Legislation for Landlords

Legislation for Landlords

by Hurford Salvi Carr

January 2016
Right to Rent Immigration Checks for Landlords, Agents and Sub-Lettings

Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, or has a Right to Rent in the UK.

You need to make Right to Rent checks if you are a private landlord; have a lodger; are sub-letting a property; are an agent appointed by a landlord to make Right to Rent checks.

Any occupier who sub-lets all or part of their accommodation to a person for money will be classed as landlord under the law and liable for penalty. However, the sub-letter can ask their landlord to accept responsibility for conducting checks and this agreement should be made in writing. In addition, under the law landlords can agree in writing with an agent who is responsible for conducting checks and so liable to a penalty. The agent can then carry out the checks and where necessary, make a report to the Home Office. The agent must also report back to the landlord. If an agent’s Terms of Business state they will undertake reference checks on the tenant, the agent will become liable for the Right to Rent checks. Clauses which attempt to remove the liability for Right to Rent checks will not remove liability.

Establish who will live in the property. Obtain, Check and Copy one or more original documents that demonstrate the Right to Rent in the UK for all adult occupiers for that property in the presence of the holder. Acceptable documents include a UK passport and a permanent residence card or travel document showing indefinite leave to remain. The full list of documents can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/ right-to-rent-document-checks-a-user-guide

December 2015
Heat Network Regulations for Landlords and Agents

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 came into force on 18 December 2014. They implement the requirements in the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive for Heat Suppliers to provide certain information about heating or cooling systems and the installation of meters and billing in apartment blocks

The regulations were amended in March 2015 and include moving the introduction of the duty of the Heat Supplier to notify from 15 April to 31 December 2015.

A landlord is a Heat Supplier if they supply and charge for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water to a Final Customer through a Communal Heating system or a District Heat Network. This includes the supply of heat as part of a package, paid for indirectly such as through ground rent, service changes or other means.

September 2015
changes to section 21 notices

The Deregulation Act 2015 introduces a number of important changes to when a landlord may serve a Section 21 Notice in order to regain possession of their property. The Act is designed to improve the possession process for landlords and tenants.

There are new restrictions on serving Section 21 Notices early and a new template Section 21 form. The new rules also remove the need for a landlord to specify that a tenancy must end on the last day of a rental period; unless the tenancy started on a periodic basis without any initial fixed term where a longer notice period may be required depending on how often the tenant is required to pay rent (for example, if the tenant pays rent quarterly, they must be given at least three months’ notice, or, if they have a periodic tenancy which is half yearly or annual, they must be given at least six months’ notice (which is the maximum).

Landlords cannot validly serve a Section 21 Notice in the first four months of a tenancy. However, where a tenancy has been renewed the landlord will be able to serve a Section 21 Notice at any point during a renewed tenancy.

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