Landlord minimum energy efficiency standards
These are also known as MEES and relate to landlords who rent properties out.
The introduction of these for new lets and tenancy agreements now comes into force from the 1ST April 2020. This means that if your property is currently rated “F” or “G” it will no longer be rent able from the 1st April 2020.
If you are a landlord, you should ensure that these requirements are updated under your EPC. Click here to read our previous article solely on energy performance certificates.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act
The Act of 2018 came into force last year however there are some changes to it. It requires that landlords ensure that they maintain their property in what is known as “good condition”. The tenant can now report any landlord to the local authority. Who have instant powers to require landlords to carry out works? The landlords can either be fined or banned from letting out their property. The change this year is that it also now includes renewals which it didn’t last year. Our sister company Iinsure 365 have recently written an article outlining Landlord Responsibilities. Please click to read the attached.
Rogue landlord database goes public
There is a rogue landlord database held by local authorities and this will now go public. It will allow tenants to see any rogue landlords that have not carried out works to their properties or have fines.
Electrical installation checks i.e. EICRs and PAT testing now becoming compulsory
The electrical safety standards in a private rental (England) Regulation 2020. Now applies to all new tenancies from the 1st July 2020 and to existing tenancies from the 1st April 2021. The new regulations require landlords to ensure that all electrical installations in their rental properties are inspected and tested by a qualified person every five years. Reports of inspections are to be supplied to all tenants of the property within 28 days of the inspection and retained by the landlord until the next inspection takes place.
Breach of regulations can result in financial penalties of up to £30,000.00. They can also be problematical in respect of the fact that landlords cannot serve a Notice to Quit or ask the tenant to leave without an EICR being signed. This will be critical.
Inspection and tests
Under the new regulation’s landlords need to ensure the following: –
a) Electrical safety standards are met during any period whether residential premises or occupied by a specified tenancy.
b) Every electrical installation in a residential premises is inspected and tested by a qualified person at regular intervals at least every five years, or more often as specified in an inspection report
c) The first inspection and testing are either carried out before a tenancy starts for new tenancies
or by the 1st April 2021 for existing tenancies.
Distribution and retention of report
Once the inspection has taken place and testing the landlords are required to: –
a) Obtain a report from the person who conducted the inspection and test, which gives the results on the next inspection and test.
b) Supply a copy of the report to each of the existing tenants within 28 days of that inspection and test. This must be then signed and returned by the tenants so that they have acknowledged it.
c) Supply a copy of the most recent report to any new tenant. To which the report will apply before the tenant moves in and any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for it.
d) Supply a copy of the report to the local authority within 7 days of receiving a written request for it.
e) Keep a copy of the report until the next inspection and test is due and give a copy of it to the person who is carrying out the next inspection and test.
Investigation of remedial works that are required from the reports
If, after an inspection and test, the report requires further investigation or remedial work to be carried out. Then the landlord must do the following: –
a) Ensure that further investigation or remedial work is carried out by a qualified person (an electrician) within 28 days, or the period specified within the report if less than 28 days
b) Obtain written confirmation from the qualified person that the further investigation or remedial work has been carried out. Then where the electrical safety standards have been met with further investigation or remedial work as required.
c) Supply written confirmation, together with a copy of the original report which requires further investigation or the remedial work to each of the existing tenants of the property within 28 days of the further investigation or remedial work being completed.
d) Supply the written confirmation together with a copy of the report which required the further investigation or remedial work to the local authority within 28 days of completion of the further investigation or remedial work.
It is therefore so important that you are fully aware of the requirements. If you are wanting to rent out your property in future, then you will need to do this almost immediately.
Laws that are due to come in but have not yet been put before Parliament
In future there will be additional laws that the Government is considering such as: –
1. Relaxation so that people can have pets at properties.
2. Compulsory redress scheme – a landlord will need to be part of a Redress scheme in future or if they let through a letting agent the letting agent must be. This is already in place for letting agents itself but not necessarily for landlords.
3. Scrapping of the Section 21 Notice i.e. you can Notice to quit without having to give a reason.
There are also additional other considerations currently by the Government the details are currently awaited.