Laws & Legislation

We are here to support our landlords with navigating the ever-evolving rules and regulations around letting your property.

With our vast experience in property management we’ll guide you through the creation and completion of all required legal documentation. We pride ourselves on both the strength of our relationships and our processes, which includes the completion of necessary documentation. Our process is fast but thorough.

Visit our news area for updates on any rental legislation change

Parks Letting Property Kitchen in Brighton

Current Legal Regulations

Gas Safety Regulations 1998 (Installation and use)
Any landlord who has a gas appliance and installation in their property must ensure they are maintained in a safe condition to prevent risk of injury. They must be checked every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and an appropriate certificate will be supplied. You must keep the original Gas Safety Certificate, and a copy must be provided to the tenant before the tenancy commences and annually thereafter (within 28 days of having it done). Failure to comply with these regulations can result in criminal sanction.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015
This legislation states that a working smoke alarm must be fitted on each floor of all private properties rented to tenants. In addition, where there is solid fuel burnt, (such as wood, coal, or biomass, and includes open fires) a working carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted. We further recommend this is done in every property where there is a gas appliance and this is done by a gas safe registered engineer; they also have a directive to place a working carbon monoxide alarm in all bedrooms where there is also a gas fired boiler present in the same room. The fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms must be tested regularly by the tenant; landlords and their agents must keep a register to confirm the fire alarm is working at the beginning of each tenancy.

Energy Efficiency Regulations
From 1st April 2018 all rented properties will require a minimum energy performance rating of E on an EPC. Regulation states that a tenant will have the right to ask for energy efficiency improvement in privately rented properties, which cannot be unreasonably refused by the landlord. This is subject to any amendments which may be made before the Regulations are enforced.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An assessment of how efficient a property uses energy, and recommendations of how to improve the energy efficiency of the property. There is a rating from A to G. It must be obtained by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor. Landlords must ensure that an EPC is given to prospective tenants before a tenancy commences.

Non Resident Landlord Tax (Finance Act 1995)
In accordance with the Tax Maintenance Act 1970, in order for an overseas landlord to receive UK rental income without the deduction of UK tax you will need to complete a NRL1 form and return it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Houses in Multiple Occupation
A property requires a HMO licence if it’s let as a main or only home to at least three unrelated sharers residing in a property over one storey.  Failure to obtain a licence from the local council can result in a fine of up to £20,000, a tenancy cannot commence until a licence has been applied for.
There are two types of licensing for HMOs in Brighton & Hove:
– National Licencing for five or more sharers
– Additional Licencing for smaller HMOs in twelve wards

Please contact Brighton & Hove City Council to confirm if your property is located in one of the twelve HMO wards.

Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
It is against the law for rented properties to be supplied with upholstered furnishings containing foams which cannot be evidenced to comply with the above regulation. Any furnishings manufactured since 1st March 1989 and sold by a retailer after 1st March 1990 should carry labels to comply with this. If the furniture included does not have the labels, the owner will be required to contact the manufacturer for confirmation. No furniture purchased from outside the UK complies with the above regulation.

Money Laundering Regulation 2007
This regulation states that when handling client funds we must see identification and proof of address before commencing a tenancy.

Flood and water management act 2010 (section 45)
The landlord has an obligation to provide the tenant’s contact details to the relevant water suppliers at the end of the tenancy or they will become jointly and severally liable for any unpaid water charges during the tenancy.

Consumer protection from unfair trading regulations 2008
When  advertising a property the agent has an obligation to ensure that all the information is accurate, and nothing is misleading to a potential tenant.

Right to Rent 2015, Immigration Act 2014
Landlords must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England before the start of a new tenancy. All tenants aged 18 and over must have these checks, even if they’re not named on the tenancy agreement, if there is no tenancy agreement, or if the tenancy agreement is verbal. It is against the law to only check people you think are not British citizens. If the tenant is only allowed to stay in the UK for a limited time, you need to conduct the check in the 28 days before the start of the tenancy.

Client Money Protection (CMP)
The Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme is a compensation system run by the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP) which provides reimbursement to landlords, tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds.

The Property Ombudsman (TPO)
A government approved scheme which offers independent dispute resolution between consumers and property agents.

Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP)
Landlords which rent a property on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6th  April 2007 must put the agreed deposit in a government- backed tenancy deposit scheme. In England or Wales Landlords can register a deposit with either Deposit Protection Service, My Deposits, or Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Prescribed Information – Deregulation Act 2015
As of the 1st October 2015 additional documentation must be provided to the tenant on or before the start of the tenancy. The following documentation is required, along with evidence that the tenant has received them:

– DCLG How To Rent Guide

– Current Gas Safety Certificate (where applicable)

– Energy Performance Certificate

– Prescribed Information for tenancy deposit scheme, and certificate

Electrical Certificate
Required by law to ensure that the electrical installation in a property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration. If your property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) it will require a periodic inspection carried out on the property every five years. If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to do this. However, it is best practice to ensure that a periodic inspection and test is carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years.

Legionnaires Disease
Although not law, it is Code of Practise to ensure a risk assessment is carried out on the property prior to a tenancy commencing. Careful attention must be addressed to properties with open water tanks, swimming pools, and cooling systems.

Landlord Repairing Obligations
In the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, section 11 as amended by the Section 116 of the Housing Act 1988 places an obligation on landlords to ensure all installations of water, gas, electricity and sanitation supply are kept in good working order.

Safety standards for internal blinds and curtains
Legally any blinds or curtains which include a cord or chain must comply with the recent published safety standards. New blinds and curtains must have built-in safety systems. Blinds and curtains that are already fitted to a property must comply or be replaced.

Retaliatory Evictions
Under the Deregulation Act 2015, measures were brought in to stop Landlords evicting tenants who reported maintenance issues with the property, rather than fixing them. Under an AST, if poor state of repair is reported to a Landlord and a reasonable response isn’t evident within 14 days, the Tenant may inform the council who could then stop the landlord serving a Section 21 notice (to end the tenancy) for six months, as well as issuing an improvement notice.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The HHSRS is a method of assessing housing conditions. There is a risk assessment approach to reduce risks from hazards to health and safety to be decreased.

Fitness for Human Habitation (Section 10 & 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985)
The purpose of this act is to ensure a property is habitable for a tenant to reside in. To deem a property as habitable it must be in good order of repair, stability, freedom from damp, internal arrangement, natural lighting, ventilation, water supply, drainage and sanitary conveniences. Whilst providing facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water. If one or more of these is regarded as unfit it is not suitable for habitation.

Data Protection Act (DPA)
The Data Protection Act controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government. Everyone responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’ to adhere to the act and keep identifiable information confidential.

As new landlords last year, my husband and I were recommended to Parks through the sole estate agent we use. We have had nothing but a positive experience in that time. Antony the Letting Director has always been on hand to investigate, inform and advise. He has happily come along to view properties we were interested in and pass opinion accordingly. None of our requests have been dismissed and nothing has been too much trouble. Communication is efficient and legal and procedural knowledge and policy has been tip-top. The lettings management team has always been quick to respond and as a result, our tenants seem happy too, which is also important.

Mrs Constantinou, Landlord, 2018

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