Use a let­ting agent who knows the reg­u­la­tions

Harefield Gazette - - PROPERTY -

LAKIN & Co is find­ing that many land­lords are still un­aware of the changes in the law that came into force at the be­gin­ning of this month. The way in which no­tice can be served on ten­ants has changed as of Oc­to­ber 1 2015.The cur­rent pre­scribed no­tice re­quired to be given for bring­ing a ten­ancy to an end has been re­placed by a new form of Sec­tion 21 no­tice which must be used for all fixed term As­sured Short­hold Te­nan­cies (ASTs) that start on or af­ter Oc­to­ber 1.

The changes do not ap­ply to a fixed term AST granted be­fore Oc­to­ber 1, even if, af­ter this date, the fixed term AST be­comes a statu­tory pe­ri­odic ten­ancy. Un­til Oc­to­ber 1 2018, you can choose whether to use the new form of Sec­tion 21 no­tice for te­nan­cies that started be­fore Oc­to­ber 1 2015. How­ever, from Oc­to­ber 1 2018, the new rules will ap­ply to any AST. It is there­fore more im­por­tant than ever for land­lords to know the re­quire­ments and use the right no­tice to be able to gain pos­ses­sion of their prop­erty.

As part of the changes, a Sec­tion 21 no­tice can­not be used where the ten­ant has resided in the prop­erty for less than four months.Where the land­lord has not pro­tected the ten­ant’s de­posit un­der a ten­ancy de­posit scheme, has not com­plied with the ‘pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion re­quire­ments’ re­ferred to be­low or where the prop­erty re­quires a li­cence but is un­li­censed, for ex­am­ple a House in Mul­ti­ple Oc­cu­pa­tion (HMO).

The land­lord is now also pre­vented from ‘re­tal­ia­tory evic­tion’ un­der Sec­tion 33 Dereg­u­la­tion Act 2015 (DA 2015) which has been in­tro­duced to pre­vent land­lords evict­ing ten­ants who have re­quested re­pairs or main­te­nance to be car­ried out.

Again from Oc­to­ber 1,The As­sured Short­hold Ten­ancy No­tices and Pre­scribed Re­quire­ments (England) Reg­u­la­tions 2015 will im­pose new re­quire­ments on all land­lords, in the way cer­tain in­for­ma­tion must be pro­vided to their ten­ants. In ad­di­tion to the ex­ist­ing re­quire­ments whereby land­lords are ob­li­gated to pro­tect their ten­ant’s de­posit in a de­posit pro­tec­tion scheme and pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to their ten­ant on how

SMOKE ALARMS:

While Lakin & Co has al­ways ad­vised land­lords to in­stall smoke alarms, now they are re­quired by law, as are car­bon monox­ide alarms in any room with a solid fuel burn­ing ap­pli­ance.

and where their de­posit is pro­tected. . Land­lords and let­ting agents are now re­quired to also pro­vide, a copy of; the en­ergy per­for­mance cer­tifi­cate (EPC), gas safety cer­tifi­cate and a

copy of The Depart­ment for Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment’s t’s book­let ti­tled ‘How to rent: the check­list for rent­ing in England’ at the e start of the ten­ancy.

If the cor­rect in­for­ma­tion is not pro­vided to ten­ants at the time the ten­ancy is en­tered into, then land­lords and their let­ting agents will not be able to serve a sec­tion 21 no­tice to bring the ten­ancy to an end.

While Lakin & Co has al­ways ad­vised land­lords to in­stall smoke and car­bon monox­ide alarms, land­lords are now re­quired by law to in­stall smoke de­tec­tors on ev­ery floor of their prop­erty where some­one is liv­ing. Car­bon monox­ide alarms must also be fit­ted in any room within a rented prop­erty where there is asolid-fuel burn­ing ap­pli­ance, this in­cludes open fires and wood burn­ers but again Lakin & Co ad­vises land­lords to also in­clude th­ese as stan­dard.

Both types of alarm must be tested at the start of ev­ery ten­ancy be­gin­ning on or af­ter Oc­to­ber 1.

Al­though the rul­ing does not ap­ply to re­newed or statu­tory pe­ri­odic te­nan­cies Lakin & Co has been ad­vis­ing its land­lords well in ad­vance to start en­sur­ing smoke alarms are fit­ted.

Make sure syou are us­ing an agent who knows the law and who will pro­tect you and your prop­erty. So call Lakin & Co on 01895 544 555 for more in­for­ma­tion and to see how they can help you.

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