Landlord legal compliance update

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Are you compliant as a landlord with all the regulations that are needed? These are forever changing and we point out below some compliance you will need to know as a landlord and what the consequences are.

Deposit registration.

There have been a lot of recent cases where landlords have failed to register their deposit. This has no defence when it comes to not registering a deposit and the fines can be quite substantial. There are various recent court cases where landlords have been fined for not only the initial breach of not registering the deposit but every time there is a renewal. Or when the tenants go on a month to month contract commonly known as a statutory contract. Many landlords aren’t aware that they could be liable up to thousands of pounds of fines rather than the statutory three times the deposit. We would suggest you contact your solicitor if you haven’t registered your deposit to discuss it with them.

Energy Performance Certificate.

Many landlords aren’t aware that Energy Performance Certificates are still required for their properties and some don’t even have them at all. Not only would you not be able to serve a notice on your tenant to ask them to vacate you would also be potentially liable to up to a £5,000 fine. Speak to your solicitor regarding the issue.

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Gas Safety Checks.

Many landlords do carry out a gas safety check in respect of their property what they don’t then realise is they have to serve it on the tenant within 30 days thereafter. It has to be acknowledged by the tenant or at least hand delivered to the tenant. This can affect you serving a notice on a tenant at a later date and you should ensure your gas safety is served on the tenant.

New smoke and carbon monoxide rules are imminent.

You are reminded that since October 2015 there has been a legal requirement for a smoke alarm to be fitted on every floor of a property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation. There must also be a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel such as wood, coal or biomass is being burned and that includes open fires although not gas.

Landlords and agents are also expected to ensure that alarms work at the start of each new tenancy.

However, there are new resume rules outlined by the housing minister that will now include the following;

  1. Carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance. (Excluding gas cookers) in both private and social rented houses.
  2. Carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory upon installing any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers) in all tenures through building regulations.
  3. Private and social landlords will be expected to pay and replace the alarms once they are informed they are faulty.

This means if you have a gas boiler in a property then you will be required to install a carbon monoxide detector. You should ensure this is done as soon as is possible as the law is due to change.

National Landlord Register – It’s coming soon.

The Government has given some indication of what will be expected when the national landlord register will be put in place. Whilst it has been accepted this could be a few years off, it may be bought forward earlier than landlords think. This is due to the Government already starting to advertise the role. Searching for a person to deal with the adjudication of a national landlord register. The Government will use the landlord register to impose fines and restrictions on landlords in future through the register.

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Electrical Installation Condition Reports.

The above commonly known as EICR’s have been mandatory for some considerable time. Any landlords that haven’t already carried these out are in breach of the law. Not only will they not be able to serve any notice on the tenant or ask them to leave but they can be fined. A recent unnamed landlord was fined £1600 by the local authority who had not carried out these checks.

The EICR report should have been completed on or around the 1st April 2020 by a competent and suitably qualified electrician. Showing that the electrical installation in the property was save and a copy provided to the tenant.

Right to rent checks.

The Government has again changed the rules when it comes to Right to rents and what is required by tenants. These rules have forever been changing during Covid and have recently been updated again. The link is as follows – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-rent-document-checks-a-user-guide/right-to-rent-checks-a-guide-to-immigration-documents-for-tenants-and-landlords-accessible.

It is so important landlords are aware of what their requirements are. Because, again they wouldn’t be able to serve any notice without the correct documents.

The above is just a small selection of the current requirements that landlords have to enter into. This ensures their properties are correctly managed. Not only could you be fined and potentially even banned as a landlord. But this includes not being able to rent out your property. Also in future your insurance may not pay out if you are not legally compliant. It is therefore so important that you ensure you are fully compliant with the law.

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