New landlord legislation and what you need to do to comply

Renting out property is big business at the moment. A recent survey from Rightmove highlights that annual growth in asking rents on properties outside the capital reached 10.8% over the last year - the first time ever over 10%. In South Lakes, we’ve seen rents go up at least £100 per calendar month since the beginning of the year.

Enquiries from tenants has never been so high with the same survey seeing a 6% increase in demand. From our own portfolio this increase feels low however when you match that against a reduction in property numbers of up to 50% across the country you can immediately see the challenges within the sector.

This would naturally seem to be a great problem to have. However, if you’ve recently changed tenants and had your inbox or mobile phone overrun with enquiries it can really add to the workload of being a landlord, especially if it’s not your full time job.

Given this spotlight on the rental market we asked Andrew & Louise, our lettings experts if there was anything else our landlords needed to consider this year.

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Firstly, before we start on new legislation, a reminder about the compulsory Electrical Safety Standards that applied to all tenancies from April 2021. The purpose of an ECIR is to assess whether a property’s electrical installation is in a safe condition and a property cannot be let without one. These checks are now compulsory with the certification lasting for 5 years.

Right to Rent verification
Every landlord or lettings agent in England must verify a tenant’s right to rent before renting out their property. The Government have introduced a simpler way of sharing this information by providing tenants with a ‘share code’ which allows landlords to log in to the Government website and access the required documents. This speeds up the whole process as documents don’t need to be shared digitally between parties, although you do need to be signed up to a UK government-certified scheme and paid-for digital identity service provider or IDSP.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms
New rules have been on the horizon for a number of years but pushed back because of the pandemic. Since 2015 the legal requirement is for a smoke alarm to be fitted on every floor that is wholly or partly used as accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm where solid fuel (wood, coal or biomass) is being burned.

Once the new rules come into force carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in rooms with a fixed combustion appliance and upon installation of any heating appliance (excluding gas cookers in both instances). Landlords will be expected to repair or replace alarms once advised they are faulty, rather than just at the start of each tenancy as is the case at the moment.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are advising landlords to review their current properties to ensure they are compliant to avoid fines once the legislation comes into force. More information can be found here.

Changes to EPC Regulations
Current proposals are that a property’s energy efficiency must meet a minimum of a C grade for it to be suitable to be rented out. This can lead to heavy losses for landlords - not only if they can’t let their properties past the 2025 deadline but also in the loss of rental income whilst they make the necessary changes.

In a recent survey 27% of landlords admitted to not knowing the energy efficiency ratings of their rental properties, and therefore unsure of the level of work required to meet the minimum C grading. From those that knew what work was required 42% admitted that their tenants would need to vacate the property to allow improvements to be made.

Although the legislation is at best three years away, it’s advisable for landlords to have their properties assessed so they can plan any necessary work to be scheduled at a time that limits their losses.

As a lettings agent within an estate agency, our residential valuers can offer EPC certification for our landlords to allow them to determine what work is required on their property in preparation for the new regulations. If you have already considered the legislation above and just need support to manage your next tenancy changeover then we can assist with that too.

New to letting? Our website offers an easy step by step guide to becoming a landlord, ensuring we can get your property listed quickly and you can get ready to welcome your first paying tenants.

Head over to our website to see how our hassle-free property management can help you maximise your investment.

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