Looking after our landlords

7th June 2017

Over the past 5 years there have been no less than 145 changes to legislation impacting landlords and letting agents in the UK. 

Our government seem to be heavily targeting the private rental sector with ever changing rules and regulation. To make sure our clients are compliant MTM staff have attend various property events, training courses, local SLA (Southern Landlord Association) and NLA (National Landlord Association) meetings.  We also have a close relationship with Brighton & Hove Council and we are members of UKALA (UK Association of Letting Agents) who keep us informed of changes to the industry. 

Below we’ve highlighted some of the more important points all landlords must follow to avoid potential prosecution:

·         The additional licensing scheme that came into place in November 2012 in five wards across Brighton will not be renewed this November.

·         The Council are starting a consultation to introduce an alternative citywide licensing scheme to cover more a wider range of properties. The aim is to ignore how many floors a property has meaning all 5 bedroom properties will fall under National HMO licensing regulations and all 3 bedroom properties will fall under additional licensing across ALL of Brighton & Hove, not just the current wards. 

·         Landlords and Agents must retain a record of serving the How to Rent Booklet, Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) and Energy Performance (EPC) prior to the tenancy commencing. 

·         A tenants’ Right to Rent must be checked by taking original copies of approved ID’s

·         A minimum of battery operated smoke alarms are required for every rental property and there must be 1 smoke alarm fitted to each floor.  The alarm must be affixed horizontally to the ceiling in an area where the tenant can safely test the alarm each week and replace the battery when needed.

·         Carbon monoxide detectors are required in all rooms containing solid fuel burning appliances.

·         Fire Alarms (Grade D) must be tested every 12 months, a test certificate issued and repairs completed where highlighted.

·         Fire Alarms (Grade A) must be tested every 6 months, a test certificate issued and repairs completed where highlighted.

·         Emergency Lighting should be tested every 12 months, a test certificate issued and repairs completed where highlighted.

·         All fire and carbon monoxide alarms must be tested at the start of each tenancy in the presence of the tenant. For our full and part managed clients, these checks are completed at check in to comply with this. All our non-managed clients will need to make arrangements for this, please get in touch with one of the team if you would like some assistance or advice. 

·         Gas Safety Certificates – must be renewed prior to expiry – we still see far too many gaps or delays from Landlords in submitting their certificate. If your property is a HMO this should be submitted to the Council within 7 days of the previous certificate expiring. If we don’t already MTM can manage your gas safety certificates for you please let us know if this would be of help.

·         Electrical Safety Standards have changed – with regard to PAT testing or proving when a device was bought

·         Electrical Condition Report (ECR) – legislation still states that it’s best practice to have a satisfactory electrical condition report. If your property is a HMO it is mandatory and this must be renewed every 5 years. 

 ·         From the 1st of April 2018 all properties advertised must have a minimum energy performance rating of E or above, this includes tenancy renewals. All existing tenancies will need to comply by 2020.