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.

19 October 2021

New government strategy announced for decarbonising homes in England and Wales

The government announced details of the Heat and Buildings Strategy in its Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener policy paper, encouraging homeowners in England to move to low carbon heating such as heat pumps - plus shares when a response is expected for the consultation on raising Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

19 October 2021

Four ways you can reduce your agency's risk of being fined when letting a property

Letting a property comes with compliance risk - from sending draft tenancy agreements at the right time to protecting your tenants' deposits - but there are ways your agency can reduce that risk using technology.

18 October 2021

What are your landlords' legal obligations for allowing pets in lets?

In January 2021, the government revised the model agreements in England for a shorthold assured tenancy to include a new clause on pets in rental properties - and a push to encourage "pets in lets" is gaining traction.

4 October 2021

Sean Hooker: How can we tackle enforcement of lettings legislation?

New lettings legislation has come thick and fast over the past few years, but how well is it being enforced?

1 October 2021

Furlough: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends for 1.6M employees - what's next?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now ended, bringing to a close the government's largest single piece of financial support of employees and employers during the pandemic. Your agency and your landlords should be aware of the potential impact this may have on your tenants.

29 September 2021

Energy crisis: 5 financial support schemes to help tenants pay their energy bills

While the energy crisis is ongoing, your agency's tenants may be searching for ways to help pay their power bills over winter as energy costs rise. Here are five sources of financial support available to help them pay their bills in your landlord's property.

27 September 2021

Making Tax Digital: Preparing your agency and your landlords

Making Tax Digital aims to help businesses and individuals keep digital records and use software to meet with their HMRC obligations, across VAT, income, and corporation tax. Here's what your agency and your landlords need to know to stay compliant.

20 September 2021

Your guide to gas safety in private rented properties

Landlords and agents are required to undertake gas safety checks on an annual basis to ensure their properties are safe for tenants. Here's a guide to what you need to know.

6 September 2021

Sean Hooker: What can we expect from the Renters' Reform Bill White Paper?

There are many organisations in the industry that have the skills and expertise to deliver a robust and effective solution to the challenges the government is looking to solve with its Renters' Reform Bill.

26 August 2021

UPDATED: Government extends remote right to rent checks until 5 April 2022

Covid-adjusted right to rent checks will remain in place until 5 April 2022, when the government will look to introduce a permanent online solution for carrying out right to rent checks remotely for all nationalities.

New government strategy announced for decarbonising homes in England and Wales

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 19 October 2021

The government has outlined £3.9 billion of new funding in its Heat and Buildings Strategy, detailed in the Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener policy paper, to support decarbonisation efforts in England and Wales between 2022 and 2025. The strategy prioritises plans to incentivise the installation of low-carbon heating systems such as electric heat pumps, replacing old gas boilers in a "simple, fair and cheap way". The end goal is to reduce the UK's dependence on fossil fuels and avoid exposure to "volatile global gas prices" such as those behind the current energy crisis - all by 2035. The plans also support its previous proposals to increase Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards by 2028 in Private Rented Homes.

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Topics: Compliance

Four ways you can reduce your agency's risk of being fined when letting a property

Posted by Tom Mundy on 19 October 2021

The process of letting a property is fraught with compliance risk, from taking the holding deposit through to serving the prescribed information within the required time frame. Simply forgetting to attach a document can invalidate a section 21 notice should you ever need to serve one, while overcharging a tenant for a holding deposit could result in a fine of up to £30,000. When lettings demand is high, the risk to your agency of making a mistake increases exponentially. Fortunately, technology can reduce the risk of manual error and ensure that your agency remains compliant with lettings legislation throughout the process and protect your business against costly fines.

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Topics: Compliance

What are your landlords' legal obligations for allowing pets in lets?

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 18 October 2021

The model agreement for a shorthold assured tenancy provided by the government now has a clause on the topic of tenant pet ownership, in a move that aims to create more flexibility for tenants looking to rent a property with a pet. This sits alongside proposed bills to support "pets in lets" - and comes off the back of a 120% increase in demand for pet-friendly rental properties. 

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Topics: Compliance

Sean Hooker: How can we tackle enforcement of lettings legislation?

Posted by Sean Hooker on 04 October 2021

Well, isn’t it nice to get back to normal in the business world? Well, almost! Live face-to-face gatherings are back, as I discovered when I was invited to attend the recent Chartered Trading Standards Institute of Trading Standards Symposium as a guest in Birmingham. I say normal, however, if it is not one thing, it is another and my day started far earlier than anticipated to allow for finding a petrol station to fill up the car to ensure I could get there.  Not quite as bad as feared, eventually finding one with less of a queue on the third attempt.

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Topics: Compliance

Furlough: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends for 1.6M employees - what's next?

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 01 October 2021

The government's furlough scheme has now ended, cutting off support for the 1.6 million staff members still on furlough across 484,000 employers as of 31 July 2021. Throughout its life, 11.6 million jobs were supported by the scheme at a cost of more than £68 billion in total - a large sum for businesses to compensate for in the coming months if they are still feeling the bite of the pandemic.

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Topics: Compliance

Energy crisis: 5 financial support schemes to help tenants pay their energy bills

Posted by The Goodlord team on 29 September 2021

As we head into the winter period, energy prices are projected to continue rising, with suppliers collapsing due to high fuel prices. You can share with your tenants a free FAQ sheet to reassure them about what this may mean for their energy supply, and encourage them to directly contact their supplier with any questions or concerns. You can also make them aware of these five sources of finance if they struggle to pay their bills in the coming months.

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Topics: Compliance

Making Tax Digital: Preparing your agency and your landlords

Posted by The Goodlord team on 27 September 2021

The government has the ambitious plan to make HMRC "one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world" through Making Tax Digital (MTD), affecting VAT returns, income tax, and corporation tax. Landlords and estate and letting agencies need to be aware of the impact this will have and start to prepare their software systems in line with the latest rules.

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Topics: Compliance

Your guide to gas safety in private rented properties

Posted by The Goodlord team on 20 September 2021

The Gas Safety Register's latest research has highlighted that seven million homes in the UK could house an unsafe gas appliance - with the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires, and explosions. Landlords and agents bear the responsibility of ensuring these appliances are safe with yearly checks - or face a fine or a potential custodial sentence - under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 in England, Scotland, and Wales.

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Topics: Compliance

Sean Hooker: What can we expect from the Renters' Reform Bill White Paper?

Posted by Sean Hooker on 06 September 2021

This Autumn promises to be one of the most pivotal in the rental market for a generation - or at least as far as England is concerned. Those who have been following my articles on Newsagent or watching our recent webinars, will know that after the abysmal void that Covid-19 has been for much of Government policy, we are all anticipating the publication of the White Paper on the Renters' Reform Bill and seeing if the few words and sentences of the good intentions, uttered by ministers materialises into real action.

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Topics: Compliance

UPDATED: Government extends remote right to rent checks until 5 April 2022

Posted by The Goodlord team on 26 August 2021

The government has extended the end date for Covid-19 adjusted right to rent checks until 5 April 2022, which comes as a result of positive feedback about the ability to conduct checks remotely. The government has now started to review the availability of technology to support a system of digital right to rent checks in the future, with the intention of introducing "a new digital solution to include many who are unable to use the Home Office online checking service, including UK and Irish citizens". This will enable checks to continue to be conducted remotely but with enhanced security.

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Topics: Compliance

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