If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules apply. Ask your Letting Agent or local authority for details.
Learn more here: http://www.propertylicence.gov.uk
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.
For further information visit http://www.communities.gov.uk/hhsrs
Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP)
Since 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and letting agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents can choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes.
Learn more here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/index.htm.
If we are not providing our Full Management Service we will normally transfer the tenancy deposit to you within 5 days of receiving it. You must then register it with a TDP Scheme within a further 25 days if the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you fail to do so the tenant can take legal action against you the landlord in the county court. The court will make an order that you must pay the deposit back to the tenant or lodge it with the custodial scheme which is known as the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). In addition a further order will be made requiring you pay compensation to the tenant of an amount equal to three times the deposit. You will be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice on your tenant until compliance with the above conditions, and the court will not grant you a possession order. We have no liability for any loss suffered if you fail to comply.
Tenancy deposit protection – prescribed information
Legislation requires that certain information must be given to the tenant within 14 days of a deposit being taken. Whether you use the DPS, or the TDSL scheme, only some of the information is provided to the tenants by the scheme administration. The remainder must be provided by the landlord.
A special ‘Tenancy Deposit – Prescribed Information’ form has been designed for this purpose, and a copy is available from this agency.
It is very important that the form is completed fully and accurately, and that you attach to it a printed version of the relevant scheme’s Terms and Conditions. These can be downloaded from their respective websites on the following links, depending on which scheme you use:
In the case of the TDSL you should attach copies of both documents.
It is also important that under Paragraph 7 of the form you include the exact terms in the tenancy agreement that permit deductions from the deposit.
It is recommended that a signed copy of the form is given to each tenant individually. You should also retain a single copy signed by every tenant, in order to prove that the information has been given. So where there are say 4 tenants, you need 5 copies.
Be sure to comply with the above requirements fully and accurately, because penalties to the landlord for non-compliance are heavy.
Where we are providing our Full Letting & Management Service will will handle all of this for you as part of our service.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people’s rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and commonhold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Under the new duties, provided certain conditions are met (for example, that a request has been made), landlords and managers of premises which are to let, or of premises which have already been let, must make reasonable adjustments, and a failure to do so will be unlawful unless it can be justified under the Act. Landlords will only have to make reasonable adjustments. And they will not have to remove or alter physical features of the premises.
Learn more here: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/aboutus/dda_factsheet4-premises.pdf
Home Information Pack (No 2) Regulations 2007,
The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007
From 1st October 2008 landlords offering property to let will be required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property.
A new certificate will not be required on each let since, in the case of rental property, EPCs will be valid for 10 years.
The certificates (EPCs) will have to be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted.
We have a database of registered energy assessors, and we will be pleased to arrange an EPC inspection and assessment on your property upon request.
Please note that we cannot market your property to let until we have in our possession a valid EPC for the property.
We hope that the information covered in this guide will be of assistance to you. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the Letting, or the Letting and Management of your property.