Landlord Legislation For 2020Did you know during the course of the last 2 years, there have been 19 new legislative changes that effect Landlords and Letting Agents for tenancies in England and Wales, and the penalties and fines imposed for non-compliance have been on the rise.
How many of the below are you familiar with as a landlord?
Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020
The new rules will require a landlord seeking possession of their property to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of COVID-19 on a tenant’s vulnerability or whether they are claiming benefits. Information should also be provided on how the pandemic has affected a tenant’s dependents if any.
Evictions under the Coronavirus Act 2020
Emergency legislation passed in the Houses of Parliament means that from Saturday 29th August 2020 tenants have to be given six months’ notice if you wish to regain possession of your property. (new forms 3 and 6A have been updated and will be published tomorrow)
This includes possession of tenancies under the Rent Act 1977, the Housing Act 1985, the Housing Act 1996 and the Housing Act 1988.
The Deregulation Act 2015 Preventing Retaliatory Evictions – All tenancies from October 2018
This Act introduces new rules designed to prevent retaliatory evictions whereby a landlord evicts a tenant by the use of the Section 21 procedure simply because they have made a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 provide new flexibility in the timing of landlords’ annual gas safety checks and the date when the next safety check is due.
Housing and Planning Act 2016 – Banning Orders – Applies to all Landlords from April 2018
Banning Orders are part of a range of measures introduced in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to tackle rogue landlords and letting agents. The Banning Orders will force the most serious and prolific offenders to either drastically improve the standard of the accommodation they rent out, or
to leave the sector altogether.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019
The act enforces a ban on landlords, letting agents, or anyone acting on the tenant’s behalf in England to charge fees on top of the rent, except for a capped refundable Tenancy Deposit, a capped refundable Holding Deposit and tenant default fees.
Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s)
Mandatory licensing will no longer be limited to certain HMOs that are three or more storeys but will also include buildings with one or two floors. Any landlord who lets a property to five or more people, from two or more separate households, must be licensed by their local authority.
The rules also introduce new mandatory conditions for national minimum sleeping room sizes and waste disposal facility requirements.
Additional HMO Licensing
If the local authority believes there are problems such that there is a need to license certain HMOs not subject to mandatory licensing (such as section 257 HMOs or purpose-built flats situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats) it can designate a specific area as subject to additional HMO licensing.
The Deregulation Act 2015 Changes to Section 21 Notices – All Assured Shorthold tenancies from October 2018
There are new restrictions on serving Section 21 Notices early and a new template Section 21 form. The new rules also remove the need for a landlord to specify that a tenancy must end on the last day of a rental period; unless the tenancy started on a periodic basis without any initial fixed term where a longer notice period may be required depending on how often the tenant is required to pay rent (for example, if the tenant pays rent quarterly, they must be given at least three months’ notice, or, if they have a periodic tenancy which is half yearly or annual, they must be given at least six months’ notice.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
Landlords must not grant a new tenancy of a property (including an extension or renewal), nor continue to let the property (on an existing tenancy) after 1 April 2020, where the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties of band E.
Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018
Landlords and letting agents acting on their behalf must ensure properties, including common parts where they have an estate or interest, are fit for human habitation at the beginning and
throughout the duration of a tenancy. Tenants will now be able to take direct legal action if their agent or landlord does not comply with the Act.
The Electrical safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
Landlords must ensure:
• Electrical safety standards are met when the property is occupied
during a tenancy.
• Every fixed electrical installation at the property is inspected and
tested at least every five years by a qualified person.
• The first inspection and testing is carried out before new
tenancies commence on or after 1 July 2020 and by 1 April 2021
for existing tenancies.
Here at Oliver Jaques, as members of ARLA Propertymark and the Property Ombudsman, we understand the implications and repercussions of such pivotal change within the industry, and our experienced team are prepared for what lies ahead – so let us take the headache away and enable you to focus your time, on the things you like doing best.
Please get in touch with our Team if you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above.
*Disclaimer - all legislation was current at time of publishing but is subject to change at anytime