Hello, you’ve reached the Experience Invest blog where we work hard to keep you updated on all the latest UK residential and commercial news. We can report today that half of English landlords aren’t prepared for the commencement of the ‘Right to Rent’ law.
Right to Rent
The ‘Right to Rent’ legislation is due to fully come into effect on 1st February 2016; it has already been implemented in the West Midlands. The legislation requires every landlord and agent in England to check a tenant’s ‘immigration status,’ to ensure they have the ‘right to rent’ a property in this country. Failing to prepare for the arrival of this legislation could force landlords to pay fines as high as £3,000, meaning if they don’t comply with ‘Right to Rent,’ they could put themselves at serious financial risk.
Lack of knowledge
New research from online estate agent Urban suggests that half of landlords in England aren’t ready for Right to Rent; some believed they had another two years before it came into effect. One in five (20%) believed the legislation would come into force in April 2017, while 3% thought they had until 2018 to prepare for the change.
Also, Urban’s report indicated that landlords lack vital rental industry knowledge. Only one in ten (10%) provide tenants with the correct information at the start of a lease, while 90% of landlords couldn’t identify the characteristics of a house in multiple occupancy. Furthermore, 16% of landlords don’t put the right contact address on tenancy agreements; an act which can make these documents null and void and put landlords at serious financial risk.
Commenting on the release of the research Adam Male, the co-founder of Urban, said: “There has been an influx of new legislation relating to the rental market made in recent years and we know that UK landlords are struggling to keep on top of these changes. Despite knowing many of the basics, many find it difficult to navigate the minefield of changing renting rights and wrongs and this is particularly so for accidental landlords.”
But Urban found that landlords were more knowledgeable about other rental fundamentals. Almost all (95%) of the landlords questioned identified their gas safety responsibilities correctly and 77% were aware of the need for an up to date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Meanwhile, 76% knew they needed to fit a smoke alarm on every floor of their property, with 7% stating they have a smoke alarm in every room.
Speaking further, Male said: “It is great to hear that knowledge about things such as gas safety is a widely understood and implemented landlord legislation, however, there is still a long way to go in educating landlords about the varying aspects of renting.” He went on to note: “New regulations such as the Right to Rent have the potential to stop back door lettings and create a better environment for all, however, this will only happen if the scheme is communicated to landlords properly [so they can] protect themselves from significant financial risk.”
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