Legislation affecting landlords

If you’re a property landlord, it’s important to know your obligations to make sure your property is compliant. From energy efficiency and Legionella to gas and electrical safety, there are a list of things you must certify, protect or ensure before you can rent out a property in England.

You can find a list of landlord responsibilities on the UK Government website.

If you’re unsure about anything relating to legislative requirements for your rental property, call our dedicated Lettings Management team on 01482 330486 for Hull and East Riding properties and 01282 619900 for Lancashire.

On 1st February 2016, the Right to Rent Bill was introduced requiring all Landlord and Letting Agents to establish an applicant’s right to rent a property in the UK before offering accommodation.

The bill requires identification checks to be made and recorded; failure to comply can incur heavy penalties for Landlords.

Landlords are required to ensure that there are a minimum of 2 working smoke alarms in every rented property at the start of a tenancy. If a property is on more than 2 floors, then the alarms need to be wired in.

Once a tenancy starts it is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain battery operated, but wired in alarms remain the responsibility of the Landlord.

Carbon monoxide alarms need to be installed where there is a solid fuel installation in the property; there is no current requirement to have them installed in properties with gas central heating but we consider it to be good practise.

The Fit for Human Habitation bill is currently going through parliament. Its aim is to improve the general standard of rented properties.

Since 1st April 2018 properties with an EPC rating F or G can no longer be advertised for rent. There are some exemptions to this legislation, and further changes will be introduced in 2020.

Landlords have many safety responsibilities, government advice is always useful, and something a responsible agent should monitor.

Landlords are advised to carry out a Legionella assessment and to give their tenants advice about managing their water supply after a period of absence.

All Landlords and Agents are required to lodge deposits in a government protected scheme. Failure to do so can lead to very heavy fines for Landlords and Agents.

Whitakers use the Deposit Protection Service, but general advice can be found below.

All businesses have been asked to review their Data P{rotection in line with new government guidelines. We have a robust policy GDPR policy in place and have reviewed our existing data in line with government advice.

Gas safety checks are an annual requirement and are vitally important for the safety of tenants. Landlords can face fines and even a prison sentence where these safety checks are not carried out.

All residential property agents will soon be required to have a Client Money Protection scheme in place. Whitakers Estate Agents are members of UKALA and our clients automatically get Client Money Protection.

The Tenant Fee Bill is making its way through parliament and will become law in early 2019. It radically changes the way that tenancies are granted and the deposits that are taken.

All letting agents are bound by a code of practice and must be a member of a redress scheme.

Some local authorities require landlords to be licensed. This is not a requirement in Hull at present but could become one in the future. There is a scheme covering the Burnley area.