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Landlord Legislation

The Money Centre would like to keep all their clients up to date on current government legislation to ensure they are operating within the law. Property investment is a business and as a landlord you have certain responsibilities to adhere to.

To assist you we have addressed some of the most important points of legislation that you should be aware of and have included links to helpful sites below. We would also highly recommend any new or experienced landlords join a Landlords Association as they can be an invaluable source of information. This will assist in understanding current legislation and provide essential guidance on a variety of common landlord related issues.

Tenancy Deposit Schemes
Energy Performance Certificates
HMO Licensing (House in Multiple Occupation)
Joining a Landlords' Association

Tenancy Deposit Schemes

For all tenancy agreements that started on or after 6th April 2007 landlords are required to protect their tenant's deposit using one of the Government authorised schemes. Within fourteen days of receiving the deposit, the landlord is required to inform the tenant of how it is protected.

There are three schemes:

  • Two which are Insurance based, allowing landlords to hold the deposits themselves; the Tenancy Deposit Scheme run by the Dispute Service and MyDeposits
  • One which is custodial based, thus allowing the company to hold the full deposit until the end of the tenancy on the landlord's behalf. The free custodial scheme is managed by the Deposit Protection Service.

All schemes provide free resolution for any problems at the end of the tenancy.

If landlords fail to comply:

  • Tenants may apply for a court order demanding that the deposit is protected or repaid
  • A fine of three times the deposit amount will be payable to the tenant
  • Landlords will lose the right to repossess their property under the 'notice only' method.

For more information on Tenancy Deposit Protection visit the below links

Directgov | Deposit Protection Service | Mydeposits | Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

All landlords across the UK are now required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any prospective buyer or tenant of a property.

The legislation was implemented within England and Wales from the 1st October 2008, Northern Ireland from the 30th December 2008 and Scotland from the 4th January 2009. The certificate, which will be valid for 10 years, rates the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A-G, and makes recommendations for improvements. The most energy efficient homes are in band A. Landlords will not be under any obligation to follow recommendations in the EPC, or carry out work to improve the energy efficiency of their property. However, it's worth considering that tenants may use the certificate to help them choose which property to rent, making energy efficient properties more desirable.

Failure to provide a certificate could result in a fine of £200.

The EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent.

How to get an EPC:

EPC surveys can only be produced by an 'accredited' Domestic Energy Assessor. They are used to collect standard information on the property including its size, how it is constructed and its hot water and heating systems. The information is then fed into a government approved software programme which produces the EPC.

To ensure you are compliant within your region and for more information please visit:

www.direct.gov.uk

HMO Licensing (House in Multiple Occupation)

Mandatory licensing for HMO's came into force across England from 6th April 2006 for all HMO's which are privately rented matching the following criteria:

  • Your property has three or more storey's (including habitable areas such as attics or basements)
  • You rent the property to five or more unrelated tenants
  • The property is occupied by four or more tenants in addition to you, as the landlord, residing within the property. A landlord and his family are counted as one person.

It is also worth noting that some local authorities may require a license for smaller HMO's. Please check with your local office to ensure you are fully compliant.

For more information please visit www.communities.gov.uk

Joining a Landlords' Association

Landlords' associations can help you with a variety of issues such as legislation, legal questions, tenant issues and local service providers, e.g. plumbers, electricians. They usually charge a small annual membership fee and can offer essential guidance to landlords both new and experienced.