Swindon landlords - are you up to speed with legislation changes?
The rate of legislation changes in the private rented sector has been extremely high in recent years.
While this is good news when it comes to raising standards and providing higher quality accommodation, it's a lot for landlords to keep on top of.
Here is Home Finders’ overview of what has been going on in recent years.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards introduced
From April 1 2018, it became illegal to let a property with an Energy Performance Rating of F- or G- in a bid to increase energy efficiency.
Extension of HMO landlord licensing
From October 2018, all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) were brought under the scope of mandatory landlord licensing, regardless of how many storeys they have.
New minimum space requirements for rental properties
Since October 2018, bedrooms in rental properties have also had minimum space requirements in order to reduce overcrowding and unsafe living for tenants.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act introduced
From March 2019, new rules requiring landlords to ensure properties are fit for human habitation - and allowing tenants to take them to court if they are not – were introduced.
A ban on tenant fees
June 2019 saw the introduction of the highly-controversial Tenant Fees Act, the headline policy of which was to introduce an outright ban on letting agents and landlords charging upfront fees to tenants.
Security and holding deposits capped
As part of the Tenant Fees Act, a five-week cap on security deposits (for the majority of tenancies) and a one-week cap on holding deposits was also introduced.
Changes to Capital Gains Tax
As of April 2020, new rules have required landlords paying Capital Gains Tax when selling a property to pay an estimate within 30 days, while key CGT relief has been reduced.
New electrical safety standards introduced
On July 1 2020, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations were introduced, requiring landlords to provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before the start of all new tenancies and make sure all electrical installations are checked every five years.
Extension of existing high-profile legislation
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act was extended to cover all tenancies in March 2020, while the Tenant Fees Act was extended to cover existing tenancies from June 1 2020.
Additional legislation to be aware of
Extension of electrical safety rules
Much like the Fitness for Human Habitation and Tenant Fees Acts which went before it, the electrical safety rules introduced in 2020 have been extended to cover all tenancies as of April 2021.
Renters' Reform Bill
The Renters' Reform Bill includes proposals to scrap Section 21 evictions and introduce lifetime deposits for tenants.
Right to Rent changes expected
Now the UK's Brexit transition period is over, the Right to Rent scheme and the way landlords are required to check the immigration status of tenants will continue to evolve.
These lists are by no means exhaustive, with plenty of other measures introduced during the last few years, and set to come into play in the future, for landlords to comply with.
The volume of regulation changes and their complexity means that landlords who self-manage can easily come unstuck and find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Working with a professional local letting agency like Home Finders can help you to remain compliant and provide you with the protection you need in the modern market.
Home Finders’ lettings experts are up to speed with everything going on in the rental market, meaning that you can rest assured that you'll know well in advance the next time a new law affecting landlords is announced.
Find out how Home Finders’ experienced property management team can help you stay on top of the latest legislation by calling 01793 299135 or emailing swindonhomefinders.com