Some of the regulations regarding landlord and tenant contracts have not changed for a few decades, while others have been changed, modified and even reverted numerous times. To put it simply, the rules and regulations that govern the duties, responsibilities and obligations of both landlords and their tenants can get pretty confusing to stay compliant with.
Nevertheless, there are some regulations that landlords in particular just cannot afford to ignore anymore, in case they were wittingly or unwittingly doing so before. Today, we are going to go through some of those mandates, so that you have a better idea of what these are, as well as whether you are compliant with them or not.
Ensure that You Are in Compliance with Section 22 of the Immigration Act of 2014
Before we proceed with explaining the landlord’s duty and right to check their potential tenants for British citizenship status, it is very important that the reader understands this is one of those areas of regulations which get updated often. Hence, being a tenant you can also check more about rental property in Loganholme . You should check if there have been any late additions to the rules here, before deciding on any course of action.
That being said, most rules have not changed since the Immigration Act of 2014 was introduced in 2016, and the following should still be valid for all landlords and tenants in the UK today:
- Any adult who is not a British citizen is not to be allowed the liberty of renting residential property in the UK if the said property would become their primary, or solitary residence.
- This does not apply to student accommodation facilities, tied accommodation facilities, social housing facilities, medical facilities/care homes, hostels and mobile homes.
- If the property lease is for 7 years or more, performing the Right to Rent check is unnecessary.
- The check must be performed on every one of your potential tenants, since discriminatory checks performed on specific individuals are illegal.
Ensure that the Property is in Compliance with All Mandatory Safety Regulations
There is a long list of safety standard laws which must be obeyed by the landlord if they are to avoid fines and the ever-looming risk of losing their landlord’s license. Local regulations may require landlords to undergo fire extinguisher training and learn more about fire safety.
Check the safety mandate headlines below, as applicable in England and Wales, or only England:
- Fire Safety Regulation
- Gas Safety Regulations
- Electrical Equipment Regulation
- Plug & Sockets Regulation
- Legionnaires Disease Safety
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Electrical Safety Inspection Report (England)
- ‘Right to Rent’ Immigration Regulation (England)
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regulation (England)
The Latest Obligation: Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
In July, 2020, the English government started enforcing a new, more specified Electrical Safety Regulations Act, officially enacted as the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020. All landlords renting out their properties in the UK must now obtain a new electrical certificate, called the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
As this is a new set of rules to comply with, most landlords are not yet sure whether their properties are indeed in line with the latest regulations. Consequently, most of them do not have the mandatory EICR. In 2021, the regulation can no longer be ignored without serious financial consequences in the form of heavy fines. Contact the Electrical Safety Certificate experts at Trade Facilities Services for an inspection and they will cover everything that the new regulation mandates for landlords to get checked. They can also check for other compliance issues the property may have in respect to the older electrical safety regulations that are still active, alongside the new one.
Understand the Selective Licensing Rule of 2006
In the year 2006, a new landlord’s license, aka Selective Licensing was introduced to the local councils. What it did was prevent shady landlords from getting and/or retaining their licenses as easily as they used to before. Now, the local councils can and often do introduce selective licensing schemes of their own, highlighted by specific property management rules, regulations and standards to which all landlords within its jurisdiction must comply to.
As hefty fines and other more severe modes of disciplinary actions were now viable possibilities for landlords who were unable to provide protection against criminal activities in or near their premises, the situation has since improved quite drastically. Other than aspects of safety, sub-standard housing facilities will also not be tolerated by councils that have a selective licensing system in place for landlords.
However, not all councils have selective licensing rules, so you will need to check whether it applies in the area where the property is located. Even if they had previously rented out property in areas where such a selective licensing scheme was active, it is of the utmost importance for the landlord to check the specific rules of the new location. The property management regulations and requirements can and will differ from council to council.