Landlords and PRS Lettings – Update for 2020

Landlords and PRS Lettings – Update for 2020

Compliance and Lettings Legislation Update 

What do Landlords need to be aware of in 2020 (so far!) for PRS (Private Rented Sector) lettings?

Our Lettings expert and compliance coach, James Duffy, highlights the legislation changes Landlords need to be aware of for 2020.

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 extends to more Tenancies

  • The Homes Act came into force in March 2019: it only covered tenancies that commenced after 20 March 2019
  • From 20 March 2020, The Homes Act will extend to almost all tenancies. Periodic Tenancies that commenced before 20 March 2019 will come under the scope of the legislation 12 months after commencement on 20 March 2020
  • Landlords should be aware that through an implied covenant, the Act places responsibility on them to ensure that the property is ‘fit for human habitation’ before the tenancy commences and for its duration
  • Landlords must familiarise themselves with the 29 HHSRS hazards

Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations (Grace Period Ends)

  • The regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for private rented properties in England and Wales. (E rating or above is required)
  • The regulations came into effect in April 2018
  • There was a 2-year grace period for tenancies which had started before 1 April 2018
  • This means that on 1 April 2020, all rented properties must meet the MEES regulations which is currently a rating of E on a valid Energy Performance Certificate
  • Listed Building and EPC Compliance: listed buildings, and buildings within a conservation area, will not be required to meet the minimum energy efficiency standards if they are not required to have an EPC. Landlords are advised to take additional advice in these circumstances.

Compulsory electrical checks for all rented properties. (Are there enough electricians?)

  • Subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament Landlords will need to ensure electrical installation inspections and testing are carried out for all new tenancies in England from 1 July 2020 or from 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies
  • The rules will apply to every kind of privately rented property and failure to comply will attract fines of up to £30,000

Tenant Fees Act 2018 Transition Period End

  • The Tenant Fees Act 2018 came into effect on 1 June 2019
  • The Act allowed a grace period of one year for tenancies that had started before 1 June 2019 – this ‘grace period’ is coming to an end
  • On 1 June 2020 the Tenant Fee Ban will become binding on all tenancies

The Government`s Renters` Reform Bill

  • Government’s “people’s priorities” announcing a Renters’ Reform Bill that will abolish the use of ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and reforming the grounds for possession
  • The Government’s Renters’ Reform Bill will also introduce a new lifetime deposit so that Tenants don’t need to save for a new deposit every time they move to a new house
  • The Government will continue to develop and implement measures to widen access to, and expand, the scope of the database of Rogue Landlords.

There are over 170 different pieces of legislation that Landlords must adhere to when providing rental accommodation.

James Duffy

MNAEA, MARLA, AIRPM, HHSRS Practitioner (and Branch Manager)

To find out whether your property conforms to recent legislation, book in a complimentary 30 minute telephone consultation with us.  Call 01273-735237 to book.