• Katie

7 Top Things Every Landlord Needs To Know When Renting In 2018

Updated: Nov 11, 2018

WOW, are you confused where to start with all the changes that has happened recently? Landlords have certainly had to be on the ball 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.

Confused Landlord - Principal Properties

The 7 things every landlord needs to know to stay safe:

1. 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. Therefore, 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.

2. 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 or letting agents have a responsibility for checking the tenants’ have a right to rent, by checking the tenants’ immigration status before granting a new tenancy. If the status has an expiry date this check needs be done prior to expiry before granting an extension to the tenancy. The maximum penalty a landlord can face for non-compliance is up to £3,000 per tenant and/or a custodial sentence.

3. De-Regulation Act 2015 - A number of changes were introduced as a result of this Act, they include prescribed information in respect of deposit registration, time limits in relation to the service of a section21 notices and the introduction of ‘retaliatory eviction’ (when a landlord tries to evict a tenant after reports of repairs or complain about conditions of the property) A Landlord maybe unable to serve a section21 requesting possession of your property if you have failed to comply with any of the many prescribed legal requirements under this act.

4. Tenancy Deposit Legislation - In April 2007 it became law (Housing Act 2004) that all deposits collected by Landlords or Agents, need to be registered in either a custodial scheme or an insurance based scheme, this was even mandatory when renewing an existing tenancy. These schemes were put in place to protect all deposits on Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England & Wales and to stop rouge landlords from refusing the return of the deposit. If a Landlord fails to register a deposit with a relevant scheme they may be ordered to pay a minimum of one times the value of the deposit but a maximum of three times the deposit. Further penalties may include being unable to serve a section21 notice, until the deposit breach has been rectified.

5. 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 section21 notice.

6. Smoke Alarm & Carbon Monoxide 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 upon the day the tenants move-in. Failure to do so is in breach of regulations and can prevent you from serving a section21 notice and you can forfeit your right to regain possession.

7. 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.

If you’d like to find out more please get in contact with us on 0333 772 0718

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