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Legislation for landlords in the private rental sector including energy performance standards, right to rent checks, renters reform bill.

Landlord Legislation Update for April 2021

Legislation for landlords in the private rental sector including energy performance standards, right to rent checks, renters reform bill.

Energy Performance of your Rental Property

Landlords warned they must get all rental properties to band C energy efficiency by 2025

Following the government announcement into consultations to improve energy efficiency in the private rental sector, calling for all rental properties to be EPC rated C or above by 2025, there has been opposition by The Lettings Industry Council.

In a recent article in Property Industry Eye article it reported that TLIC had sent an open letter to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government asking for a review of the plans and this has been supported by some of the larger corporate agents.    The letter, whilst encouraging energy improvements in the sector, stresses that the timeframe proposed is far too short and that Landlords need time to recover from the financial difficulties caused by the pandemic first before being asked to make further investments.

The Council have set out an alternative proposal with stretches the timeframe over a longer period, they believe the proposal will reduce the pressure on stock available in the PRS market whilst still achieving the overarching goal of all properties in the PRS (unless exempt) achieving an Energy Performance Certificate rating of a C by 2030.

In other news, some BTL lenders encourage investment buyers to purchase better rated properties with cheaper mortgage loans in anticipation of the governments consultation decision.

Right to Rent changes

Landlords do not have to carry out retrospective right to rent checks on tenants when covid restrictions lift

During the Pandemic the Government relaxed temporarily the Right to Rent Immigration rules so that agents and landlords could carry out necessary ID checks via video or online, instead of in person.   However retrospective physical checks would have been required on this basis.   Now the Home Office has issued a statement saying lettings agents are not required to conduct retrospective Right to Rent verification on tenants who had the covid-adjusted checks from March last year.

A statement from ARLA Propertymark suggests it may have caused the government’s u-turn decision.  ARLA had lobbied the government saying tenants would not understand the need for repeating the process, whilst agents and landlords would have been vulnerable to civil penalties if and when they needed to prove a statutory excuse.  For agents there would have been the additional complication from potential multiple visits to their offices whilst trying to adhere to social distancing restrictions.

Renters Reform Bill

The renters reform bill will see Section 21 notices abolished

This week saw prominent TV presenter ‘Judge’ Robert Rinder appear on ITV’s This Morning breakfast show calling upon the government to deliver its planned Renters Reform Bill and set up a national landlord register and ban Section 21 evictions.  Judge Rinder is a qualified barrister and is the legal services ambassador for housing charity Shelter.

The Bill first appeared in the 2019 Conservative General Election manifesto and then it featured in the Queen’s Speech in December 2019, and if it becomes law it will also see the introduction of lifelong deposits which can switch from one property to another as tenants move home, preventing them from having to raise a new deposit every time.

This year’s Queen’s Speech will take place on May 11th, so it will be interesting to see if Shelter and Judge Rinder’s stance on this subject will see the Reform Bill back on the agenda.

If you want more information regarding any of the above, or any legislation pertaining to the Private Rental Sector, or you have a property to rent in Beaconsfield and would like our assistance, just get in touch on 01494 685518 or email clairew@ashingtonpage.co.uk.