Legislation relating to landlords has changed significantly in recent years and 2017 is no different. Consequently, landlords need to ensure that they do not fall foul of the new amendments.
Housing & Planning Act 2016
The Housing & Planning Act 2016 comes into force on 6th April 2017. A key element of this Act, is that Landlords must be aware of the new abandonment procedure. This procedure allows landlords to recover abandoned properties without the involvement of the Court. The key benefit of this amendment is that landlords looking to recover their properties can now avoid the associated Court fees. However, there are lengthy notice periods that must be adhered to.
The Act provides that three warning notices must be served and subsequently expire, before the tenancy is considered terminated and the locks [at the property] can be changed.
It is important to note the tenant can apply to the Court for reinstatement of the tenancy within 6 months of the termination. Consequently, landlords may still prefer to utilise the Section 8 procedure.
In addition to the abandonment procedure, the Act provides that all rented accommodation must meet acceptable electrical safety standards. Whilst the changes which are due to be implemented in the next coming months are uncertain, landlords can expect the requirement for a compulsory wiring certificate to be provided to tenants to be an imposed obligation. The changes aim to cement the provisions already provided under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
Banning orders are expected to come into force around October 2017 and could mean ‘rogue’ landlords are banned outright from being able to let properties. Whilst details of the offences are yet to be finalised, if convicted, landlords could face bans of at least 12 months for offences relating to housing, immigration and serious criminal offences. Additionally, landlords could be presented with a Management Order meaning the Local Authority will continue to rent out the property and will receive the benefit of all rental payments. Whilst the elimination of rogue landlords can only be advantageous to the market, landlords must be attentive and ensure they abide by the rules, to escape preventable sanctions.
Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing rules
Presently, numerous houses that are in multiple occupation fall outside of the scope for the requirement of a formal “HMO” licence. However, as a result of a government consultation that was released last year [which comes into force later this year] the new rules are expected to be considerably more rigid and onerous on landlords. The licensing rules will be expected to stretch to two and potentially even one story properties and so Landlords must check with Local Authorities to confirm whether the new rules apply to their rental property.
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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact a member of the team who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.
The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.