As we welcome in the crisp Autumn months ahead, with many Lancashire landlords and tenants on our books we thought it only right to update you on the following lettings legislation changes that come into effect as of this month:
Section 21 Changes
In line with the Deregulation Act, from the 1st October 2015, new rules mean that at the start of a new tenancy a landlord (or agent) must provide their tenants with a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), an annual Gas Safety Certificate and a copy of the government’s new ‘How to Rent’ guide. This is a drastic change to the previous way a landlord or agent previously went about serving a Section 21, meaning that if you fail to provide your tenants with such proof you will be unable to serve the eviction notice.
According to a recent NLA survey a staggering 88% of tenants said they were unaware of this new eviction law!
Fire Safety Laws
New smoke and Carbon Monoxide regulation changes came into effect from October 1st too, preventing up to 26 deaths and 670 injuries per year. All landlords in England, or letting agents acting on their behalf, are now required by law to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property as well as making sure to fully test them at the beginning of each new tenancy. Carbon monoxide alarms must also be fitted where appropriate in all rooms the tenant actively uses which contain a solid fuel appliance, e.g. wood burner, coal fire, gas cooker, etc. Those that don’t comply risk fines of up to £5,000, but TAKE NOTE: throughout the tenancy it remains the tenants’ responsibility to test and maintain each alarm.
At Ainsworth Lord Estates the safety of our tenants is imperative, so we welcome this change wholeheartedly.
Section 8 Amendment
Much lesser known than the Section 21 changes, there will also be a small change to the existing Section 8 notice in England. Under regulation 4 (The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015) the English version of the Section 8 form is being amended again, following changes previously made this April. The slightly revised notice will only be used where the tenancy was granted on or after 1st October 2015, to include a written renewal but not a statutory periodic tenancy arising on or after that date. However for tenancies that are granted in England before 1st October 2015, the April 2015 version of the Section 8 Notice will apply. This newest version of Section 8 will apply to all assumed shorthold tenancies from 1st October 2018, regardless of when they were granted in England (assuming there are no further changes made to it).
It’s our aim to help address the overwhelming demand for housing in and around the North West, whilst at the same time protecting our Landlords’ interests. So avoid careless mistakes and heartache, by using the most proactive Property Agents in the Darwen & Blackburn area today!.