April and May this year brought a flood of new legislation and regulation to perplex private landlords, say Leaders, the Letting Agents.
First came a requirement to register all Houses in Multiple Occupation, HMOs with the Local Authority and to obtain a Licence at a cost that varied from one authority to another of Â£5-700 for a licence that lasts for five years.
At the same time the new Housing Health and Safety Rating System, HHSRS, was established which is designed to apply to all rented property although Environmental Health and Fire Officers will focus first on HMOs.
In the last week of April Leaders were briefed on Energy Performance Certificates, a Brussels requirement dating back to 2002, and not to be implemented in the UK until late in 2006 or more likely during 2007.
A Certificate will have to be made available to anyone buying or renting a home. The Certificate will be provided by a new force of inspectors not yet recruited and will last for ten years from date of issue. Costs will run from Â£250 for a flat when a whole block is measured at the same time to Â£750 or so for a 5 bed house.
The Law Commission finally on 5th May published their Report, Draft Bill and sample Tenancy Agreements all designed to replace several centuries of housing law some of which dates back 200 years or more. There is no space in the Parliamentary timetable for this draft legislation to be debated so it may go back into a pigeon hole, (it is over 200 pages long) for some time yet.
Paul Weller, Leaders Managing Director said â€œwe will continue to publish new editions of our valuable guide to legislation and regulations â€“ The Knowledge – so that all of our landlords are fully and accurately informedâ€?.
Now we have to come to terms with the fact that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, ODPM, is no more although John Prescott no doubt keeps his salary, car and several homes.
We must now learn to say Department for Communities and Local Government, DCLG, under Ruth Kelly who at least established an understanding of the property industry during her stint as Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
For further information contact Alan Thurlow on 0845 345 4075, email firstname.lastname@example.org