Explanation of legislation

Quick reference guide to legislation relating to landlord and tenant law

The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015

  • These regulationsare in force now.
  • The regulations require information to be provided by a ‘trader’ to a ‘consumer’ about alternative dispute resolution (ADR) entities in certain circumstances which will apply to the landlord and tenant relationship.
  • Most relevant section for landlords is Regulation 19.

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014

  • These regulations are in force now.
  • The regulations impose duties on landlords of shared accommodation where heating or hot water is billed individually to their tenants.
  • Regulations do not apply where heating or hot water is included in the rent.
  • Where there is communal heating, the landlord must submit a notification to the National Measurement and Regulation Office providing details of the heating system.
  • There are also duties relating to installation of meters and ongoing maintenance and billing.

Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) Regulations 2015

  • These regulations are in force now.
  • The regulations changed prescribed forms made under the Housing Act 1988.
  • For example, there is a new section 8 notice form for seeking possession.

Deregulation Act 2015

  • The Deregulation Act came into force in March 2015
  • Sections 30-32 amend the previous legislation relating to tenancy deposits.
  • The ‘prescribed information’ which must be provided to the tenant about the deposit protection scheme can now be in the name of the landlord or the agent.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

  • Commencing in October 2015
  • Regulation 4 states that a landlord must ensure that –
    • a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and
    • a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance
  • The duty will apply to all types of tenancy with a very limited number of exemptions (e.g. where there are lodgers in a landlord’s home)
  • Further obligations on the landlord to ensure that the alarms are in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins.

The Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 

  • Tenants still qualify forlegal aid for the vast amount of housing issues.
  • However such engagedsolicitor firm has a duty to ensure legal aid is appropriate use of public funds and satisfy the proportionality test.
  • In addition depending on the case type the Tenant may be required pass a means test calculation should they qualify they may also be required to contribute from their disposable income towards the cost.

Localism Act 2011 – part 7 – Housing

  • From 6 April 2012, landlords were given 30 days to protect the tenant’s deposit (rather than 14 days as originally stated in the Housing Act 2004). Once that period has expired, tenants can immediately make a claim against the landlord. The landlord cannot then protect the deposit late, without facing a penalty. This penalty can range from one to three times the value of the deposit.
  • The Localism Act also means that where a landlord or their agent fails to comply with the deposit protection scheme, they are excluded from using the section 21 process to evict their tenants.

Housing Act 1996

  • Relating to social landlords and the local authority duties towards homelessness (see Homelessness Act 2002 which repealed this particular section).

Data Protection Act 1998

  • This Act specifies how personal data held on tenants should be protected by the landlord.

The Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007

  • Under section 213(5) of the Housing Act 2004, the landlord must ‘protect’ the tenant’s deposit under the ‘Tenancy Deposit Scheme.’

The Housing Act 1988

  • This legislation mainly relates to the protection of ‘assured tenancies’ where it grants a degree of security of tenure to the tenant.
  • Most tenancies today however are assured short hold tenancies which do not come with this security.

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