As of the 1st October 2015 there are changes which now affect all residential landlords.
First and foremost, the new regulations require landlords to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in any rented residential accommodation after 1st October 2015. Checks must be made by the landlord to ensure that each alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy. Failure to do so immediately can lead to a fine of up to £5,000.
Further changes are summarised as follows:
1) As a landlord, for any new residential tenancy granted after the 1st October 2015, you must supply the “prescribed information” therefore :
• a valid Energy Performance Certificate
• a Gas Appliance Safety certificate (to be provided within 28 days)
• a copy of the Government’s guide “How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England” to the tenant.
If you do not do this you cannot serve a valid section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice requiring possession.
2) You cannot serve a section 21 notice earlier than four months after the beginning of the tenancy. Therefore the earliest you can serve the notice is from February 2016 for a tenancy started on 1st October 2015.
3) There is now a new prescribed form which must be used for serving section 21 notices. This form will apply to tenancies granted after 1st October 2015.
4) A section 21 notice will become invalid if it is not used as the basis for a possession claim within six months of being served. A claim for possession must be issued within 6 months of being served. If not, a fresh section 21 notice will be required.
The above provisions only apply to England and will not affect Assured Shorthold Tenancies where the fixed term was granted before these provisions came into force.
As a landlord you must be very careful to ensure you comply with the new regulations, if you require any advice then please do not hesitate to contact us.
All information is correct on the date of posting.