In England it is estimated that there are around 1.5 million landlords with approximately 94% of those landlords acting as private individual landlords.
Over recent years the legislation regarding the letting of properties has been improved to provide tenants with more protection. But what does this mean for landlords?
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force last year and capped tenancy deposits at no more than five or six weeks rent depending upon the annual rent the landlord receives. Whilst the scheme is reported by sources to have resulted in renters across England saving, it carries dangers for landlords who do not comply with the law.
A recent case under the Tenant Fees Act, which came into force last year, has resulted in the landlord having to pay £4,880.89 to the tenant for failing to comply with the new law.
This isn’t the only recent development in the law that puts further strain on landlords. In 2015 with the introduction of the Deregulation Act, changes were made to the eviction procedure known as Section 21 Notice evictions. These are known as no fault evictions in that the landlord does not require a reason to evict the tenant from the property. There has been much talk over recent months about the scrapping of section 21 notices to provide tenants with further protection but as of yet the government are yet to make a decision on the scrapping of such notices. Whilst the new procedure under the Deregulation Act made some changes in simplifying the procedure for landlords, it provided tenants with further protections.
It places restrictions on landlords such as section 21 notices no longer being able to be served upon tenants if documents such as gas safety certificates and the governments “How to rent” guide have not been provided. Landlords are no longer able to serve section 21 notices on tenants who have made complaints to the landlord regarding the condition of the dwelling prior to the service of the notice as well as other protections. There are further requirements in respect of the protection of tenant’s deposits which, if not protected, can result in landlords paying tenants compensation for failing to protect it of up to 3 times the amount of the deposit plus the returning of the deposit to the tenant.
Whilst the introduction of legislation seeks to provide further protection for tenants, it imposes additional hurdles for landlords. Landlords should ensure that when a new tenant enters into the property, they take careful note of the requirements in order to avoid any issues that may arise during the tenancy and when seeking to recover possession of their property.