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How to stay on top of new landlord legislation

December 1st 2019
By: Lauristons
How to stay on top of new landlord legislation

Continual updates to property letting regulations make it hard for the average landlord and tenant to remain legal.

There are more than 100 rules and regulations that you need to abide by to let out a property. Yet many landlords don’t know half of these rules – and nor do tenants. The constant updates to these rules make it hard for the average landlord and tenant to remain legal.

It is your responsibility to make the property safe for your prospective tenants. This not only includes repairs to the property, but you also need to comply with the electrical, gas and fire regulations, Energy Performance Certificates and more.

One of major changes recently in UK legislations that affected private rented sector was the Tenant Fees Act. Similarly, there have also been a few updates to the Housing Act 1988. As a landlord, here are the main things you really need to know and comply with –

  • There is a new regulation for eco-friendly standards for new properties. They need to have a minimum of an E rating for their Energy Performance Certificate. From April 2020, it will be unlawful to rent out properties with an F or G energy rating.
  • A copy of the government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide and a gas safety certificate must be given to your tenant at the beginning of their tenancy.
  • Landlords in England must undertake checks to ensure that their prospective tenants have the right to live in the UK before they let a property to them.
  • The Tenant Fees Act 2019 means landlords can reasonably charge tenants for issues where the tenant is at fault, for examples, loss of keys, security devices or for termination or changes to the contract. The act has prohibited charging for references, inventories, postage, phone calls and more. The act has also set a limit of 5 weeks rent for a security deposit at the start of the tenancy and has put a stop to charging tenants for renewal and admin fees.
  • GDPR rules must be complied with in relation to the tenant’s data which must be kept safe and secure.
  • You must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of your rental property which is used as living accommodation.
  • If you have taken a deposit, you must also issue it within 30 days: a deposit protection leaflet, prescribes information related to how the deposit is protected, a deposit certificate proving that the deposit has been registered.

These are just to name a few of the legislation and law compliances landlords must adhere to in order to avoid a fine, or worse. We are of course, always available for letting advice and help, just get in contact to find out more, and stay compliant!