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Thousands of landlords are unsure of their responsibilities, research shows

As a landlord do you know your rights and responsibilities? Well, it would appear that many people, including tenants, do not know where they stand when it comes to the rules and regulations governing the private rented sector.

Fresh research among more than 2,000 UK adults by LetBritain claims that many landlords and tenants across the country are unaware of the laws governing the rental market.

The study, which was commissioned by online letting agent LetBritain, has found that 16% of landlords do not realise that a tenant must be given at least two months’ notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 if they wish to evict them.

Similarly, 12% of landlords do not know they must provide 24 hours’ notice before entering the property; 14% of landlords do not realise it is their responsibility to arrange and pay for any repairs to the exterior of a property; 12% of landlords do not know they should put tenants’ deposits in a tenancy deposit protection scheme; and 27% have no idea that tenants have the right to challenge the rent being charged if it is not comparable to similar properties in the area.

Tenants have their own issues when it comes to a lack of knowledge of the rules.

Some 34% of people living in rented accommodation do not know that they have the right for their deposits to be placed in a tenancy deposit protection scheme, while 37% do not realise that a tenant must be given at least two months’ notice if a landlord wishes to evict them.

Other regulatory issues that are widely unknown by renters included the fact that a landlord must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property (34% do not know this); a landlord should provide 24 hours’ notice before entering the property (28%); and tenants have the right to challenge rental prices if they are not comparable to similar properties in the area (50%).

Some 43% of private renters also do not know that tenants can challenge any excessive charges made by a landlord via an ombudsman.

Fareed Nabir, CEO of LetBritain, said: “It is clear that a huge proportion of UK renters – a population growing in size – do not truly understand the legislation and regulation in place to protect them. Likewise, a concerning number of landlords are also in the dark about exactly what rights and responsibilities they have.

“Such a lack of awareness increases the risk of renters and landlords being exploited – it must be addressed and letting agents certainly have a duty to better inform all their customers about the vital legislative framework governing the rental sector.”

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    Let's be real!
    We have regulations from councils and their various departments, fire people, government, freeholders, rubbish collectors, electricians, police, immigration, electric suppliers, landlord registration, estate agents and ID regulations, tax people, gas people, land registry, banks and mortgage lenders, buildings regulations and no doubt a few more. In academic circles you would expect a pHD for someone to thoroughly know all this stuff. Sorry, forgot taxes.

    How on earth can Jo Blogs who is a factory floor hand get to grips with all this?

    The real answer is fewer regulations and leave them alone for fifty years so that everyone gets to know them. I think I can say that after the last twenty years of changes.

  • Colin Lillicrap

    Laurence

    I agree the average person cannot keep up with all the legislation and regulations. It might be worth pointing out one piece of pending legislation that could seriously affect the landlords ability to continue to rent a property if it has a poor EPC rating. From 1 April 2018 landlords will not be able to extend a lease or let a new lease unless the property achieves and EPC rating of E or better. Landlords should urgently check the EPC ratings of their properties and put a plan in place to improve any that have a F or G rating.

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    Colin,

    Yes, very much so. I have been watching this for my own needs. Luckily I am/was an instrument designer and can easily find my way through this but Jo Blogs is heading for a very rough ride.

    I am going to make a strong statement. Most people are clueless about heat transfer, insulation, boiler efficiency, U factors, and above all, thermostat controls. I have watched a 'professional' assessor stuffing information into a computer program without a clue as to what she was looking at in the building. It is difficult to explain but I can see scams and miss information becoming rife.

    One of the biggest wastes of heat, very common in schools/offices, is whack the thermostat up full at 9am. and then open the windows for fresh air at 11am but leaving the heat on full. There is no regulation to counter this sort of thing.

    I have a flat built forty years ago.It has glowing energy certificate with a gold star from some defunct government body. Now days the flat barely gets a "D" even after throwing away the useless cheap cheap wooden, rotting, windows with 3mm thick glazing and replacing them with high spec UPVC double glazed units. This flat is in a development of over a hundred units. What is the council going to do with some flats on E/F and some on C/D?. A/B is never going to happen there.

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    As far as tenant responsibilities are concerned, you might like to take a look at the Fixflo Tenant Responsibility Flyer, which you can download for free here. You can see what tenants are responsible for and, importantly, what landlords and property managers are not responsible for, which clears up a lot of the confusion this article highlights: https://demo.fixflo.com/Auth/TenantResponsibilitiesFlyer

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