New legislation from the beginning of this month means it is now harder for landlords to evict tenants.
As of 1st October, landlords need to provide tenants with an energy performance certificate (EPC) and gas safety certificate, as well as a special government-written booklet.
Failure to do so will make it more difficult for landlords to serve Section 21 (1) or Section 21 (4) notices in order to evict tenants.
The new regulations apply to new tenancies from 1st October 2015, and then all tenancies will be impacted from 1st October 2018.
A booklet called ‘How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England’ has been written by the Government and is available free of charge via the Government website.
Landlords must download the guide, print it out and hand it to tenants, or else send it to them electronically.
The guide outlines what tenants should expect if they rent directly from a landlord or via a letting agent, and explains the rights and responsibilities of each party.
The new rules about the “How to Rent” booklet, EPC and Gas Safety certificate are the latest in a long line of regulations landlords need to stick to.
Since 2007 landlords have been required to protect any deposit given to them by a tenant in a government-approved scheme: either the Deposit Protection Scheme, MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Again, failure to do so will mean the landlord will not be able to use a section 21 notice to evict a tenant.
Landlords will soon also have to check the immigration status of tenants.
The Right to Rent scheme has been trialled in parts of the West Midlands since last year and is expected to be rolled out across the rest of the UK before the end of the year.
Landlords can be fined up to £3,000 if they let a property to someone without the legal right to live in the UK.
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