Are you thinking about becoming a landlord or are you one already? Karen English , Lettings manager at Hennings Moir provides advice to help keep all landlords up to date with lettings legislation
Deposits must be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Any deposit funds must be placed in one of the three designated government backed Tenancy Deposit Schemes (TDS) within 30 working days of a tenancy commencing or the deposit being received. Failure to do so is a criminal act and may make the landlord liable for a fine at court of up to three times the deposit sum. Putting the money into a separate bank account doesn’t qualify. Failure to place a deposit fund within a scheme will invalidate any Section 21 Notice (eviction notice) which the landlord wishes to serve.
Also don’t forget the Prescribed information & Government Help to Rent leaflet More info here http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/20/contents/enacted
Tenants can report poor housing conditions
Tenants can report poor housing conditions (eg no running water, excessive mould, etc) to their local authority. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, Section 11, the landlord has a legal duty to ensure the property is kept in repair and in working order unless damage is caused through tenant negligence. Local authorities have the power to enforce action upon the landlord or letting agent to ensure the property is returned to a satisfactory condition.
Tenants are expected to keep a rented property in a ‘tenant-like manner’
Tenants are expected to look after their rented property and carry out small jobs around the property – subject to health and safety considerations. A landlord is not expected to repair or maintain items that a tenant has broken through negligence or misuse.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
From October 2015 all privately rented properties must adhere to the changes outlined withinThe Deregulation Act 2015. Working smoke alarms are to be fitted to each property on each floor and carbon monoxide alarms are to be fitted in rooms with solid fuel heaters although good practice would be to have them with gas appliances too.
All residential properties which are rented out should have a risk assessment undertaken to determine the risk of Legionella. This then allows landlords to implement a suitable control scheme. Further information regarding the changes can be found http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/faqs.htm
Landlord insurance is a growing area, with an increasing number of specialist policies covering a range of products from building insurance, contents, legal protection, rent loss and appliances. Having the correct insurance is vital and not being adequately protected could be disastrous.
Before letting out a property, a landlord should ensure that the property meets all current safety regulations, these include:
Deregulation Act 2015
Deposit Protection Scheme
Check-ins and check-outs
Conducting a proper check-in and check-out is essential. These should include a full inventory check, condition report check and a full set of digital photographs. Video is also useful. If the landlord and the tenant can’t agree on what the tenant may be liable for at the end of the tenancy then the check-in and check-out evidence is the only way the landlord can prove their case. In contested cases, TDS adjudicators start from a position of ‘the money belongs to the tenant’ and it’s up to the landlord to prove otherwise.
From the 1st February 2016, landlords and letting agents must check that their tenants and any other permitted adult occupiers have the ‘right to rent’. As from this date, all prospective adult occupiers over the age of 18 will need to provide acceptable documentation to prove that they have the right to reside and therefore rent within England. The new changes will only impact on tenancies that commence on or after 1st February 2016.
The responsibility for carrying out the checks falls on the landlord, agent or householder, who is letting private rented accommodation. Under the new rules, landlords who fail to comply could face penalties of up to £3,000.00 per adult occupier.
In order to comply with the new changes and in making ‘right to rent’ checks, a landlord, letting agent or householder should check the following prior to creating a residential tenancy;
- Check whichadult occupiers will live in the property as their only or main home.
Verify and take copies of acceptable documents for each adult occupier. Record the date of verification and noting any expiry dates of a person’s right to be in the UK.
For more information on these measures known as ‘right to rent’, https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents
“If this sounds confusing or you don’t think you are complying give us a call and pop in for an informal chat or why not come along to one of our landlords information evenings “. Karen English
Hennings Moir 01752 850440 firstname.lastname@example.org