The Government has this week announced the outcome of its recent consultation on property conditions in the private rented sector. It will have a significant effect on both landlords and tenants because of the increased number of obligations imposed on residential landlords. The changes are expected to come into force on 1 October 2015. The key ones are:
- Changes to protect tenants against the practice of retaliatory eviction where the tenant has raised a legitimate complaint about the condition of the property and a Local Authority has issued a notice confirming that the repair needs to be carried out to avoid a risk to health and safety.
- Tenants to receive at least 2 months' notice before they have to move out of the property;
- Changes to calculating the date for eviction contained within section 21 notices.
- install smoke alarms on each story of their property and to check they are in working order at the start of a new tenancy; and
- install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms considered most at risk from high levels of carbon monoxide.
What does this mean?
For now we are advising all our landlord to install Co2 alarms in their properties if they have not done so already. Its not expensive (about £30 per alarm) and seems sensible. The same advice we are offering about smoke alarms. While 90% of rental properties already have smoke alarms and it is a tenant responsibility to check them we will now check them on management visits and testing the batteries.
More details on the Section 21 changes to follow, however if you have questions just contact the office.