New regulations due 1st October – Update from readers questions

by Property 118

8:01 AM, 2nd October 2015
About 3 years ago

New regulations due 1st October – Update from readers questions

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New regulations due 1st October – Update from readers questions

The Department of Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) new regulations are due to come into force on the 1st of October. They introduce new obligations on landlords to provide specific information to their tenants, and restrictions on the use of the section 21 notice no fault possession procedure if they fail to do so.dclg

The new regulations will only apply to new tenancies from 1st October 2015, and then to all tenancies from October 1st 2018.

Landlords will become responsible for giving tenants a booklet called “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”.

This is available from the government website here >> https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent   (There is no hard copy available)

This booklet may/will be updated, but it does not look like you have to send a new one to tenants every time this happens. You will need proof it has been given which could be by hard copy or in an email attached as a PDF if you have confirmation of receipt.

There will be no need to send again when a tenancy falls into Statutory Periodic, but if a new term AST is signed then it will need to be re-issued.

Landlords must also give tenants a copy of the EPC certificate which is valid for 10 years and a copy of the Gas Safety certificate.

What about HMOs? It is not clear, but the consensus of industry opinion is that an EPC for the whole building will need to be supplied along with a Gas Safety certificate to tenants.

If any of the above are not given to tenants (at the start of a tenancy to avoid doubt) then the new rules prohibit the use of a section 21 notice to end a tenancy.

Landlords and Agencies are being advised to keep proof these documents were provided.

To see the NLAs response to these rules being rushed in click here

 

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1646/pdfs/uksi_20151646_en.pdf

Explanatory Note

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1646/pdfs/uksiem_20151646_en.pdf



Comments

Steve Masters

15:35 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

Does anyone know if new HMO tenants need to be issued with the Gas Safety record or not after Oct 1st?

I presume an EPC is not required for new HMO tenants but obviously the new "How to rent" booklet is.

Romain Garcin

17:55 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Masters" at "21/09/2015 - 15:35":

Hi Steve,

It is not fully clear to me as, according the the gas safety regs. landlords can opt not to if they display a copy and do provide one on demand but the new regs. regarding s.21 states that:

"the requirement prescribed by paragraph (1)(b) is limited to the requirement on a landlord to give a copy of the relevant record to the tenant"

Perhaps safer to give a copy just in case.

Steve Masters

18:18 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

If it's not fully clear to Romain then what chance have the rest of us got!!
All landlord should have a valid gas safety certificate anyway so it is a reasonably easy admin task to issue a copy.

However, not so easy for EPC in HMO's
Previous EPC legislation exempted HMO's from needing an EPC.
The Deregulation Act 2015 alludes that you can't serve a S21 without one.
The only explanation I have found on the web is a post on landlordlawblog.co.uk questioning it. If it's not clear to Tessa Shepperson then what chance have the rest of us got!!

I rang Landlord Action and spoke to Paul Shamplina, he thinks HMO's do need an EPC to serve a S21. If he is right, this will be news to HMO landlords.

The new regulation on Smoke and CO2 montors is clear, even in HMO's.
Gas safety and EPC in non HMO's is clear
BUT
Gas safety and EPC for HMO's is NOT clear.
This needs to be researched and made clear to all HMO landlords.

Does anyone want to take up the cause?

Steve Masters

18:20 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

If it's not clear to Romain then what chance have the rest of us got!!!

And what about EPC, do HMO landlords now need to get them in order to serve S21 when the previous EPC legislation exempted HMO's?

Romain Garcin

18:37 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Steve Masters" at "21/09/2015 - 18:20":

Well, that's not crystal clear either (On her blog Tessa Shepperson seems equally unsure).

The new regulation only points to the EPC regulation that states "The relevant person must ensure that a valid energy performance certificate has been given free of charge to the person who ultimately becomes the buyer or tenant."

Presumably that means any and all AST tenants.

Steve Masters

18:45 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Romain Garcin" at "21/09/2015 - 18:37":

Yes, and that blog post on landlordlawblog is the ONLY mention of the Deregulation Act and EPC in HMO's I have found on the web. If it is not cleat to Tessa Shepperson, what chance have the rest of us got!!!

I spoke to Paul Shamplina at Landlord Action and he thinks gas safety and EPC is required for s21 in HMO's.

That will be a big big surprise to an awful lot of HMO landlords who didn't need and don't have EPC's.

This needs research and publicity.

Guy Bradley

20:25 PM, 21st September 2015
About 3 years ago

Do we know if a paper 'hard copy' is specified or is a scanned/saved file computer document that is then electronically supplied satisfactory?

Steve B

11:50 AM, 23rd September 2015
About 3 years ago

Not sure about the requirements but I emailed my tenants with the just the link to the document and explained that IMHO the online version was better as the hyperlinks contained within it were accessible - which they weren't in the booklet form.

just my 2p worth!

Steve Masters

13:58 PM, 23rd September 2015
About 3 years ago

As this requirement only came to light a couple of days ago, and as I have a new tenant starting on 3rd October and as I am about to go on holiday I have just had an EPC done on that HMO so that I can serve a paper copy of the EPC before I go away, just to be on the safe side.

My new tenant laughed at the amount of paperwork given her this morning when we signed up saying "I shan't read all that!".

Who IS going to read 40 or 50 pages of small print? What a waste of time for EVERYONE.

Romain Garcin

14:15 PM, 23rd September 2015
About 3 years ago

Regarding EPC and gas safety certificate, it has been a legal requirement to give copies before the tenant moves in for some years, so in principle there should be nothing new.
However clearly not everyone was thorough.

Regarding the new booklet, it may be given by email ONLY after the tenant has agreed to receive such document that way.
Simply sending it by email because the tenant's email is known is not acceptable and a major caveat.

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