A fair bit of landlord and tenant law has been introduced since our Autumn edition of the RAG. Keeping on top of developments is challenging but we can help. Our Legal Services website for landlords has an extensive law guide and free legal documents that can be created in a few minutes.

If you specialise in landlord insurance, we recommend you register at www.araglegal.co.uk and also encourage your clients to get on board. An ARAG voucher code is required to register on the first site visit. If you don’t know your voucher code, please contact our sales team. For landlords preferring to speak to someone about a tenancy problem or a change to legislation, our legal advice helpline is available 24/7. We have also created a new landlords’ training module to talk you through the policy features.

The headline changes on tenant protection are:
  • The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act applies to new and replacement private residential tenancies from 20 March 2019 and to existing tenancies a year later. The Act requires that landlords offer and maintain dwellings that are fit for habitation. Landlords can expect to be taken to court and can be ordered to carry out work and pay compensation to tenants where it is determined that the property in unfit.
  • A reminder that landlords have, since 1 April 2018, been unable to grant a new tenancy where a dwelling has an energy proficiency rating below band E. From 1 April 2020 it will be unlawful to continue to let such properties.
  • The Tenant Fees Act applies to England from 1 June 2019. It bans landlords and letting agents from charging payments other than the rent, a refundable tenancy deposit capped at five weeks’ rent, a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at one week’s rent.

The regulations that landlords must comply with to be able to correctly issue legal notices to repossess continue to increase. As we cannot accept claims where a notice is defective, it is vital that landlords understand their legal obligations.

On a more positive note, client money will be protected as private sector agents are required to become members of a government-approved Client Money Protection scheme. This should ensure landlords’ income is paid into a separate account and ring-fenced from the agent’s own bank accounts.

If you require any further information on any aspect of your cover, please call us on 0117 307 2278.