Campaigns Regulation and Enforcement

This month in Westminster: FIVE important things landlords need to know

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

It has been a busy month in Westminster, and as Parliament has now broken up for the summer recess, it’s time to take a look back at five of the key announcements affecting private landlords that happened in the last month. Remember you can hear an update on the upcoming legislation and how it will impact your lettings at our Future Renting conference in London this September.

1) Updated How to Rent Guide

Two weeks from the previous update at the end of June, the How to Rent guide was updated again this month, containing some amendments. It is very important that for new tenancies or renewals, landlords give the correct, updated version of the How to Rent guide to their tenants. Failure to do so could even mean being unable to use a Section 21 notice in order to gain possession of the property, since the latest version of the How to Rent guide is one of the things that make up the prescribed documents. You can read more about this here.

2) Longer term tenancies consultation

At the start of this month, the Government launched a consultation on longer term tenancies. In the proposals, the Government said it is proposing a number of options to bring in a three year tenancy model, adding that financial incentives could be offered to landlords willing to offer long term tenancies.

In the consultation document, which you can read here, research from RLA PEARL is cited extensively, including that 63% of landlords having said that tax relief would encourage them to offer a longer tenancy.

The RLA has been calling for the introduction of financial incentives for longer tenancies – with the Government agreeing it “could be quicker to implement” then mandatory three year agreements.

Do you offer longer tenancies at the moment? We would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please email campaigns@rla.org.uk or leave a comment below this article.

3) Mandatory electrical safety checks

This month it was announced by the Government that landlords must have electrical installations in their rental homes checked every five years.

The new mandatory requirement for PRS landlords is one of a number of safety measures to be brought in by the Government, which has also launched a consultation into building regulations’ fire safety guidance. A start date for the introduction of the checks has yet to be announced by the Government. You can read more about this here.

4) Select Committee backs RLA low interest loan proposal

Also this month, in it’s response to the Hackitt Review, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee recommended that the government should pay for the replacement of any cladding on existing buildings which had been permitted, but has been subsequently banned following the Grenfell Tower fire. This is something which the RLA has been calling for.

5) Local Government consultations

This month the RLA responded to several local consultations, on selective licensing and additional licensing. This included writing to Great Yarmouth Borough Council about some of the selective licensing proposals being ‘unlawful’ and writing to Nottingham Borough Council about its plans to introduce additional licensing.

As the 1st October-and the mandatory HMO licensing date edges closer, the RLA also wrote to Cheshire East Council seeking clarity over its recent decision to change the licence fees and lengths, ahead of the changes that are due to come into force in October which will see more HMOs coming under the scope of mandatory licensing.

Elsewhere, this week Nottingham City Council is set to implement a very large selective licencing scheme in the city on 1st August 2018. The RLA aims to respond to local government consultations on licensing. If you know about any schemes that are currently under consultation, please email campaigns@rla.org.uk

Find out more
  • To hear more about how to upcoming changes to legislation will impact your lettings, book your ticket to Future Renting in London this September. Hear from an unmissable line up of speakers on issues like HMO changes, the Tenant Fees Ban, fire safety, welfare reform, market insight and so much more.
  • RLA members can keep up to date with the latest news in our weekly news bulletins delivered straight to your inbox. Want to subscribe anyway? Click here.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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