

In terms of enforcement, this will be covered by the Local Authority. They will be able to fine private landlords up to £30,000 if they breach these regulations. Furthermore, if remedial works are required and are not carried out by the Landlord, the Local Authority can arrange for the works to be carried out and then charged back to the Landlord.

Covid-19 Restrictions
The Government recognises that due to the current restrictions carrying out electrical inspections may be more challenging, for example where a household is self-isolating. A Landlord should ensure that they have taken reasonable steps in order to comply with the regulations.
Key Facts
• 1st July 2020 New tenancies must have a satisfactory EICR to be let.
• 1st April 2021 All existing tenancies must have a satisfactory EICR.
• Certificates will be valid for a maximum of 5 years.
• Failed EICRs have 28 days (or less if stated by the electrician) to resolve any issues and obtain a satisfactory report.
• There is no upper spending limit for landlords when it comes to remedial works.
• Fines for non-compliance up to £30,000.

Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Act Now

June 2020 Grants News

Jo Edwards discusses why now is the best time to take advantage of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.  Now that we have passed the Basic Payment Scheme application deadline, our attentions…

Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Act Now
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Countryside Stewardship Scheme - Act Now

June 2020 News

Jo Edwards discusses why now is the best time to take advantage of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. 

Now that we have passed the Basic Payment Scheme application deadline, our attentions are turning to Countryside Stewardship (CS). If you are wanting to explore the options available and think you may want to apply for a CS scheme then now is the time to act.

You need to get an application pack ordered via your RPA online page by 30th June 2020. The deadline for submission of applications is 31st July 2020, so if you are thinking of a possible scheme now is the time to act.

Here at PFK we are fully equipped to help and advise on possible schemes, and will be able to undertake site visits to discuss options and put together applications, all whilst abiding by Government guidelines on social distancing.

We have experience of putting together a wide variety of schemes, from small holdings up to large complex schemes on areas of common land.

In this current climate of considerable uncertainty both globally in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic and also the considerable uncertainty there is within the agricultural industry on the back of Brexit and the phasing out of the Basic Payment Scheme, there is no better time than to look to the Countryside Stewardship scheme to bolster farm incomes while also doing your bit for the environment where you live and work.

Please remember, if you are thinking about Countryside Stewardship then now is the moment to act and get an application pack ordered before the end of June

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here PFK if you want any guidance or help.

T: 01768 866611
E: joedwards@pfk.co.uk

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