Legislation and compliance news and guides for letting agents and estate agents

Keeping the lettings industry up to date with the latest on legislation and compliance in the private rented sector.

26 July 2021

Letting a property in England, Scotland, and Wales: the key legislative differences your agency needs to know

Lettings laws and regulations vary across the borders for agents, landlords, and tenants in England, Scotland, and Wales. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know.

19 July 2021

Your guide to the proposals to increase the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

The new Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings bill to increase the minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented properties to EPC Band C on new tenancies by 2028 will be introduced in both Houses of Parliament this week. Recent surveys show the sector is already moving in the right direction - but it could be a costly target to reach for landlords.

14 July 2021

Vouch: The strengths and limitations of the new right to rent checking process

The new right to rent check process for EU, EEA, and Swiss tenants has been in place for agents and landlords since 1 July, helping them to take their applicants' immigration statuses into consideration through an online check - which comes with positives and negatives.

5 July 2021

Right to rent Q&A with David Smith of JMW Solicitors

David Smith, Partner at JMW Solicitors LLP, answers letting agents' questions on right to rent, from the changes to the process for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens to the requirements when "Covid-adjusted" checks end.

28 June 2021

Furlough: Wind-down of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme starts on 1 July 2021 with reintroduction of employer contributions

Lettings businesses using the furlough scheme will need to start contributing to their employees' wages from 1 July 2021.

28 June 2021

Sean Hooker: Letting agents and landlords will need to disclose more information to tenants on building safety

External wall safety inspections (EWS1) will be required for certain buildings as a result of the Grenfell tragedy, but a raft of other measures will need to be put in place, requiring increased due diligence from letting agents and landlords.

18 June 2021

Right to rent: "Covid-19 adjusted" checks extended to 31 August 2021

The government has extended the virtual right to rent checks in England by an extra month to 31 August 2021, to reflect the extension of lockdown restrictions. The government has also dropped its requirement for letting agents and landlords to carry out retrospective right to rent checks on tenants for this period.

14 June 2021

4 questions to ask potential tenants as lettings demand heats up [+ free referencing checklist]

Demand is growing as we head into the traditionally busy summer months for lettings and you can make sure you’re not wasting your landlords' or agency’s time or money on applicants your referencing provider would advise against with just a few key questions.

9 June 2021

Right to rent: Government confirms new process for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens after 30 June 2021

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens will need to use the government's new "View and Prove" online service to demonstrate their right to rent in England after 30 June 2021.

7 June 2021

Deadline approaching for agencies subject to anti-money laundering legislation

Lettings businesses that are subject to money laundering legislation need to register with HMRC by 10 June, or risk a penalty, in addition to carrying out a risk assessment and customer due diligence to be compliant with The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019.

Letting a property in England, Scotland, and Wales: the key legislative differences your agency needs to know

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 26 July 2021

The rights and responsibilities of letting and estate agents, landlords, and tenants in the private rented sector across England, Scotland, and Wales vary as they can be decided at the level of each devolved government - and therefore the legislation and regulations differ too across Great Britain. So what should your agency consider when renting out your landlords' properties?

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Topics: Compliance

Your guide to the proposals to increase the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 19 July 2021

The government wants to raise the minimum energy efficiency standards to EPC Band C by 2025 for new tenancies in private rented homes and by 2028 for all tenancies to improve the overall energy performance of the private rented sector in England and Wales, through the Minimum Energy Performance of Buildings bill which will be introduced in the Houses of Parliament in the week commencing 19 June 2021. The consultation on the proposals ran until 8 January 2021.

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Topics: Compliance

Vouch: The strengths and limitations of the new right to rent checking process

Posted by Jaime Tillyer on 14 July 2021

In England, there's a new right to rent checking process for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, which has been mandatory since 1 July 2021. After months of waiting to hear what the new process would be, it's good to now have a definitive answer. It makes the checks less subjective for agents and will hopefully give agents more confidence with the simple yes or no response.

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Topics: Compliance

Right to rent Q&A with David Smith of JMW Solicitors

Posted by The Goodlord team on 05 July 2021
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Topics: Compliance

Furlough: Wind-down of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme starts on 1 July 2021 with reintroduction of employer contributions

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 28 June 2021

Lettings businesses using the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - also known as the furlough scheme - will be required to make a contribution to the cost of their furloughed employees wages. From 1 July 2021, the government will reduce its contribution to 70% of wages, down from 80%. Employers will top up employees’ wages to make sure they receive 80% of wages (up to £2,500) in total for the hours the employee is on furlough. The level of the employer's contribution will increase to 20% in August and September, until the scheme ends on 30 September 2021.

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Topics: Compliance

Sean Hooker: Letting agents and landlords will need to disclose more information to tenants on building safety

Posted by Sean Hooker on 28 June 2021

The fall out from the Grenfell tragedy is proving to have many unforeseen consequences and whilst everybody accepts that everything humanly possible to prevent this happening again should be undertaken, the impact of what needs to be done will have wide ranging effects, not least on letting agents. External wall safety inspections (EWS1) will be required for certain buildings, but a raft of other measures will need to be put in place, putting greater responsibility on property managers as well as the checks an agent will need to carry out before marketing a property. It will go beyond just looking up to see if the property has cladding or not.

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Topics: Compliance

Right to rent: "Covid-19 adjusted" checks extended to 31 August 2021

Posted by The Goodlord team on 18 June 2021

The government has again extended the end date for adjusted right to rent checks. Since 30 March 2020, temporary measures for the right to rent checks in England, which traditionally take place in person, have been in place, allowing the checks to be carried out virtually. The temporary measures were originally set to end on 21 June 2021, but will now remain in place until 31 August 2021, to align with the extension of the final lockdown restrictions being lifted.

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Topics: Compliance

4 questions to ask potential tenants as lettings demand heats up [+ free referencing checklist]

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 14 June 2021

Demand in lettings has been gradually building in recent months - and shows no sign of abating as we head into the summer, with rents currently high and voids low across England according to Goodlord's Rental Index. This means it's important to make sure you’re not wasting your agency’s time or money on applicants your referencing provider would advise against. 

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Topics: Compliance

Right to rent: Government confirms new process for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens after 30 June 2021

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 09 June 2021

The government has confirmed how landlords and letting agents will check the right to rent status of EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens after 30 June 2021, many of whom will no longer be able to physically document their right to rent in England after this date. Citizens from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who have successfully applied to the EU Settlement Scheme or for a UK visa will need to use the government's new "View and Prove" online service to share their right to rent status with landlords and letting agents. 

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Topics: Compliance

Deadline approaching for agencies subject to anti-money laundering legislation

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 07 June 2021

Estate and letting agents who receive rent payments equivalent to €10,000 or more per month for a property have been subject to anti-money laundering legislation - the Fifth Money Laundering Directive which falls under The Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 - since 10January 2020. To remain compliant, agencies that fall into this category must also register with HMRC by 10 June 2021.

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Topics: Compliance

Countdown to summer