Landlord & Letting Agent Regulations 2010

At the Landlord & Buy to Let Show, Olympia on 5th March 2010, there was a panel debate to discuss the latest round of landlord and letting agent regulations, including energy performance certificates for Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMO's) and additional planning rules. It is quite clear that landlords really do feel that there is enough regulation for tenants to avoid living in rogue landlord properties or indeed properties which are unsafe.

To date, the following regulations have been introduced and funded primarily by landlords and letting agents, some of whom have managed to pass on costs, some of whom have just had to reduce profits.

  • Gas Safety and Electrical Certificates
  • Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations
  • HMO licencing for 5+ sharers and 3 storey properties
  • Planning permission for HMOs
  • where necessary
  • Energy Performance Certificates
  • Data Protection legislation
  • Landlord Accreditation Schemes
  • Direct payments to tenants for LHA
  • Increased HHSRS regulation
  • Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
  • Additional licencing        

All of this legislation has added layers of complexity, increased the time it takes to run buy to let properties and meant additional investments of hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. However, in the interests of ensuring tenants are well treated and the 'good' landlords and letting agents that abide by the rules and regulations, these initiatives have so far all been adopted.

New Regulations Announced February 2010

  • An increase in AST requirement from £25,000 to £100,000
  • Tenancy rights to be extended
  • Regulation of letting agents and the introduction of ‘local letting agents’ via LA's
  • Changes to HMO planning permission or regulation
  • Plans to make agreements a legal requirement
  • A ‘trip advisor’ style website for tenants to rate landlords                         
  • National Landlords Register
  • EPCs for HMOs

What can you do as a Landlord or Letting Agent to object to these changes?
There are alot of organsiations that are working on behalf of landlords and letting agents to try to stop this 'second wave' of legislative initiatives. Having said that, the majority are likely to be implemented and as a group of suppliers of private rental properties, it is suggested that the following initiatives really must be stopped.

1.   A ‘trip advisor’ style website for tenants to rate landlords which has no facility for landlords to similarly rate tenants.

2.   Any more changes to HMO planning permission or regulation until the current legislation is proved to reduce the number of rogue landlords in my area AND can be implemented consistently, both within and from one local authority to another.

Step 1

Download a copy of the latest initiatives.

Private Rental Sector Homepage

Summary of the Latest Regulations

Consultative Paper of the Latest Letting Laws

Specialist HMO and Licencing Regulations

Step 2

Organisations you can contact and join their initiatives to object to the regulations:-

Residential Landlords Association

Association of Residential Letting Agents

National Landlords Association

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