As more and more regulations are brought in it is essential that landlord use the services of a professional letting agent who can advise them on all the current legislation that affects the PRS (Private Rental Sector).
This year, in particular, will see numerous changes to the legislation relating to landlords ‘obligations and makes it even more important to get professional advice and guidance.
Proposed changes include:
- In 2015, landlords must check the immigration status of prospective tenants
- From 2016 Tenants can demand an energy saving measure to be fitted by their landlord.
- In 2018, a landlord cannot rent a property with an EPC rating below ‘E’
- Landlord responsibility to guard against legionella virus – applicable now
- Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in ALL properties later his year.
Anybody considering letting out a property should seriously consider getting professional advice to ensure they stay within the law.
One could argue that the responsibility to check the immigration status of an individual should not rest with the letting agent however the last thing a letting agent wants is for his landlord client to find that his tenant has no right to be in the Country and, therefore, has no right to rent a property – the net result being that the tenant has to vacate leaving an empty property and a very unhappy landlord.
At Mackenzie Smith, we use an independent referencing specialist company called Van Mildert who not only carry out all the usual credit checks but also new checks on the immigration status of prospective tenants.
The PRS will continue to be heavily regulated and rightly so. All reputable letting agents and landlords should welcome the regulations as ultimately they will make it almost impossible for rogue agents and landlords to carry on with dubious intentions.
Tenants have the right to rent a property that is safe and fit to live in. Landlords have the right to quality tenants who will look after the property and pay the rent and any regulations that make this situation easier to control has to be a good thing.
Michael Clarke, MARLA, Lettings Director