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The Law Society - Conveyancing

04

Feb

2021

Regulatory Requirements for Private Residential Landlords – Imminent, existing and future

Electrical Safety – Imminent

All private sector landlords are now required to obtain a certificate confirming the safety of the fixed wiring installation in their property.  If they do not do so, the relevant local authority can fine them and undertake necessary improvements themselves and charge them back to the landlord.

The new regulations apply to all new and renewed tenancies in the residential sector with effect from 1st June 2020.  These regulations cover assured shorthold tenancies.

With effect from 1st April 2021 the rules will apply to every residential tenancy including those that are ongoing.

The electrical safety check should be obtained from an approved professional every five years at a maximum (or less if the report states that a more frequent check is needed).  If the property passes the check the landlord needs to give existing tenants a copy of the report within 28 days of it being carried out.

There are strict provisions that apply in the event of a failed test on which further advice should be sought.

 

Gas Safety – Existing

Private residential landlords are required to have a full gas safety certificate for residential rented property and provide the tenant with a copy of the certificate before concluding the tenancy.

The certificate must be updated each year with copy provided to the tenant.

Failure to comply with these regulations may frustrate proceedings to secure vacant possession of the premises.

 

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES”) – Future tightening of requirements

Energy Performance Certificates (“EPC”) are required prior to the letting of any private residential premises and have been established for some time.

However, proposals under a consultation process before the government are now likely to cause significant problems if and when these are implemented.  These proposals are part of the government’s target to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Currently, all rental properties are already required to reach EPC band E, or to have a specific excuse for not doing so.

It is proposed that new tenancies with effect from 2025 will require the premises to have a band C minimum rating for EPC and that band will apply to all existing tenancies with effect from 2028.

Some exemptions are potentially applicable and would apply on a case-by-case basis it is proposed.

 

Further advice should be sought.

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New Rules for Registration of  Relevant Trusts and Declarations of Trusts Relevant Trusts in existence at 6th October 2020 (even if subsequently closed) must be registered with the new Trusts Registration Service by 1st September 2022 to avoid penalties and charges.  This rule also applies to relevant property trusts where the legal ownership position differs from the equitable ownership position; for example where a Declaration of Trust sits behind the Title with details of equitable owners such as where parents have loaned money to purchase a property and have their interest protected by a Declaration of Trust but are not named on the Title Register. Trusts formed after this date may also be subject to complex registration requirements. Please contact us if you are concerned that the above may apply to your Trust and would like advice or assistance with the process.