Busy times for landlords, tenants and lettings agents

It has been a very hectic year for the Residential Lettings Department and we expect that this will continue into 2021!

There have been many law changes including the need to have an EPC at level E or above (Energy Performance Certificate) on existing rental properties as well as new or re-lets.  The Habitation Act is now fully in force for new and existing Tenancy Agreements meaning that all properties have to meet a certain standard before they are able to be rented out. In addition, the law has been ever-changing to accommodate Covid 19 and the impact this has had on all of us in 2020. To summarise, the changes are as follows:-

1. Coronavirus Act 2020:

Repercussions of the ban on tenant eviction A ban on evictions in March ended in September, with the introduction of a 6-month notice period for the majority of tenants.

2. Right to rent checks: A digital future.

Right to rent checks are evolving, with digital verification allowed during the pandemic, and an online

platform to launch in November.

3. Section 21 and Section 8: An repeal and reform.

Tied up in recent Covid-19 legislation, the logistics of repealing Section 21 and how to best strengthen

Section 8 are still topics of debate.

4. Lifetime deposits: Shaking up the system.

A passporting system that aims to help tenants move more quickly, with a deposit that follows the

tenant from property to property.

5. Regulation of Property Agents: Creating a younger industry?

Although many agents feel they already reach the relevant professional standards, this goal to incite

cultural change may see a far-reaching transformation in the sector.

6. Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020.

These came into force on 1 July 2020, and need a “qualified person” to check all properties’ electrical

installations at least once every 5 years, obtaining a report as proof.

7. The Fifth Money Laundering Directive: Moving to online supervision.

New regulations now apply to agencies earning 10,000 euros or more per property per month for the

duration of at least one month.

8. General Data Protection Regulations: Opportunities in a remote world.

Businesses need to obtain consent for the use of any personal data and ensure it's stored securely -

an easier ask in the world of online, remote working.

At Robert Bell and Company we have kept up to date with all the legislation changes planned and complete and will continue to act in the best interests of Landlords and Tenants, for further information please contact us on 01507 522222 or 01522 538888 (option 2 on both numbers).

The Robert Bell & Company Lettings Team


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