Deregulation Bill The Housing Deregulation Act (2015) Are You Compliant?

  • News
  • Deregulation Bill The Housing Deregulation Act (2015) Are You Compliant?

The Deregulation Act came into force some time ago but on the 1st of October 2018 substantial changes were made to the section 21 Notice.

This is the notice that you serve on tenants if you wish to end their tenancy at the end of a contract. All landlords and agents now need to stop using their own notices. They must use the one prescribed form as outlined by the Government. All tenancies regardless of their start date to need to follow the guidelines. They affect when and how a landlord can now serve a section 21 notice to terminate a tenancy agreement.

Did you know? If you have a tenant on a month to month basis you now have to re-serve all the documents issued at the beginning of the tenancy. This would include the gas safety, EPC and how to rent guide. They also require acknowledgement by the tenant. You have to provide them with the details of the scheme holding the deposit and (if there is a licence) a copy of the licence itself.

We often find landlords don’t appreciate they need to serve various legal documents on the tenant. The Deposit documentation not only includes the deposit registration but also the terms and conditions of the scheme. These documents are much longer than the ones landlords often serve on their tenants. Without these terms and conditions they invalidate the notice. The below link lists the information landlords must give tenants –

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/information-landlords-must-give-tenants

Non-compliance and failure of the tenant to acknowledge the documents will have consequences. You would not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice and evict them from the property. This is critical when it comes to the gas safety certificate. It must be served within 30 days of being carried out.

 

What documents do I need to serve when it comes to the tenant moving in?

 

When a tenant moves into a property there are certain documents you need to serve on the tenants such as the following;

 

  • Tenancy agreement.

The tenancy agreement is the most important document you have to serve on the tenant through the whole process. It outlines exactly how you are letting the property, what the tenant can and cannot do to the property. It needs to show the names of people involved, the address of the property, the start date of the tenancy. Also the end date if possible, if not the term. The rental amount and how this will be paid. Deposit amount and how this will be paid.

 

It will also include tenants and landlords obligations these clauses could be things such as not painting the property, no pets etc. You need to look at whether you are going to allow pets in relation to the property. If the tenant can sub-let. Rules regarding any common areas and gardens and rent reviews.

 

The government has a standard tenancy agreement that you can use but you must appreciate it is totally based via the government. The current government one was recently amended to include tenants to be allowed to have pets. This is not compulsory at this moment in time. Landlords are not required to accept pets in respect of their property but you may find it easier to let if you do so. It is totally a matter for you and whether you are prepared to let a tenant have a pet at the property. If you have a leasehold property then you would need to check with your managing agents first whether the tenancy can allow pets. Sometimes the lease will clearly state you are not allowed pets.

 

There are various obligations within the tenancy agreement that relate to positive items for the landlords adhering to the landlord and tenant Act. It is important you have a proper agreement.

 

  • How to rent guide.

The how to rent guide is an online government document that now contains important advice for tenants. This guide outlines what to expect from your tenants, what their responsibilities are as well the landlords obligations. You have to ensure that the rent guide is supplied to the tenant before they move in or on the day they move in. It is also absolutely critical that you find the latest version. The government often update this document and if you do not provide the tenants with the right version the day they moved in then you may not be able to get them out.

 

Landlords are now responsible to ensure that their tenants receive a copy of the how to rent guide before the tenancy begins. It became a legal requirement on the 1st October 2015. It is good practise to have the tenants sign this and return it to you to acknowledge the fact that they have received it. The tenants are advised to read through the how to rent guide thoroughly so they can refer back to it if they have any issues.

 

  • Deposit prescribed information.

If you have an assured shorthold tenancy your deposit must be registered and protected in a deposit scheme until the end of the tenancy. There are three current schemes being the TDS known as the tenancy deposit service, Deposit protection service and Mydeposits. You can read our article here on this. They have two types of schemes within each of the provides being an insured or custodial.

 

The security deposit or tenancy deposit is a sum paid by tenants before they move into the property. The deposit can be used to cover costs such as damage, rent arrears etc. Deposit schemes keep the monies safe and ensures you get back what you are owed at the end of the tenancy. However, you need to within 30 days provide the tenants with the details of this scheme in certain information. This can include details of the deposit amount, the address of the property, contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme administrator and the name and contact details of the landlord and tenant.

 

You have to ensure that the tenant is served prescribed information in the correct format and the terms and conditions of the scheme itself. It is absolutely critical that this again is signed by the tenant and returned to you before they move in.

 

  • Energy performance certificate.

An energy performance certificate is a legal tenancy document that displays the properties energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions. Most all rental properties are now required to have a valid EPC with a rating of E or above. This will change in the future and a landlord will be required to improve the EPC after certain dates. See our article here.

 

The EPC rating should be listed on every property advert. If it isn’t you can ask your landlord/agent for a copy. Landlords are legally obligated to provide tenants with a copy of the EPC if they request to see it.

 

Currently the minimum EPC rating for rental properties is E but this is expected to increase to C by 2025 but this is subject to change.

 

  • Electrical installation condition report – Commonly known as EICR.

An EICR assess the condition of electrical systems on a rental property and evaluates how efficiently they work. It ensures that electrics are safe for the prospective tenants to use and identifies any hazards that needs fixing.

 

It was a legal requirement from the 1st April 2021 that all properties must have a valid EICR which should be organised before the tenancy begins. This is so that any required remedial work identified in the report could be completed before the tenant moves in. An EICR is valid for 5 years unless specified within the report.

 

Properties cannot be legally let without a valid EICR, so it is within the rights of the tenant to request a copy if you have not shown one. Again, we would suggest you get this signed by the tenants.

 

  • Gas safety records.

A gas safety record is given after a full inspection of rentals on gas fittings and appliances. This is carried out to ensure there are no safety risks to the tenants. Landlords are legally required to carry out a gas safety check every 12 months through a gas safe engineer.

 

When you first move into a property you landlord must legally supply you a copy of the gas safety record.

 

If you stay at your property long term then the landlord also has to serve you with a gas safety every year within 28 days of the report being issued.

 

  • Property inventory

A property inventory isn’t always compulsory it is down to the landlord and whether they wish to supply one. It provides an in depth report of the properties contents and condition. Although inventories are not a legal require for landlords we would highly recommend them.

 

They complete a record of the rental property condition, this is useful in a deposit dispute.

 

Inventories are created for all types of rental properties, whether furnished, unfurnished or part furnished. The landlord can produce this themselves, but using a third party inventory clerk is favoured by deposit dispute adjudicators. The inventories should of course include photos of the walls and ceilings, fixtures and fittings. Flooring, doors and windows, kitchen units and appliances. Bathroom facilities, furniture if any, gardens and out buildings.

 

If your landlord is providing a property inventory you should receive a copy when collecting your keys. It is important you check this when once you move in and outline any differences.

 

If you are not sure whether you are fully compliant with your legal documentation why not ask for our free 30 minutes paperwork review? We will go through your paperwork to ascertain whether it is correct and what you can do to resolve this.

SUMMARY

We often find having taken over documentation from other agents that they have not served the paperwork correctly. Please click here for a useful guide on all the documentation that must be served on a tenant before the move in. It is so important for landlords that the paperwork is correct. We recently won a court case where the barrister reiterated the new rules. Gas safety certificates are a prime example. Landlords carry out a new one but don’t issue it to the tenant, forgetting that they only have 30 days to serve it. They also have to have it acknowledged by the tenant which a lot of landlords don’t do. If they do not serve the gas safety within 30 days then the landlord would have to wait another year before they can serve a notice. This is so critical from now on.

Why don’t you contact our Administration Department on (01273) 749169 to discuss it.

See all News Posts
google-review Review
Pasha Salahshouri
Pasha Salahshouri
10:40 16 Jul 24
In what became a complex purchase, in which our financial circumstance changed during conveyancing, Janey was exceptional in her management of the purchase through to completion. Her comms were consistent and reasonable, which is more than can be asked of from a selling agent. When she wasn't available (rarely), the rest of the sales team in the office were also prompt with their correspondence and also clear and concise. A great experience overall.
Ms Natalie Vivien Christou- Sapsted
Ms Natalie Vivien Christou- Sapsted
17:57 15 Jul 24
Wonderful, fair, and supportive letting agency. Highly recommended.
Cristina Mihail
Cristina Mihail
12:53 09 Jul 24
I have heard of Harringtons via Rightmove. Communication was excellent, prompt, your employees that I had the opportunity to talk too were very friendly and helpful. The whole process of viewing and renting was quick and efficient
Caleb King
Caleb King
08:01 07 Jul 24
We would like to rate you 5 for your service, the two viewings that we went to for properties were excellent. Georgie was extremely friendly and helpful with great advice and information given.Despite the difficulties around gaining our property, communication was excellent from you throughout the whole process which we really appreciated.
Anita Vasko
Anita Vasko
18:21 29 Jun 24
I recently met Georgie while searching for my current home, and she showed me a lovely apartment. I must say, she is one of the best real estate agents I have encountered over the years. She was very helpful and friendly, and most importantly, she provided answers to all my questions. I hope others also have such a pleasant and helpful experience in their search for a new home. She was amazing throughout the whole process. Thank youuuuu :)
Ryan Arnold
Ryan Arnold
23:47 26 Jun 24
Harringtons have been extremely helpful and flexible with us so far! Very glad to have them as our letting agents for our forthcoming move.
Oliver Cannon
Oliver Cannon
09:32 22 Jun 24
Beth and Georgie were easy to get hold of, trustworthy, professional and quite frankly excellent. Really quick at replying to emails and understood I can’t always be contacted via phone. Would recommend to everyone.
Maria Ruxandra Ifrim (Rux)
Maria Ruxandra Ifrim (Rux)
12:38 21 Jun 24
Janey was wonderful. As first time buyers she really ensured this process is going forward. We had a lot of trouble with the seller's solicitors, but she made sure we are always kept in the loop. We will probably use the company when we want to sell the place.
Lydia Freeman
Lydia Freeman
10:44 19 Jun 24
Very prompt, really helpful information given at viewings, an excellent experience in an otherwise stressful time of flat hunting. Thank you Georgie!
Joel Dracott
Joel Dracott
07:02 17 Jun 24
Lovely and friendly staff who are always happy to help with any problems or questions!
Collette Tupling
Collette Tupling
14:48 14 Jun 24
I run lettings portfolio with my partner in Hove, and have solely used Harrington Lettings for many, many years. The main attraction to me is their insistence of guarantors which in these particularly tough times for all of us but particularly tenants, protects us from getting caught up in the legal system which can take months, over 6 in many instances, until a bailiff is appointed and the property returned-very stressful for Landlord and tenant alike. I have always thought that Harringtons offered a great service, but I have been amazed at how this service level has been improved by the recent appointment of Beth Roberts. Beth is a "can do" person and is motivated by results and getting me the market rent initially and on tenancy renewals. Any Landlord who is feeling dissatisfied with their current Letting Agency, should give Beth a call-they will not be disappointed!
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
See All Reviews
js_loader
<
Get in Touch

Send a message to a member of our team and we'll be happy to answer your questions!

Send a Message

Register for Property Alerts

Let us know what you're looking for and we'll email you with matching properties when they become available.

Make an Enquiry

Please complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.