This summer has seen many new proposals in Parliament aimed at regulating the UK’s landlords.
The AXA survey highlights that the number one wish of tenants is for better energy efficiency in their rental property. Old heating systems, inefficient boilers and a lack of insulation are a huge concern both because of the safety hazard of outdated systems and the burden of high energy bills on tenants.
The government is currently proposing two energy measures aimed at landlords:
1) A ban on letting properties in the lowest energy efficiency categories - F and G. If your property falls into this category, it’s likely you’ll need to make improvements before the regulation comes into force in April 2016.
2) An obligation on landlords to make energy efficiency improvements requested by tenants. This measure is likely to come in by 2018 and will mean if a tenant asks for things like better insulation or double-glazing, you’ll need to comply. In this case, you’ll be able to obtain funding under the Green Deal Finance Plan, which will then be paid back in instalments on electricity bills.
The Household Safety (Carbon Monoxide) Bill would require landlords to have a working carbon monoxide detector in all their properties. The bill is heavily backed by the government and gas safety groups who point to the high numbers of people hospitalised or killed each year by carbon monoxide fumes.
The Immigration Act 2014 makes it a legal obligation for landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants. If a tenant is found to be in the country illegally, their landlord will receive a fine of up to £3,000 for failing to carry out the right checks. The compulsory checks will be piloted in the West Midlands in December 2014 and are likely to be rolled out across the rest of the UK in 2015. To comply landlords need to obtain evidence of each new tenant’s citizenship such as their passport or residence permit. Landlords need to take copies and keep them for at least 12 months after the tenancy has ended.
UK landlords advised to prepare now as government plans raft of new laws, September 18th 2013, AXA Business Insurance.
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