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Residential Landlords Beware

If you are a landlord of residential premises it is vital that you comply with your new obligations if you wish to be able to remove your tenant and avoid potential financial penalties.

It is clear that many private landlords are still unaware of their obligations.

Legal requirements and prescribed information

The Deregulation Act 2015 imposes certain requirements on landlords of property in England where an AST is created on or after 1 October 2015.

A landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice terminating the tenancy unless it has provided the tenant with the following:

  • an energy performance certificate free of charge;
  • a gas safety certificate; and
  • a copy of the DCLG: How to rent: The checklist for renting in England.

 

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Landlords of private sector properties in England are required to comply with the following requirements:

A smoke alarm must be installed on each storey of the property that is used as living accommodation.

A carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any room that is used as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

Landlords must test and ensure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in proper working order at the start of any new tenancy granted on or after 1 October 2015.

  

Checking the immigration status of tenants

The Immigration Act 2014 prohibits private landlords of residential properties from allowing certain people to occupy those properties. The prohibition is based on the immigration status of the occupiers. Landlords and agents have to check the status of prospective tenants, and other authorised occupiers, to ascertain whether those parties have the right to be in the UK before granting a tenancy. Landlords must also make sure that someone’s right to occupy the premises does not lapse, which is an even more onerous obligation. Breaching the prohibition could lead to a civil penalty of up to £3,000.

 

Rent Deposits

Since 6 April 2007, deposits that are taken in connection with a residential tenancy must be protected in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). Failure to do so can limit the landlord’s ability to remove the tenant and result in financial penalties.

The landlord must also give the tenant “prescribed information” about the TDS being used within 30 days of receipt of the deposit.

The prescribed information must be given to both the tenant and any relevant person. A relevant person is someone who pays the deposit on behalf of the tenant in accordance with the tenancy arrangements. This might be a parent, for example, who pays the deposit on a property to be occupied by a son or daughter.

Maitland Walker Solicitors are able to assist with any residential landlord or tenant issues. Please contact our Minehead or Taunton Property Team to arrange a meeting on:

Minehead:        01643 707777

Taunton:          01823 745 777

Please note the information is for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon without seeking specific legal advice.