January 31, 2021 | Michael Whittaker
The last two years have seen several key changes to landlord and tenant legislation.
As always, it is important to keep up to date as not doing so can have consequences for you and your tenancy.
Use our checklist below to make sure you remain compliant.
Electrical safety standards and EICR certificates
As of the 30th July 2020, all new tenancies have required a satisfactory EICR (electrical installation condition report). As of the 1st April 2021, all existing tenancies will require a current EICR, irrespective of whether the tenancy is new or not. An EICR usually lasts for five years, and the property will not need a reinspection before this date.
EPC and the minimum energy efficiency standards
From the 1st of April 2020 landlords have been prohibited from starting a new tenancy, or continuing an existing one where the property has an EPC rating of E or below. Some properties may be exempt from this legislation, confirmation needs to be sought from your local authority.
As the EPC first came into existence in 2008, many have now expired. Don’t forget to ensure that your EPC is still valid, as failure to provide a valid certificate to your tenant when they move in can prevent the serving of a section 21 notice to regain possession (see more details below).
Gas safety certificates
Landlords are responsible for the gas safety of their properties, and privately renting a property without a valid gas safety certificate is a criminal offence. Gas safety certificates need to be renewed annually, irrespective of whether the tenancy is new, renewed, or continuing. Failure to provide a valid GSC will also prevent you from serving a section 21 notice.
Serving a Section 21 notice
To successfully serve a section 21 notice and regain possession of your property, several key documents must have been issued to the tenant to ensure the notice is valid. Failure to provide some or all of these things will prevent you from being able to utilise section 21, and in some cases mean you will not be able to gain possession until the tenant voluntarily moves out.
Changes to landlords’ taxation
From 1st April 2020, several new pieces of legislation have come into force affecting landlords’ taxation.
Landlords are no longer able to claim tax relief on mortgage interest payments for their rental income. Capital gains relief for landlords that used to live in the property subject to CGT is no longer applicable (unless they share the home with their tenant), and CGT on any property sale must be paid to HMRC within 30 days of completion, rather than waiting to file as part of an annual tax return.
Non-resident landlord taxation
Landlords based outside of the UK now need to register both themselves and their managing agent with HMRC. The managing agent also needs to register separately. Once confirmed with HMRC, the landlord is able to file an annual tax return as normal. Until then, 20% of all rental income must be half back by either the managing agent or the tenant and sent to HMRC quarterly.
Please note that this is by no means a definitive guide to all compulsory legislation, and only really reflects recent changes. Further legislation is in place relating to fire safety, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and fitness for human habitation amongst others. If you need any further guidance please feel free to get in touch or take a look at our comprehensive e-guide, here.
London Youth work to improve the lives of young people in London, challenging them to become the best they can, and last year helped over 27,000 young people through their sports development, youth action and involvement, arts and outdoor education programmes and employment prospects. We feel strongly that all young people should have an opportunity to develop themselves, and so are delighted to be able to support London Youth in their work, providing young people with access to opportunities they might not otherwise have had, to learn new skills, to make a positive change in their communities and to shape the city they live in.
Glass Door helps homeless men and women in London through their large network of emergency shelters and support services. These winter shelters provide a warm welcome, food, safety and shelter for up to 170 people every night. Properly feels passionately about the issue of homelessness. That is why we are delighted that together with our clients we can assist Glass Door in their fantastic work to help some of the most marginalised people in society.
Families become homeless for reasons we can all identify with. We are concerned about people who are struggling to keep things together in our fast-paced world – and we care about those who have no support. We chose the Doorstep Homeless Family Project because they are passionate and effective yet they are a small team with limited funding. They provide homeless families, living in temporary accommodation in London, with access to services to secure the emotional and practical support they require to enjoy a better quality of life.
We need nature and nature needs us. We support The London Wildlife Trust because we share its concern for the environment. We want to ensure that we keep nature in mind as we work in the property market – and crucially, with people’s homes. We also want our employees to engage with nature and benefit from the wellbeing this brings. London Wildlife Trust cares for over 37 of London’s spaces, and their vision is: “a London alive with nature, where everyone can experience and enjoy wildlife”.
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