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.

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.

1 June 2021

Notice periods for less than four months' arrears reduced to two months from 1 August 2021

From 1 August 2021, the notice period for cases where there are less than 4 months of unpaid rent, reduced to 2 months’ notice. Notice periods for the most serious cases are lower, with most requiring 2 or 4 weeks’ notice.

24 May 2021

The Covid-19 legislation deadlines that letting agents need to know in England, Scotland, and Wales

England, Scotland, and Wales each enacted legislation during Covid-19 to protect landlords and tenants, much of which is soon coming to an end - including the stamp duty holiday, evictions ban, and six-month notice periods. Here are the key dates that estate and letting agents and landlords need to know to stay compliant.

20 May 2021

Big lettings industry updates and a protracted claims process - Your insurance market snapshot [+ video]

Lee Redfearn, Insurance Development Manager at Goodlord, shares how and why the insurance claims process has increased in recent times, plus some updates on the latest lettings legislation and how this is affecting the insurance landscape.

17 May 2021

Section 21: Your guide to the proposed changes to evictions

The Government has announced it will reveal its plans to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 under the Renters' Reform Bill in late 2021, including the results of its consultation.

17 May 2021

Section 8: Your guide to the proposed changes

The Government's key proposals for strengthening Section 8 when Section 21 is abolished include improving or widening the current grounds for repossession, including when a landlord wants to sell a property and if their family members want to move into a property.

17 May 2021

Renters' Reform Bill: Government confirms intention to introduce lifetime deposits

"Lifetime deposits" or "deposit passporting" looks set to become a reality under the Government's Renters' Reform Bill, with the proposals to be outlined in late 2021, but there are a number of operational and financial issues that would need to be resolved before they are introduced.

11 May 2021

Renters' Reform Bill: Queen's Speech confirms government's intention to "enhance the rights of those who rent"

The Queen's Speech confirmed that the Renters' Reform Bill is back on the agenda for 2021, with consultation response on the proposals, announced in 2019, to be published in the autumn.

10 May 2021

Right to rent: Brexit deadline for changes to checks for citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein approaching

Changes to right to rent checks for citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein are expected after 30 June 2021, according to current government guidance.

27 April 2021

Your guide to the Rental Mediation Service [blog + infosheet]

The mediation pilot, announced in February 2021 as part of the court process for housing possession cases, has now closed. Here are the key details that you and your landlords should know.

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

Notice periods for less than four months' arrears reduced to two months from 1 August 2021

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 01 June 2021

After nearly 14 months of extended notice periods, the notice that landlords will have to give to their tenants will drop to four months from 1 June in England. This is the first step towards notice periods dropping to pre-pandemic standards, expected by 1 October 2021. The evictions ban in England also came to an end on 31 May, meaning that bailiffs can re-start the enforcement of possession warrants.

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Topics: Compliance

The Covid-19 legislation deadlines that letting agents need to know in England, Scotland, and Wales

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 24 May 2021

Much of the new legislation relevant to the rental and property sector that was set out during the pandemic will end in the coming months. Here's a breakdown of the key legislative dates that estate and letting agents need to know in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Topics: Compliance

Big lettings industry updates and a protracted claims process - Your insurance market snapshot [+ video]

Posted by Lee Redfearn on 20 May 2021

This month, we're going to cover some stats from our Rental Index and take a mini deep-dive into how the Rent Protection landscape has changed quite dramatically in recent years, plus we've got a couple of big industry updates - all of which you can read or watch below.

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Topics: Compliance

Section 21: Your guide to the proposed changes to evictions

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 17 May 2021

The Government confirmed its intentions to repeal Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 in the May 2021 Queen's Speech, as originally set out in the Renters' Reform Bill, released in late 2019. An outline for the proposals will be released in Autumn 2021, which will consider the response to the consultation that took place before the pandemic. The abolition of Section 21 would put an end to so-called “no-fault evictions” as part of its on-going project to create longer tenancies. The government also announced concurrent plans to strengthen the grounds for repossession under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.  

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Topics: Compliance

Section 8: Your guide to the proposed changes

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 17 May 2021

The Government confirmed its intention to make changes to Section 8 in the Queen's Speech May 2021 as a part of its Renters' Reform Bill, to make it easier for landlords and letting agents acting on their behalf to regain control of their properties when Section 21 is abolished. These changes will include  "strengthening repossession grounds for landlords under Section 8 when they have valid cause". The government's initial proposals, which we've summarised below, were set out in its consultation document in 2019.

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Topics: Compliance

Renters' Reform Bill: Government confirms intention to introduce lifetime deposits

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 17 May 2021

Lifetime deposits are on the horizon, confirmed the government following the Queen's Speech in May 2021, announcing it would release its proposals for a new "lifetime" tenancy deposit model in Autumn 2021 as part of a sweeping package of reforms for the private rented sector. “Lifetime” deposits aim to “ease the burden on tenants when moving from one tenancy to the next, helping improve the experience of those living in the private rental sector”.

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Topics: Compliance

Renters' Reform Bill: Queen's Speech confirms government's intention to "enhance the rights of those who rent"

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 11 May 2021

The Renters' Reform Bill is back on the agenda with the Queen's Speech confirming the government's intention to "enhance the rights of those who rent". In the briefing notes to the speech, the government announced that it would outline its "reform package" for the private rented sector in the autumn - which is set to include abolishing Section 21 and the introduction of lifetime deposits - with legislation to follow in due course. In a side event to the Conservative Party Conference 2021, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Eddie Hughes, confirmed that the proposals were still being debated to ensure there are no "unintended consequences" from the proposals.

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Topics: Compliance

Right to rent: Brexit deadline for changes to checks for citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein approaching

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 10 May 2021

The current guidance for letting agents and landlords on conducting right to rent checks on citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein is expected to change on 30 June 2021.

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Topics: Compliance

Your guide to the Rental Mediation Service [blog + infosheet]

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 27 April 2021

In February 2021, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a new mediation pilot in England and Wales, free to landlords and tenants and supporting the current court process for housing possession cases. This pilot has now closed, with the government proposing alternative solutions, such as "TDS Resolution, PRS Mediation Service and Resolve by Flatfair, which specialise in resolving disputes in the private rented sector which you may wish to consider".

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Topics: Compliance

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