New laws 2020 and what is proposed?

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  • New laws 2020 and what is proposed?

New laws 2020 and what is proposed?

The government have decided to put new laws in place for 2020 which as landlords you’ll need to know about. The industry has had over 127 new laws within the last 5 years. This in turn makes the paperwork needing to be served very substantial.

Lettings law is becoming more complicated and the consequences of not keeping up to date can be devastating. The deregulation bill has made it difficult for landlords. Their paperwork must be correct. We take properties over from private landlords. The paperwork is often incorrect. Some of these issues can no longer be solved easily. For example, a gas safety must be served within 30 days. Not only do you have to serve it on them you then have to have a signed copy returned. If not, you cannot issue them with a notice to quit.

New laws for 2020 are as follows:

Electrical Installation Condition Report – EICR’s

The EICR legislation has been put in front of parliament & has been agreed that EICR’s will be compulsory from the 1st of July onwards. The EICR requires an electrician to test all of the electrical wiring within the property. This alone would ensure some additional costs for landlords. Electrical items have become more stringent for example you have to have a metal fuse board. In February 2020, there was a new electrical standard released (18th edition) which electricians need to adhere by.

EICR’s are now compulsory. They must be carried out every 5 years. It is so important you understand what the requirements are. If works are required from the EICR these needs to be carried out within 28 days. We would seriously suggest that any landlord that has not carried out these reports to do them immediately.

PAT Testing is now required. This is known as portable appliance testing. You have to your appliances tested to confirm they are safe. This is a test of all your appliances that you supply to the tenant to ensure that they are safe.

Unfit for human habitation

The legislation is already law however as of 20th March it now includes all existing tenancies. There is a separate article on our website regarding this. We genuinely believe that this will be the new PPI for tenants. The new act ensure all landlords are carrying out works within a reasonable period of time. There is no definition of reasonable but we would anticipate that any works should be done within 14 days. Unfortunately, this is not the case on HMO’s i.e., where there is a license on the property. The new act requires works to be carried out immediately.

This new law is going to be so wide ranging and problematical for landlords. For instance if you have damp at your property & a damp specialist confirms this, then you will be required to carry out the works immediately.

If you don’t the tenants are entitled to make an application to the court for compensation. They could request the judge to return the rent as compensation. The tenant and the landlord would need to provide evidence for any case. This will have to be done within a reasonable time.

EPC’s

EPC’s now require a minimum rating of E for any property. This means that if your rating is E or below, you will not be able to rent out your property. To increase your EPC rating you must carry out a maximum work of £3,000.00.

If you are not sure whether your EPC is correct please do not hesitate to contact us or read our previous article, click here. 

Mortgage interest tax relief changes

This now comes to the last section of this particular phase within the tax year of 2021. The interest tax relief has been phased out over the last few years. However as of April 2020 landlords will receive a tax credit on their interest payments of no more than 20%. Landlords have set up limited companies to try and avoid this. However, they may choose to change it to also cover limited companies. You should seek confirmation from your tax advisor.

What is proposed?

Section 21 notices – New Laws

The government are currently changing this law. Please see our latest article here. We are keeping an eye on what the Government wish to do. There is a consultation being entered into to see whether there is a requirement for this. However we have no doubt that the government will try to bring this consultation forward.

Please refer to their website for more information, click here.

Pet friendly tenancy

The Government announced a revision of the tenancy agreement for AST’s in the private renting sector. The revision is intended to make it easier for tenants with pets to find landlords who will accept them.

It will remove restrictions on tenants with pets and encourage landlords to offer flexibility to pet owners. We are waiting for an announcement from trading standards on pet rents, which will be incorporated.

If you have a leasehold flat check your lease. You may have to check with the managing agents. You can always check with the freeholder. We will keep you updated.

Compulsory redress schemes for landlords

This has been a proposal for some time. We are currently waiting for the Government to outline their proposal. They may wish every landlord to be part of a compulsory redress scheme. In future landlords will need to be part of a redress scheme.

Every letting agent must be part of a redress scheme, we are a part of the Property Redress Scheme. If you are with a letting agent, you may be able to use their scheme in future. We anticipate that they will not be and if we already manage your property it will not be an issue. However, if you have property elsewhere and not managed then you will have to go into a scheme.

There is also a requirement by you to have certain requirements such as.

  1. Firstly, you will need to have a complaints procedure that the tenant can request at any point. This procedure must be outlined in writing so if they wish to make a complaint they can do so.
  2. Secondly, if the tenant feels you have not dealt with the complaint successfully. They are then they are entitled to ask fort the PRS to step in and adjudicate.
  3. If the PRS are requested they can investigate any matter on behalf of a tenant and make an adjudication. They can award compensation. This may against the letting agent or the landlord. It is compulsory for the award to be paid. It is down to them. You will be given the opportunity to provide evidence of any problems as well as the tenant will be.

We will keep you advised of when this proposal comes to permission.

There have been 127 laws in the last 5 years. There are more coming in every year. It is so important that you understand what your legal responsibilities are. If you have any issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01273 749169. We will be happy to discuss any questions with you.

Renters Reform Bill – White Paper 2022. Update

The Renters Reform Bill was mentioned in the Queens speech in May 2022. The Government have decided to push their plans forward regarding rental reform in order to improve this for private tenants.

The Government says it will deliver the biggest change to the law in a generation. They are bidding to improve the lives of million renters by driving up standards in the private/socially rented sector.

They confirmed their new deal will be put in place for 4.4 million households privately renting across England by extending the decent home standard to the private rented sector for the first time.

The reforms will build a progress the Government has already made in this area. They will ensure all renters have access to secure, quality homes, levelling up opportunities for the 21% of private rented homes who currently live in what the Government believes are “homes of unacceptable standards”.

The Government will bring in new measures that will also be aimed to protect tenants. This relates to the so called no fault Section 21 eviction. This allows landlords to terminate tenancies without giving a reason. This has been outlawed so renters can remain in their homes and communities.

Landlords will still be able to remove tenants from properties but under a Section 8 notice but the full details have yet to be disclosed by the Government.

The Government claims that more than a fifth of those who have moved in the past year did not end their tenancy by their own choice. These Government reforms could impact landlords quite dramatically but the White paper hasn’t yet been delivered.

The Bill however will it claims also strengthen landlords ground for repossession making it easier for them to evict tenants who wilfully don’t pay their rent and are repeatedly engaging in anti-social behaviour.

The housing sector in Michael Gove says

“too many renters are living in damp, unsafe and cold homes, powerless to put it right, and under the threat of sudden eviction

The new deal for renters announced today will help in this injustice, improving conditions and the right for millions of renters.

This is all part of our plan to level up communities and improve the life chances of people from all over the country”.

What is more concerning for landlords that it has been confirmed that there will be a private renters ombudsmen will be created to enable disputes between private renters and landlords to be a set a quicker and low cost and without going to court.

The ombudsmen will cover all privately let properties and make sure that when residents make a complaint, landlords take action to put things right.

In addition, the Bill will also introduce a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account and help councils crack down on poor practise.

The Government will hopefully publish a white paper setting out the full details of the proposals. At this moment in time there is very little detail of the actual proposal there are only headlines.

There has also been some discussion within the recent questions in parliament that the white paper might include some form of rent control. This was confirmed in a question to one of the housing minsters. Again, no detail has been put in place but we understand it will involve some form of rent control.

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google-review Review
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 😊
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