How to Rent guide updated by MHCLG

How to Rent guide updated by MHCLG

12:04 PM, 10th December 2020, About 11 months ago 79

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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has today (10/12/2020) updated the How to Rent guide: Click here to download.

The statutory requirement is for a tenant to be provided with the version of the guide current at the time of the new tenancy and failure to serve the most up to date guide invalidates any future Section 21 action. A statutory periodic tenancy is also considered a new tenancy so an updated copy must be served after the fixed term before you can issue a Section 21.

The previous update of the How to Rent guide was sneaked out on the 7th August 2019.

The guide can be served as a hard copy or with the consent of the tenant emailed as a PDF.

“This guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process, including:

  • what to look out for before renting
  • living in a rented home
  • what happens at the end of a tenancy
  • what to do if things go wrong”


Comments

by Seething Landlord

12:32 PM, 13th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Landlord Phil at 13/12/2020 - 12:15Thanks for this, it's a powerful message that needs repeating loud and clear.

by Mick Roberts

16:18 PM, 13th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 10/12/2020 - 13:32
That's it David, another Gotya.

Something they don't read, but the Judge will most certainly say need signed received proof, if not, u ain't getting your house back.
Helps the current mis-behaving tenant, the same tenant UC says is responsible, so they must be paid the rent. But certainly don't help the tenants going forward, as another reason for good landlords saying 'I've had enough'.

by Beaver

9:28 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Landlord Phil at 12/12/2020 - 13:08
I did deal with it: I had a EICR done when it was voluntary because as a landlord I already knew that I had an obligation to keep my property safe; when I did it I went beyond what the regulations required then.

And I just had a replacement EICR done again. The recommendation was to replace your consumer unit and this was to fix a problem with wiring that hasn't caused a problem in decades and as far as I can see wasn't unsafe. So I paid for the consumer unit to be replaced as I anticipated that it would be difficult to get hold of electricians and testers in the run up to April. I did "deal with it" not because I think it makes any significant different to the safety of my property or my tenants; I think their tumble drier is the greatest risk in my property...but it is their tumble drier, not mine. I did it to comply with the regulations.

Just because you found some dodgy wiring in one of your properties it doesn't automatically follow that every single landlord in the country would need to have obligatory five year inspections. You would normally expect there to be some kind of evidence that there was a problem that needed fixing; accidents in the government's safety statistics for example. I can't see any evidence of accidents with domestic wiring. I can see evidence of electrical accidents at work. I can see evidence of electrical appliances causing fires. But those problems aren't going to be solved by this "fix".

Does anyone know of any statistics anywhere...e.g. ROSPA, or *.gov.uk showing that there was a problem that would require everyone to have five yearly inspections and probably get a new consumer unit?

by Paul Shears

10:18 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 14/12/2020 - 09:28
Well said.

by Paul Shears

10:22 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Landlord Phil at 13/12/2020 - 12:15
Better tip. Don't assume that every time you get a problem in this life, you can solve it by filling out a form and passing it on to someone else. That's just a social construct that will, sooner or later, be the death of all of us.

by Landlord Phil

11:06 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 14/12/2020 - 09:28Beaver, I'm disappointed to hear your views on this regulation. The bare facts are that I've been shown dangerous faults in properties I own that would not have shown up without an eicr, unless an injury were to have occurred. I can't in good conscience find a way to justify the argument that the eicr is anything less than necessary. Yes tenants create their own risk, as do manufacturers of items, but surely spending a few quid every five years is better than not doing so? I more than most feel that gov is trying to shove us out of the way, but this is safety were talking about. Any reasonable measure that gives even the slightest improvement in terms of safety has to surely be a good thing. We aren't going to achieve perfection, but the eicr is a step closer. Look at it this way. What do you pay for an eicr? Divide it by 5 years, divide it again by 52 weeks. What's your weekly cost? Next to nothing is the answer. If you need to, use it as a reason to increase your rents slightly. As I've said before, the compulsory introduction of eicr is going to cost me thousands, but I'm supporting it because I don't want a dead or injured tenant. This doesn't give me a guarantee, but it's a reasonable step forward in mitigating risk. Do you know what the have a go heroes have done with your electrics before you bought your properties? Of course not. This goes some way to figuring out if they've done anything silly. The statistics mean nothing. The potential for injury means everything. One death would be too much for my conscience. I say it again, i support this scheme and I don't think its going far enough. Every property needs a check. It should be part of the package required to sell a house or to rent one. The fact that housing associations don't need it is ridiculous. Let's complain about those that are exempt, not that we have to get it done. As I said before, I'm partially qualified as a spark. Even I know what silliness has been installed in property and I don't look every day. If any more evidence is needed, ask your fully qualified spark what he's seen. It's enough to make your toes curl. Really, having an eicr requirement is not something any of us should be complaining about. What we do need to say is that we need to find ways to get all properties up to a level of electrical safety.

by Landlord Phil

11:15 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 14/12/2020 - 10:22
Come on.paul, this issue is so much more than filling in a form. We both know that. I've been o on site for the tests, seen the findings and repaired them. Gov is keen to shove us out, I know, but this is one.piece of legislation that actually makes sense. I was against it before I saw the results and the Frankenstein wiring that Billy b&q has put in. Theres no way this is anything less than a good idea.

by Beaver

11:30 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Landlord Phil at 14/12/2020 - 11:06
Within the last 5 years I've had some new spotlights installed in my home by a qualified electrician; (so this is my main home, not my rented property, which has just had a new consumer unit fitted to it).

When this qualified electrician came in he did some extra work for me. I wanted some plugs fitted with USB outputs on them. I could have done it myself but I paid this qualified electrician to do it because I didn't have time and I assumed he'd do a better job. One of the sockets he fitted was fitted loose - you could fit a pencil between the socket and the wall.

One of the spotlights he fitted was too small for the hole he drilled in the ceiling. When he fitted the spotlights he told me I needed a new consumer unit. I wasn't convinced because he'd already told me that the wiring in my property was good; his words were that my wiring in my house was originally installed by teams of electricians working together. But it had a combination of some safety cut outs and some traditional fuses in porcelain fuse boxes: All very robust and encased in a metal casing.

But he said the regulations said I had to change it if he was going to do the other work. So he changed it and I paid him; I wasn't very convinced though because the two consumer units he put in are reasonably robust but they are made of plastic. The original units were made of metal. I could have hit them with a hammer or a step ladder and they wouldn't have broken. I'm guessing if I had to have this done now I'd have to have them replaced again even though they are recently fitted? Because they are plastic and not metal?

This qualified electrician also fitted a shaver charging socket in one of our ensuite bathrooms at the same time that he fitted the spotlights. Shortly afterwards my wife wanted a picture put up in the bathroom, which resulted in me having to drill a hole near to the new socket. I got my electrical safety tester out and checked where the cable was running; it didn't run up and down it was snaking all over the wall.

This qualified electrician did lots of testing; but he still left faults or work that I would consider to be not 100% safe. It probably complied with the regulations at the time though. Although I doubt it was safer than what was there before.

Shortly after we had the electrical work done we had to have our kitchen ceiling replaced (replacing old artex ceiling). Underneath the ceiling we found a wire that had had the insulation stripped by a mouse. I replaced it and made it safe. But that was never picked up by the testing by the qualified electrician.

So just because you get somebody qualified and he follows the regulations and gets your system to pass a test it doesn't follow that you are going to have a safer property.

So do you know of any safety data showing that there was a problem with the safety of electrical installations in the Private Rented Sector? Any record of accidents that were to do with the fixed installations themselves rather than the mobile appliances? And if there are records of accidents due to electrical installations, are they mainly in the Private Rented Sector or the Public rented sector?

The only records of accidents due to electricity that I can see online are to do with appliances. The information on *.gov.uk says that most landlords keep their properties safe.

by Paul Shears

11:51 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 14/12/2020 - 11:30
Well said.

by Landlord Phil

11:57 AM, 14th December 2020, About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 14/12/2020 - 11:30
I don't have data, but then again, its not my role to collect it. I do feel I have a responsibility to my tenants and my family though. What I'm picking up from your last message is that you need a new electrician. It's rare that a consumer unit needs replacing unless its failing. The rules say words to the effect that an installation should be fit for purpose according to the regulations in place at the time of installation. Beaver, I think you've been had over by a sub standard sparky. If he's that bad, have a chat with niceic. Next time, id get a 2nd opinion before you pay. A good spark is a busy spark. He doesn't need to create work. No matter how much you've been conned in the past, the fact remains that anything we can reasonably do to improve electrical safety is a good thing. Your spark was clearly one of the have a go heroes that I'm talking about. I would have questioned his statements. I wonder if he was qualified to the level he claimed. Sounds like a dodgy tradesman to me. If it quacks like a duck, it usually is a duck. Always worth a check.


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