WOW landlords have certainly seen some changes recently. So much so that I’m sure some of you are finding it hard to keep up with it all.
The government has been layering an ever-increasing burden on landlords, in particular with excessive levels of compliance and legislation. In the last 24 months, the level of additional workload has gone through the roof, to an unprecedented level and as such, we would like to make you aware of new regulations, so that you can be confident you are protected.
The 7 things every landlord needs to know to stay safe:
- Right to Rent – Under s.22 of the Immigration Act of 2014, as a landlord, you have a responsibility to restrict illegal immigrants accessing the private rented sector. Landlords are responsible for checking tenant’s right to rent and also their right to remain in the UK, by checking your tenants’ immigration status annually or on expiry. The maximum penalty a landlord can face for non-compliance is up to £3,000 per tenant and/or a custodial sentence.
- De-Regulation Act 2015 - A number of changes were introduced as a result of this Act, to include prescribed information in respect of deposit registration, time limits in relation to the service of s.21 notices and the introduction of ‘retaliatory eviction’. You as a landlord maybe unable to request possession of your property under s.21 if you have failed to comply with any of the many prescribed legal requirements under this act.
- Tenancy Deposit Legislation - In April 2007 it became law (Housing Act 2004) that all deposits collected by Landlords or Agents, [even renewing an AST] need to be registered in either a custodial scheme or an insurance based scheme. These schemes protect all deposits on Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England & Wales. The Deposit Legislation was further clarified March 2015. If a Landlord fails to comply with the deposit legislation they may be ordered by the courts to return or protect the deposit AND ALSO pay the Tenant NO LESS than one times the value of deposit or up to three times the deposit value, further penalties may include being unable to serve a s.21 notice, until the deposit breach has been remedied.
- Smoke Alarm Regulations – All rented properties are required to have a smoke alarm fitted to each floor of the dwelling. Where there is a solid fuel appliance, the requirement is to include a carbon monoxide alarm. Landlords have an obligation to evidence that these alarms are tested and working on day on move-in. Failure to do so is in breach of regulations and can prevent you from serving a s.21 notice and you can forfeit your right to regain possession.
- How to Rent Guide – This guide was introduced in October 2015; there is a statutory requirement that all new tenants must be issued with a copy prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Failure to comply could render a landlord unable to request possession of their property under s.21 notice.
- Statutory Periodic Tenancies – If your tenancy agreements allow your tenant to continue in occupation on a Statutory Periodic basis, you as the landlord become liable for the Council Tax at the point the fixed term expires.
- New EPC Regulations - The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 establish a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property in England and Wales. This means that, from April 2018, landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants. These requirements will then apply to all private rented properties in England and Wales – even where there has
If you’d like to find out more please get in contact with the Coventry Office.
You can reach us on 02476 691 691