The Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) is facing embarrassment at delays in bringing in new renting rules and regulations, slated to be effective from the 1st of October but now facing delays in the final stages of their approval by the House of Lords.
The new rules include:
- A new single Section 21 notice which replaces and simplifies the previous requirement for two different notices: for a fixed term – s21(1)(b) – and for a periodic tenancy – s21(4)(a) – both had slightly different rules on dates.
- An obligation on landlords to provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and a Gas Safety Certificate and also needed when applying to the court for a possession order.
- Landlords are also to be required to provide their tenants with the current version of a DCLG Booklet on “How to rent” – www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent
Under the new regulations, landlords will be required to provide the most up-to-date version “How to rent” at the beginning of a tenancy. They are not required to provide an updated version at a later date or when a tenancy is renewed.
Included in the same delayed legislation are the new smoke and CO detector rules – see here
If landlords fail to follow any of the new rules when enacted they cannot serve ‘No Fault’ section 21 eviction notices.
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of the National Landlords Association (NLA), has said of the delays:
“This is just plain farcical. These regulations are poorly worded, badly timed and are being tabled with just days to spare before they are due to come into force on 1 October. As we understand it, there will be no guidance from the Government explaining how to comply before then. How can a landlord about to let a property on a tenancy from the start of October be expected to comply with these new requirements if they’ve not been told what they are and what is expected?
“Given that there is no Government budget for marketing these new laws, and so it is relying on industry organisations and professional advisers as the main route to compliance, it’s shoddy, to say the least.
“Coming hot on the heels of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm debacle in the Lords… which due to official incompetence looks highly unlikely to come into force this year, this is something akin to a Laurel and Hardy sketch.”
The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015:
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