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Seven things every landlord needs to know in 2018

In the last two years, the responsibilities of private landlords and managing agents have increased dramatically. We would like to make you aware of new regulations, so that you can be confident you are protected. Failure to comply could constitute a criminal offence and in some cases a fine of over £3,000 per tenant and/or a custodial sentence.

  • The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

Landlords must ensure all furnishings provided (beds, sofas, chairs etc.) comply with the latest Fire and Safety Regulations. Failure to do so may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which carries a maximum penalty on summary conviction of a £5,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment.

  • 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’. A landlord maybe unable to request possession of their property under s.21 if they have failed to comply with any of the many prescribed legal requirements under this act.

  • Tenancy Deposit Legislation

In April 2007 it became law 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 in March 2015. If a Landlord fails to comply they may be ordered by the courts to return or protect the deposit AND ALSO pay the Tenant 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. Where there is a solid fuel appliance, the requirement is to include a carbon monoxide alarm. Landlords must provide evidence that these alarms are tested and working on move-in day. Failure to do so can prevent you from serving a s.21 notice and you can forfeit your right to regain possession.

  • New EPC Regulations

The Energy Efficiency 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 must ensure their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.

  • 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 the 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.

  • 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.

    Posted 31st May 2018