I have recently had a conversation with a landlord who had been happily managing their rental property themselves for a few years. Everything seemed to be going well until suddenly the tenant stopped paying the rent! It was only at this point that the Landlord discovered the huge mistakes that they had made! After several months of no rent they issued a section 21 notice to quit. This was actually the wrong notice to issue, but that's another article altogether.
It very quickly transpired that the landlord had not issued the How to Rent Guide and also had no proof that an EPC had been provided prior to the tenant moving in! This is where the problems started and they are now embroiled in a rather lengthy legal battle as they have not followed the required procedures when setting up the tenancy. Despite a "friend" having got some advice from google!!!
A quick guide below as to just how much legislation has already taken place this year and what is coming very soon. Don't get caught out by not seeking professional advice or you could be the next TV programme about landlords who cannot get their property back.
New version must be provided for new tenancies created after this date to include a statutory periodic tenancy, if you are required to serve a section 21 notice.
You will not be able to create new tenancies which are rated F and G after the 1st April 2018, unless you have applied for one of the exemptions i.e. cannot get funding, listed building.
Councils will be obliged to assist tenants on the receipt of the section 21 notice and not advise that they should await eviction
This will allow a Gas Safety to be conducted within two months of the expiry date and the anniversary date for the year following will remain the same (very similar logic to the MOT for a car)
How you obtain, deal with , store and share information relating to your tenant will now carry some very heavy penalties for non-compliance. As a landlord you will need to comply with this legislation and also ensure you have the correct procedures in place for any contractors that you share information with.
All the compliance issues for a valid service of Section 21 notice will apply to ALL tenancies in existance on this date i.e. EPC, GSR, Form 6A, but NOT the how to rent guide for those tenancies which started prior to the 1st October 2015 and are still in existence.
Removal of the three storey limited for mandatory licensing i.e. five students sharing a ground floor flat, will require a mandatory licensing. Also introducing minimum room sizes for licensable HMO’s.
8 - Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability of Housing Standards). – date to be announced
An additional requirement to PROVIDE and KEEP properties in a standard fit for human habitation. Has received cross party support, so expect this to be implemented. Greater onus on health and safety.
A consultation of the proposals is currently available to comment upon, but a mandatory requirement to conduct a 5 year periodic electrical inspection is guaranteed. This is very likely to come into force quite soon. Be prepared for this now.
Banning agents and landlords for an agreed period, if they are commit certain crimes or do not comply with certain housing law requirements i.e. licensing, gas safety, fire risk.
Been kicked into the long grass a few times, but more than likely to happen in 2019. Preparation for the ban is vital.
Unlikely to happen at the moment, but a private members bill to force all Landlords to register their properties in England.
If you need any help of advice regarding letting a proeprty feel free to give me a quickc all anytime for an infomal chat on 01935 277977 or 01460 477977