From the 1 April 2021 all properties must now have an Electrical Inspection Condition Report. A copy must be provided to the tenants within 28 days and any remedial action should also be completed within 28 days.
Reminder: The Tenant Fees Act came into force for all active tenancies on the 1 June 2020. A tenant can't be charged any sum relating to the granting of a Tenancy Agreement. Deposits are now capped at a maximum of 5 weeks (unless the rent is £50K or more, then it is capped at 6 weeks) and you can no longer charge a higher amount to allow a pet to reside.
You may have seen in the press recently that you can no longer refuse a tenant a pet in a property. This is not the case at the moment but is being discussed in Parliament. You do have to be careful not to discriminate on the grounds of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
The Government have extended the terms in relation to the service of notice and eviction until the 31 May 2021. This means if you need to serve notice on your tenants at present this is six months. It is advisable to use the form that is on the Government website. Historic forms you may have saved will not be valid.
There is also talk of amendments to the Fire Safety Bill and extending the requirement for a CO Alarm to be placed in rooms that have a mains gas boiler, at present the Bill only relates to solid fuel.
You may be aware of proposed changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards to raise the minimum rating of an EPC in a rented home to C by 2025. Agents and professional bodies are working with the Government to work out the finer details.
Guidance has recently changed on retrospective Right to Rent Checks. It has now been confirmed that you do not need to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 16 May 2021 (inclusive). This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports landlords during this difficult time.
There is new guidance due to come in in June 2021 but at present we are awaiting a further update.
You may also have heard about the Debt Respite Scheme due to come in on the 4 May 2021. This allows temporary respite from creditors for up to 6 months. However, the tenant must be referred by a counsellor authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, and they must keep up with their continued payments, this includes the rent.
For assistance with any of this lettings legislation, new or old please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to advise.