15th November 2018 | Rajiv Kataria
The regulations relating to residential property letting always seem to be changing – so it’s no wonder that so many landlords find it a struggle to keep up with the latest rules.
Here at Cliffords, we know a thing or two about property letting. In the first of our series of handy tips, here are few things to consider which you may have overlooked.
1. A new right-to-rent guide was published at the end of June 2018. From now on, if you don’t serve these papers first, any ‘section 21’ eviction notice will be deemed null and void.
2. A new ‘prescribed information’ must be served on any new tenancy agreement - even if it involves an existing tenant.
3. Only grounds 1 - 8 of a section 8 notice are mandatory grounds for possession - the remaining 9 are discretionary.
4. Did you know that if you have not protected your tenants’ deposits you could owe them thousands of pounds?
5. ADR deposit disputes – without a third party inventory and report, it is highly unlikely that you’ll win adjudication. Why? Because the adjudicator may see your views and conditions as bias because of your personal connection to the property.
6. Why is specialist landlords insurance so important? If your insurance is still ‘residential insurance’ and you need to make a claim during a tenant’s occupation the cover will be rendered null and void. Check your insurance policy now to make sure you are properly covered as a landlord.
7. Landlord licensing - more Boroughs across the UK are opting-in to selective property licencing. Check to find out if your investment is within the newly released wards.
8. GDPR data protection changes mean that if you look after your own investments you may need to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office. Check now to find out whether you need to register or are exempt.
9. Is your property leasehold? Does your tenant have a copy of your headlease? If not, you need to give them a copy or you could be fined if your tenants are not following the covenants within the lease. You cannot pass any fines on to your tenants unless they are aware that they are breaking the rules!
10. The new Energy Efficiency regulations came into force on 1 April 2018. This means all rented properties now need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum rating of ‘E’.
11. It is now unlawful to rent out a property which does not have a minimum E rating, unless the property has an exemption.
12. At the moment, if EPC improvements cannot be funded or the landlord has carried out all possible improvements and the property still has an F rating, you may be exempt. However, breaking the rules could mean a fine of up to £4,000. By 1 April 2020, the EPC rules will apply to ALL rented properties.