An Overview - Fundamental Changes in the Private Rented Sector

The date when the Tenant Fee Ban becomes Law has been announced, so now is the time to prepare for the changes this pivotal piece of Legislation will bring. On Wednesday, the House of Commons will deliberate on the amendments put forward by the House of Lords and will hopefully be put to bed. Once Royal Assent has been given, guidance will be provided.

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 will be enforced on the 20th March 2019 and will be a requirement for all social and private landlords (or agents acting on their behalf) in England to ensure that a property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout its duration. If a property does not meet the relevant standard of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), tenants will have the right to take legal action directly to the courts, for breach of contract. The Act amends the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which contains the most commonly referred to Section 11 and will only apply to tenancies made after 20 March so any tenancy entered into before will not initially be covered by the legislation. 

Client Money Protection (CMP) becomes mandatory on the 1st April 2019 under the Housing & Planning Act 2016. However, amendments have been made to the Primary Legislation and once the Tenant Fee Bill has received Royal Assent, these amendments will be announced.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) consulted on plan to introduce longer tenancies as standard and to establish a specialised Housing Court to consider all property matters. The consultation for the specialist housing court will close tomorrow, 22nd January 2019.

There has been discussion for many years surrounding the implementation of Electrical Safety Checks for rented property. Whilst the legislation is already in place (Housing and Planning Act 2016) there has been some discussion on how and when the legislation will be bought into force. A review of the Building Regulations after the Grenfell Tower fire was meant to fast-track this legislation but it has to yet to be announced.

Our workshops will focus heavily on areas of change that need to be implemented, including an Action Plan for the Tenant Fee Ban.

Susie Crolla