An extremely busy week in the lettings sector
Wed, Jun 03, 2020
This week Rightmove announced that demand for lettings in Great Britain is up by 22% compared to 2019!
The figures from Rightmove show the demand for rental homes has increased at a quicker rate than the sales market with many people left with an immediate housing need as a result of the pandemic, as well as a backlog of people who have had to cancel planned moves during lockdown. On Monday 1st June the tenant fee ban for pre-June 2019 tenancies went live, and new guidance issued ahead of the new electrical safety checks coming into force for new tenancies from July 1.
Tenant fees banned
Tenant fees were banned on any tenancies made from June 1 2019 after the Tenant Fees Act became law last year and a transition period for any pre-existing tenancies. But that period ended on Monday and landlords who do not use the services of a reputable lettings agent who will have managed this process should review their contracts and inform tenants that there may be payments mentioned in their agreements that can no longer be charged, and inform them what specific terms in respect of prohibited payments are no longer valid.
Whilst this sounds arduous it’s a lot easier than having to face the consequences of an avoidable breach of the Act.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government guidelines for the new electrical safety checks for new tenancies from July 1
The guidelines cover the key part of the legislation, landlords and their agents are required to:
- Ensure electrical installations in rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified person at least every five years
- Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test
- Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test
- Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises
- Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report
- Supply the local authority with a copy of this report within seven days of receiving a request for a copy
- Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test
- Ensure that where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report
- Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works.
Local Authorities will be responsible for enforcing the new Regulations and can impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 if they find a landlord is in breach of their duty. And, have the power to serve remedial notices on the private landlord. If the remedial notice is ignored and action not taken with 28 days, the Local Authority can arrange remedial work to be carried out, with consent from the tenant, and recover the costs from the landlord.