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March 11, 2020

Propertymark reaches out to Government for guidance on Coronavirus

On the back of ongoing concerns in the sector regarding the Coronavirus, David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive raises the concerns of Propertymark to the UK Government in hopes for guidelines. David Cox raised the question of whether the Government will issue guidance for the sector on how to deal

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A-Plant rebrands as Sunbelt Rentals

A-Plant will rebrand as Sunbelt Rentals from 1st May 2020. This change brings all A-Plant’s brands under one banner and aligns it with the other operating businesses of Ashtead Group plc, which trade under the Sunbelt Rentals brand in the United States and Canada. Andy Wright (pictured), CEO of A-Plant,

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Everything small businesses need to know about asbestos

Many small business owners are unsure of what they need to know about asbestos. The material is widely known to be dangerous, but there are many misunderstandings about it, and what businesses are required to do about it. This is especially true of smaller businesses who may have only recently

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No More DNO Hassle

No More DNO Hassle

Kensa Heat Pumps have succeeded in securing their full suite of 3kW to 13kW thermal output single phase ground source heat pumps on the Energy Networks Association (ENA) Connect & Notify database. The move means British-based manufacturer Kensa has the largest number of ENA Connect & Notify approved ground source heat pump

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Sealants and Repairs Firm Creating 20 Jobs UK-wide

Sealants and Repairs Firm Creating 20 Jobs UK-wide

SD Sealants, the UK’s leading sealant and cosmetic repair company, is looking to expand its workforce after growing rapidly in the North of England. The Caldicot-based company, which provides sealant application, cosmetic repairs and tiling for homeowners, housebuilders and commercial businesses, has seen continuous growth for the past year with

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

March 11, 2020

Propertymark reaches out to Government for guidance on Coronavirus

On the back of ongoing concerns in the sector regarding the Coronavirus, David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive raises the concerns of Propertymark to the UK Government in hopes for guidelines. David Cox raised the question of whether the Government will issue guidance for the sector on how to deal with the Coronavirus situation or whether it will at least step in should local authorities start prosecuting landlords when landlords are powerless to act. David used the following example to explain his point: “If a tenant were to have the virus or be in a period of self-isolation, what happens if something goes wrong in the property (for example the boiler stops working). The landlord/ agent /contractor will not go in to avoid contracting the disease and spreading the pandemic. “However, that means there is a tenant with no hot water or heating for two weeks (or longer if the Government extends the period of self-isolation). This puts the landlord / agent in breach of Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (duty to maintain property etc.), any selective/ additional /mandatory licensing conditions, Homes Act 2019, Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) under Housing Act 2004 and open them up to unlimited liability and/ or a Banning Order.” David also raised Propertymark’s concerns regarding the consequential impact the virus will have on agents and landlords when getting themselves ready for the electrical regulations which comes into force in July. He flagged that Government may want to consider relaxing the deadlines to give both the industry and supply chain longer to become compliant. Propertymark hopes to receive a response on the issues raised soon and will keep the sector informed on any further progress.

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A-Plant rebrands as Sunbelt Rentals

A-Plant will rebrand as Sunbelt Rentals from 1st May 2020. This change brings all A-Plant’s brands under one banner and aligns it with the other operating businesses of Ashtead Group plc, which trade under the Sunbelt Rentals brand in the United States and Canada. Andy Wright (pictured), CEO of A-Plant, said: “Our rebranding to Sunbelt Rentals is the culmination of work to unify our UK brands under one powerful banner.” A-Plant’s businesses include Hewden Industrial, Live Trakway, A-Plant Lux, Rapid Climate Control, Mather+Stuart Power Solutions, Leada Acrow, A-Plant Rail, Tool Hire Express, A-Plant Powered Access, PSS Hire, Inlec, Evercal, Hoist It, Opti-cal Survey Equipment, FLG Services, Astra Attachment Solutions, GB Access, A-Plant Accommodation and Plantfinder. These businesses will all be branded as Sunbelt Rentals, and the company says each will have an identifiable sub-brand that recognises the services they provide.

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Everything small businesses need to know about asbestos

Many small business owners are unsure of what they need to know about asbestos. The material is widely known to be dangerous, but there are many misunderstandings about it, and what businesses are required to do about it. This is especially true of smaller businesses who may have only recently opened a business premises. Businesses are governed by the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 which hold a number of strict rules regarding what is to be done in order to control the substance and minimise the risk of exposure. It is absolutely vital that companies adhere to these rules, not only because asbestos can be extremely dangerous, but also because your company can be heavily fined if you do not follow the rules. In this article we take a look at the facts about asbestos and how this relates to small businesses. Asbestos use is illegal (but you can still find it) Asbestos was officially and completely banned in the UK in 1999, making it illegal to use the substance in any kind of work on residential or commercial buildings. However, this has led to a misconception that this means that asbestos no longer exists in properties in the UK. It is important to note that the ban was on the use of asbestos – there was no requirement to remove or destroy any current asbestos. This means that it is still present in many buildings that were built before 2000. So unless you operate from a property that was built after 2000, there is a chance that it could contain asbestos. The risks of asbestos exposure Asbestos has a reputation for being very dangerous, and this is well-founded. According to asbestos specialists Crucial Environmental “when materials containing asbestos become disturbed or damaged, they release microscopic fibres into the air. Once these fibres have become airborne, people working around the area can then inhale the particles into their lungs”. When these fibres get into the lungs, they are extremely difficult to remove, and while the damage doesn’t result in immediate danger, the damage is done over a long period. Ultimately, symptoms may not present for in excess of 20 years after exposure – but asbestos exposure is considered the direct cause of a number of conditions including various cancers and conditions affecting the lining of the lungs. It is necessary, then, for you to take asbestos very seriously. If you own a property… If you are the landlord of a business property then you have a duty of care to ensure that the risk of asbestos exposure is minimised to you, your employees, and any members of the general public. Ultimately this means establishing whether any asbestos is present at your property – usually through an asbestos survey – and having a plan in order to minimise the risks. If you have recently bought a property you should have details of any known asbestos provided to you by the seller. However, it should be noted that asbestos is not always known about. If you are leasing… If your business is leasing a property then it is important that you should check with the landlord over who is responsible for managing asbestos at the property. Once again, any asbestos found should be detailed to you by the landlord. However, you may be required to correctly maintain and supervise the asbestos under the conditions of the lease. You need an action plan If you are responsible for the asbestos in your property, then you need to have an action plan in place. This plan should detail any known asbestos on the property, provide insight into the condition of the asbestos, and also have a plan to ensure that the asbestos is not disturbed or to ensure that it does not deteriorate. In the majority of cases, asbestos in good condition is not a threat to health. It is only when the fibres are disturbed that it becomes dangerous. You can’t do it all yourself It is important to note that no matter what you need to do about your asbestos, you will need expert advice and guidance. Asbestos specialists can provide you with information not only about the asbestos and its condition, but also in establishing a plan that puts in the necessary precautions to keep every in your business premises safe.

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No More DNO Hassle

No More DNO Hassle

Kensa Heat Pumps have succeeded in securing their full suite of 3kW to 13kW thermal output single phase ground source heat pumps on the Energy Networks Association (ENA) Connect & Notify database. The move means British-based manufacturer Kensa has the largest number of ENA Connect & Notify approved ground source heat pump products in the UK – over 60% of the ENA single phase database – enabling simpler, quicker and lower cost ground source heat pump installations.  Kensa Heat Pumps’ Technical Director and co-founder, Guy Cashmore, comments: “Installers of heat pumps will be familiar with the complications, hassle and potential additional costs of a heat pump not being ENA Connect & Notify approved. Meantime, homeowners may not be aware that the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) requires evidence of District Network Operator (DNO) ENA approval. For heat pumps which are not Connect & Notify approved, this approval process could cost the homeowner thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of pounds, along with substantial delays. Kensa’s significant Connect & Notify status eliminates these additional cost risks for the consumer and hassle for installers; this is a fantastic opportunity for the UK’s adoption of ground source heat pumps.” The UK’s strategy for the decarbonisation and electrification of heat with heat pumps has prompted electricity network operators to invest in their networks to ensure capacity, safety, and asset lifetime. Many low carbon pathway predictions suggest a significant increase in heat pump deployment to achieve the UK’s carbon reduction targets – Scottish Power suggest 22 million heat pumps by 2035. As electrically driven technology, the mass electrification of heat with heat pumps will inevitably have an impact on the electricity grid; the ENA Connect & Notify approval identifies Kensa’s Evo and Shoebox ground source heat pump ranges to be of low grid impact, enabling their installation without any prior approval requirement from local DNOs. Connect & Notify approved heat pumps are deemed to be suited to DNO electricity supplies without the requirement for upgrades. Should in rare instances an upgrade be necessary, the DNO is obliged to supply this at their cost; the opposite is the case for non-Connect & Notify heat pumps, where the consumer is required to pay any upgrade costs. For installers, the consequence of non-Connect & Notify heat pumps requires an application for DNO permission prior to installation and connection, creating delays and approval uncertainty, and therefore also RHI uncertainty. The DNO decision takes into account how robust the electricity supply is at the installation location and the anticipated demand of the heat pump system on the electricity supply. If a DNO deems a supply upgrade is necessary, this is usually chargeable and can be very costly. Being on Connect & Notify eliminates the possibility of these charges and removes any delay while permission is obtained. To achieve ENA Connect & Notify status requires compliance with a strict set of standards limiting the maximum electricity demand of the heat pump.

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Sealants and Repairs Firm Creating 20 Jobs UK-wide

Sealants and Repairs Firm Creating 20 Jobs UK-wide

SD Sealants, the UK’s leading sealant and cosmetic repair company, is looking to expand its workforce after growing rapidly in the North of England. The Caldicot-based company, which provides sealant application, cosmetic repairs and tiling for homeowners, housebuilders and commercial businesses, has seen continuous growth for the past year with a new office in Leeds and the acquisition of sealant company H2O Sealants. The recruitment drive will see up to 20 new recruits, from experienced/ skilled workers to those starting out in the trade, join the company in order to keep up with a period of growth which has seen the business turn over more than £1million in what has been a record-breaking 12 months for the firm. SD Sealants has been involved in a number of significant construction projects in the UK, particularly in the North of England, including Liverpool FC’s training ground and Aintree racecourse in Merseyside, Lincoln Cathedral and the Dewsbury and District Hospital, Yorkshire. SD Sealants Tiling division recently won a prestigious contract worth £600,000 for contemporary flats in Bristol’s city centre and other highlights include Sir Thomas Rich’s school in Gloucestershire, which called on the tiling team to carry out a full refit of its swimming pool facility and the brand new York Stadium, home to York Football Club and York City Knights rugby league team, which is a £44m development boasting 8,000 seats. And, just last year, SD Sealants rooted itself in Yorkshire with the purchase of a new 2,600sq unit in Leeds last year as well as the acquisition of Leeds-based H2O Sealants. The new unit is at Gelderd Trading Estate, West Vale and will allow the business to create a real foothold in the North. The demand for work has grown significantly and more jobs will be created to make sure that future projects are also finished to the usual high standards. He said: “We set up our first office in the North two years ago and the demand for work has just grown and grown. We’re thrilled to be growing our team. We’ve already had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects around the UK and we look forward to welcoming some new members to the SD team who can help us to continue our hard work. “We’ve found there is a great deal of skill and expertise all over the UK and we’re looking forward to having some new faces on our team. We pride ourselves on having the best crew in the business.”  Launched in 1973, SD Sealants and Cosmetic Repairs originated as a family run business in Somerset that specialised in the supply and application of sealant. Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the UK’s largest sealant companies, with eight offices across England, Scotland and Wales. SD Sealants has extended its services to include cosmetic building repairs, tiling and as of 2019 has introduced both painting and decorating and marine repairs services to its portfolio.

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