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A Brief Brief: Landlord Legal Update

Housing is a real issue in the UK so not surprisingly the Government is very focused to get this right. It is expected that 22.3% of households people will be renting by 2023. So, the powers that be know it’s important to get things right and level the playing field between Good Landlords (if you are reading this you will come under that category) and Bad Landlords. So, what’s on the slate?

All Landlords to register with a complaints system – Now private landlords (those who do not have properties managed by an agent) have no obligation to sign up with a body that would deal with tenant issues. This leaves thousands of renters without any course for redress. The Communities Secretary has announced that going forward private Landlords will be legally required to become members of a redress scheme – the Housing Complaints Resolution Service.  With a fine of up to £5000 if they fail to do so. This will also include developers of new homes

Longer tenancies – HCLG (the ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government) are presently in consultation to introduce longer tenancies. A recent survey carried out by Landlord Action showed that less than 5% of Landlords had issued a section 21 due to needing to sell the property. The main reason for bringing in this legislation. Our research shows that 89% of tenancies are ended by the tenant. Overall effect if this comes in will be Landlords will need to get more legal insurance.

The Housing Court – HCLG are also looking to establish a specialised housing court to consider all property matters. The need has been highlighted with the time it takes to move a section 8 through the courts. This is a sensible piece of legislation.

Electrical safety checks – An anomaly that this has never been implemented. The legislation is already in place under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. Things moved apace after Grenfell and this could be in place by October. It will mean that a mandatory 5-year electrical installation checks will be introduced in a phased approach.

The Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018 – Comes into force 20th March – a bit of an indictment on the state of the market that a law must be made to make sure that a property is fit for human habitation at the beginning and during the tenancy. This legislation gives the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) teeth. Tenants will now have the right to take legal action directly to the courts for breach of contract. This act amends the Landlord and Tenant act 1985 around Section 11. It will apply to tenancies started and renewed after 20th March

Minimum room sizes – in place since last October and at the moment attaches to HMO’s (Houses in Multiple Occupation) but will affect non-HMO’s in the future.  Basically, a room used for sleeping by one person over 10 years has to be at least 6.51 sqm. And those slept in by 2 10.22 sqm.


If you have any queries on how this legislation could affect you personally. Please give Maxine a call on 01480 494939  or join us for a legal update at our landlord seminar on 28th Feb  CLICK HERE

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