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Residential Property Update

Posted on February 20th 2017 by

A reminder for Landlords entering into tenancy agreements in 2017:

The Energy Act 2011;

Since April 2016, tenants have been able to ask their landlord to make their property more energy efficient, if it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Grade below band E.

From April 2018, it will be unlawful for Landlords to let buildings with EPC Grades F and G.

Landlords will need to give early consideration to efficiency of a building and quickly take steps to make energy improvements.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 / Deregulation Act 2015:

This legislation only applies to Section 21 Notices and for tenancies commencing on or after 1st October 2015.

New Prescribed Form;

There is now only one Section 21 Notice for tenancies commencing on or after 1st October 2015, which disposes of the previous fixed term and periodic notices. The new section 21 notice cannot be served within the first 4 months of a tenancy.

Prescribed Requirements;

The following must now be provided to Tenants at the outset:

  • Energy Performance Certificate
  • Gas Safety Records (if applicable)
  • How to Rent Checklist

There is no time limit for service, however the above should be provided at least 24 hours prior to service of a section 21 notice. We advise that, for the sake of completeness, the above are provided at commencement of the tenancy.

Retaliatory Eviction;

This relates to properties where; Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) hazards, have been identified in a property and is intended to prevent ‘revenge’ or retaliatory evictions against tenants who have raised legitimate complaints about the condition of the property.

Whilst this may give rise to some tenants abusing the legislation to prevent eviction, any complaints should be dealt with quickly and in writing.

A reminder for Landlords entering into new tenancy agreements.

At the beginning of a tenancy, ensure the following is undertaken/provided:

  • That the property has an EPC rating of E and above and the EPC is supplied to the Tenant
  • Gas safety records supplied to the tenant
  • ‘How to Rent’ Checklist supplied to the tenant
  • The the property is clear of Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) hazards and     any hazards later identified are swiftly dealt with
  • If a deposit is taken, it is secured in an authorised tenancy deposit scheme and the     ‘prescribed information’ provided to the tenant within 30 days

In essence, it is important to get it right from the very start.

At Kitsons we are experienced in drafting valid Notices and conducting proceedings for possession. We will not hesitate to fight your corner all the way to trial if appropriate. We are also happy to assist if you have drafted a Notice without our help and require our assistance for the drafting and issuing of Court proceedings.

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Our Property Litigation Team can help with any queries:


 
             James Cross                 
         Managing Partner                                    
           01803 206203                                        
james.cross@kitsons-solicitors.co.uk  


              Rhoda Honey
               Solicitor
        01803 206218
rhoda.honey@kitsons-solicitors.co.uk

 

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