There’s been plenty of activity in the lettings sector over the past month – including some positive news for landlords. Although we still await the second reading for the Renters (Reform) Bill, plans to require landlords to upgrade their minimum energy efficiency standards of their properties have now been “scrapped”. Plus, there’s new damp and mould guidance, and an updated “How to rent” guide for your tenants too.
How to rent guide updated
For the second time this year, there’s a new How to rent guide available to share with new and renewing tenants. This edition of the guide includes information around the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service for tenants. This guide needs to be shared with tenants at the start of their tenancy – and could impact whether a section 21 notice can be served if the guide isn’t shared correctly.
Proposed EPC rating requirements dropped
In a speech, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shared that the plans to increase minimum energy efficiency requirements would be “scrapped” – but research shows that many landlords have already made the upgrades. This isn’t a bad thing, as tenants are likely to continue prioritising energy efficient properties. Plus, the NRLA has highlighted that the measures could still be revisited, if the Labour party were to come to power.
Damp and mould guidance for landlords published
New guidance is now available for landlords on the legal requirements around damp and mould, and how to identify and address any issues. At the same time, proposals on how to update the Housing Health and Safety Rating System to simplify it for landlords and councils alike have been published. With the results of a consultation into the Decent Homes Standard expected, these updates reflect plans to legislate to apply these standards to the private rented sector for the first time.
King’s Speech and Autumn Statement 2023 in November
November will be a busy month for news around the future intentions of this government, with both the King’s Speech on 7 November and the Autumn Statement 2023 on 22 November. Landlords will need to keep an eye on what’s announced to understand what the government will be prioritising in the coming parliamentary session.