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.

2 November 2020

Regulation of Property Agents: Creating a younger industry?

In this excerpt from our latest e-book, "Your guide to lettings and the law, Vol II", the move towards regulation of estate and letting agents has progressed in 2020, with a consultation on the Code of Practice - and agents are looking ahead to the changes the regulation may bring to the industry.

21 October 2020

Home Office introduces online right to rent check service and confirms rules for B5JSSK nationals

Eligible tenants will now be able to prove their right to rent online via the Home Office’s new online checking service or through the "View and Prove" process, while the rules for conducting right to rent checks on B5JSSK nationals arriving via e-passport gates have been clarified.

5 August 2020

Q&A: DAS Legal on employee rights and returning to work

DAS Law answers key questions about your employees' rights when returning to the workplace, including whether they can refuse to return if they feel it's unsafe, whether they can ask to remain on furlough, and if it's safe for them to return to work if they've recovered from Covid-19.

15 July 2020

DAS Legal Q&A: What you need to know about the government’s ‘pre-action protocol’

DAS Law answers key questions about the government's 'pre-action' protocol, including what agents and landlords should consider before initiating any proceedings, what could the pre-action protocol for possession claims based on rent look like, and what to do if you've already served notice.

15 July 2020

Why it's important that your agency has a robust referencing process in place

Tenant referencing can impact whether or not you can retain a tenancy deposit if a tenancy application falls through and could even affect your eligibility for insurance, so it's crucial that you have a robust process in place. 

1 June 2020

UPDATED: Your guide to the new regulations for Electrical Safety Standards [+ free guide]

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020 and require five-yearly inspections of electrical installations and inspection reports to be supplied to tenants.

1 June 2020

Your guide to inspections, repairs, and gas safety checks in the post-lockdown period

Letting agents, landlords and contractors can now visit tenants’ homes to carry out a range of essential and non-essential work or maintenance, as long as they are following the guidance on working in people’s homes.

26 May 2020

Tenant Fees Act: Your guide to the end of the transition period

All assured shorthold tenancies, student accommodation, and licences to occupy housing in England will be subject to the Tenant Fees Act from 1 June 2020, regardless of when the tenancy agreement was originally entered into.

3 April 2020

Meet the agency that sees opportunity in change

This Essex-based agency is using the time it has while remote working to self-regulate and gain industry qualifications - before regulation of the profession becomes mandatory.

1 April 2020

Your guide to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations

Domestic private rented properties in England and Wales should have a minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating "E" from 1 April 2020.

Regulation of Property Agents: Creating a younger industry?

Posted by The Goodlord team on 02 November 2020

The Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) was first proposed in 2018, with a working group laying out a new regulatory framework in the RoPA Report, published in July 2019.

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Topics: Compliance

Home Office introduces online right to rent check service and confirms rules for B5JSSK nationals

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 21 October 2020

The Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks sets out the details of the Home Office’s online right to rent check service, launched in November 2020, in addition to confirming how visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States with biometric passports (also known as “B5JSSK nationals”) can prove their right to rent. The government has since also announced the "View and Prove" system for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens.

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Topics: Compliance

Q&A: DAS Legal on employee rights and returning to work

Posted by DAS UK on 05 August 2020

It is expected that nearly two-thirds of the working population will have returned to work by the end of August, with safety measures put in place to protect them. Nevertheless, many employees may still feel uncomfortable about returning to their workplace. Can an employee refuse to return to work due to fears of contracting Covid-19 and where does the law stand if employees decide to ‘take a stand’? Chloe Williams, Legal Adviser at DAS Law answers key questions around employees returning to work during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Topics: Compliance

DAS Legal Q&A: What you need to know about the government’s ‘pre-action protocol’

Posted by DAS UK on 15 July 2020

The government has confirmed its intention to end the "moratorium on evictions" from social or private rented accommodation on 23 August. This means that from 24 August, “the courts will begin to process possession cases again.” When they do, there will be a new ‘pre-action protocol’ that letting agents and landlords will need to comply with.

There’s already a protocol in place for claims by social landlords which seeks to help parties to work through issues before taking action through the court and it is believed this will be extended to private landlords. The aim of the protocol is to encourage more pre-action contact between the parties, the exchange of information and to avoid litigation. Anthony Di Palma, a solicitor at DAS Law, talks through what this could look like. Note that this is based on limited information available at this moment in time and we await further clarification from the government.

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Topics: Compliance

Why it's important that your agency has a robust referencing process in place

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 15 July 2020

When taking on a new tenant, your landlord wants to know that their property will be well looked after, and that they’ll receive payments on time and in full - especially when letting to new tenants while the pandemic is still ongoing and causing uncertainty. Referencing checks that your landlord’s tenant will meet these criteria and that they’ll be a suitable fit. A robust referencing process goes even further than this and directly impacts your revenue - making the value of referencing even more pronounced. 

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Topics: Compliance

UPDATED: Your guide to the new regulations for Electrical Safety Standards [+ free guide]

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 01 June 2020

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020. The new regulations will apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and to existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. Landlords must have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is “qualified and competent”, at least every five years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested. Breaches of the regulations could result in financial penalties of up to £30,000.

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Topics: Compliance

Your guide to inspections, repairs, and gas safety checks in the post-lockdown period

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 01 June 2020

This article was originally published on 1 June 2020. Although we endeavour to keep our coronavirus (COVID-19) content as up to date as possible, the situation is rapidly changing, so please ensure you refer to gov.uk for the latest advice and information.

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Topics: Compliance

Tenant Fees Act: Your guide to the end of the transition period

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 26 May 2020

The transition period for the Tenant Fees Act ends on 31 May 2020, which means that from 1 June 2020, all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs), student accommodation, and licences to occupy housing (including HMOs) in England will be subject to this legislation, regardless of when the tenancy agreement was originally entered into. This means that, from 1 June 2020,  any payment term in a tenancy agreement that’s prohibited by the Tenant Fees Act - even one that was entered into before 1st June 2019 - will not be binding.

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Topics: Compliance

Meet the agency that sees opportunity in change

Posted by Suzy Lycett on 03 April 2020

This article was originally published on 8 April 2020. Although we endeavour to keep our coronavirus (COVID-19) content as up to date as possible, the situation is rapidly changing, so please ensure you refer to gov.uk for the latest advice and information.

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Topics: Compliance

Your guide to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations

Posted by Andrea Warmington on 01 April 2020

The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations first came into effect on 1 April 2018 and apply to most domestic private rented properties from 1 April 2020. The regulations are designed to tackle the least energy-efficient properties - those rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - by establishing a minimum standard of EPC band E for domestic private rented properties in England and Wales. 

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Topics: Compliance

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