The Housing & Planning Act 2016 - Part 2

Whilst the Housing & Planning Act was passed last month, all kinds of secondary legislation will need to be passed before it is in force, which is expected to be April 2017. So no need to panic yet!

Electrical Safety Standards have always caused concern in the Private Rented Sector - Should we , shouldn't we carry out electrical checks? Is it a grey area?

The Secretary of State will have the power to pass regulations placing a positive obligation on Landlords to ensure that electrical safety standards are met during any tenancy term. These ‘electrical safety standards’ relate to the installation of the electrical supply and the electrical fixtures and fittings or appliances that the Landlord may have supplied.

In order to comply a Landlord will be required to instruct an expert to ensure that the ‘electrical safety standards’ are complied with. These tests may be required annually and may obligate the Landlord to provide a copy of the expert’s certificate to the Tenant. However, until the Secretary of State has passed the regulation, we will not know the extent of these requirements.

Landlords who fail to comply with the ‘electrical safety standards’ could face a financial penalty and with the Tenant’s consent, the local authority may enter the rented property and remedy any electrical safety failure. So the input of the local authority is to become ever present.

Technically, it looks as though fixed wiring and PAT tests a legal requirement for Landlords. FINALLY

Client money protection was discussed in the last newsletter. The Secretary of State will have the power to pass regulations which will require ALL letting agents to become members of a private or government CLIENT MONEY PROTECTION SCHEME. The reference to client money would include deposits and rent held by lettings agents on behalf of Tenants and Landlords. Property agents who fail to comply with this provision could face a financial penalty determined by the Secretary of State and enforced by local authorities. Once again this has not yet been set in stone.

Please note that for those agents reading this who are - this is not the same as Tenancy Deposit Protection. Please check with your insurer.

The Housing & Planning Act 2016 is one of the topics covered in the workshops offered by the Letting Training Centre. These half day sessions have proven invaluable for the clients attending and the Action Plan put in place has served as a useful resource for implementing the subject matter discussed.

One final point. Yesterday The Letting Training centre received accreditation from Rent Smart Wales. We now have courses which have been accredited to fit in with the requirements of the Welsh Assembly. This includes the BTEC Professional Diploma.

Susie Crolla - CEO

News / BlogAlex Evans