Information required under the Deregulation Act 2015
Since the Deregulation Act 2015 came into force, a landlord will be prevented from serving a notice seeking possession under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (a termination notice that can be served once the initial term has expired and the tenant need not be at fault) unless it has provided the tenant with:
an energy performance certificate (EPC) free of charge, in accordance with section 6(5) of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/3118)
a gas safety certificate, in accordance with regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/2451) (Gas Safety Regulations).
These regulations say that where there are no relevant gas appliances in any of the rooms to be occupied by the tenant, but there are relevant gas fittings or flues that directly or indirectly serve the premises, the landlord has to give a copy of the record of the gas safety check to the tenant or display it in a prominent position with an endorsement informing the tenant of its entitlement to have a copy on request
The gas safety certificate then needs to be renewed annually and given to the tenant before the previous one runs out.
a copy of the current version of “MHCLG: How to rent: The checklist for renting in England”, in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1646)
Landlords are not required to supply a further copy of the booklet each time a different version is published during a tenancy. The requirement does not apply where a landlord is a registered provider of social housing or where the landlord provided the tenant with the booklet under an earlier tenancy and that version is the latest version.
The latest version of this booklet can be found here.
All of these things need to be provided to the tenant before the start of the tenancy. The template AST contains a checklist on the front page to remind you of what needs to be provided.
Since 1 October 2018 these rules have applied to all ASTs, regardless of when they were first granted.
Please note, though, that these rules only apply to properties in England and do not apply to ASTs in Wales, although Wales is in the process of introducing similar legislation.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
From 1 October 2015 all landlords of private sector properties in England are required to comply with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1693).
This means that:
Right to rent checks
From 1 February 2016, private landlords of residential properties cannot allow certain people to occupy their properties, based on immigration status. This is due to sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014.
Landlords and agents will have to check the status of prospective tenants, and other authorised occupiers, to ascertain whether those parties have the right to be in the UK before granting a tenancy. This is called a ‘right to rent’ check.
The obligation applies throughout the tenancy, so landlords must also make sure that someone’s right to occupy the premises does not lapse.
Breaching the prohibition could lead to a civil penalty of up to £3,000.
The right to rent requirements have applied to the whole of England from 1 February 2016.
However from 1 December 2016 the rules have been toughened, with the introduction of criminal offences targeted at landlords and agents who fail to conduct the right to rent checks and to remove illegal immigrant tenants from their properties.
We understand that these rules can be worrying. If you require any advice on their meaning or application, please do not hesitate to contact us by email to [email protected] or call us on 0344 770 1044.