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A tenant cannot move into any home without being given copies of certain documents and safety certificates. The law has introduced new documents to be included in recent years, as well as new penalties for landlords not producing these documents and providing copies to your tenants


All properties that have a gas supply must have an annual gas safety test carried out. The test can only be carried out by an engineer registered with and on the gas safe register. The gas safe register replaced corgi registration in Great Britain in 2009.

It is a legal requirement for an annual gas safety test to be carried out. Under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. A landlord must:

Arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a gas safety check every 12 months.

Provide the tenant with a copy of the landlord gas safety record before a tenant moves in to a property and then again within 28 days of the annual check taking place.

Maintain the gas appliances, pipework and flues they provide in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

In order to help landlords comply with the legislation, a landlord is able to have a new gas safety test carried out up to 60 days before the expiry of the existing one without losing any time on the validity of the certificate.

Failure to adhere to this legislation could result in a substantial fine or imprisonment.

The Deregulation Act 2015 made it a legal requirement to provide tenants with copies of a valid gas safety record, Energy Performance Certificate and a copy of the most up to date How to Rent Guide before the tenancy begins. Penalty for not providing these documents under the Act means that landlords cannot gain possession of their property by way of a Section 21 notice. It is therefore imperative to not only provide these documents, but also best practice to have dated proof that the documents have been given to your tenant.


On 01st July 2020 The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect. No tenant could start a new tenancy from this date without the property having a full electrical safety test. From 01 April 2021 the Regulations were extended to include to all existing rental properties.

The Electrical test must be carried out by a qualified person, and once completed a report is issued which will be an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). The electrician will categorise any issues that he identifies on the report. The categories are as follows:

  • Code 1 (C1): Danger present. Risk of injury. A new tenant cannot move into a property if any code 1’s are identified until these are rectified. If the property is currently occupied then the electrician cannot leave the property until he has made the Code 1 hazard safe.
  • Code 2 (C2): Potentially dangerous. Urgent remedial action required. A new tenant cannot move into a property until any Code 2’s have been rectified. If the property is currently occupied then the electrician must ensure there is no danger to the tenants and rectify the fault as soon as possible.
  • Code 3 (C3): Improvement recommended. Code 3’s are advisory for landlords. Tenants can move into properties that have code 3’s. A landlord may choose to have the recommended works attended to, but isn’t legally required to. An example of a code 3 could be a fuse board not to 17th edition BS7671. This fuse board hasn’t been identified as being unsafe, it just isn’t the type that is now installed in newer properties. 

Further Investigation (FI): Further investigation required without delay. A new tenant cannot move into a property with an F1, the F1 fault needs to be

  • investigated and rectified. If the property is currently occupied then the electrician must ensure there is no danger to the tenants and rectify the fault as soon as possible.


Failure to comply to these regulations can result in the Local Authority imposing large financial penalties for landlords. Tenants could also separately take a landlord to court and be awarded compensation if it is deemed that the property is unfit under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 which could include unsafe electrics.



An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows how energy efficient a home is. Homes are rated on a score of A – G (with A being the most energy efficient). The certificate includes recommendations detailing what can be done to make a home more energy efficient. Some recommendations would not be too costly to implement, such as changing light bulbs to energy efficient ones, other recommendations could be much more costly, such as changing the heating system.

The current requirements are set out in the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, which came into effect on 9 January 2013, although they have been amended since, and also the Building Regulations 2010.

In 2008 it became a legal requirement to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate for all properties that were being placed on the rental market. The Government introduced the legislation to spread awareness of how much energy a home was using.

On 1st April 2020 the Government went either further with the legislation in an effort to make properties more energy efficient by making it illegal to rent out a property that had an EPC rating of F or G (certain exemptions apply).

There is a private members bill being debated at the moment The Domestic Premises (Energy Performance) Bill’ asking for all properties to have a rating of a C or lower by 2030. If this becomes legislation it will be very unwelcome news for many landlords. With this in mind, be aware of any improvements that you make to your properties and always look for ways to make them more energy efficient where you can.

Criteria that is considered when assessing a properties’ energy rating will include:

  • the type of building (i.e. flat, house or bungalow) and whether it is detached or not · the age of the building · the number of habitable rooms (excluding kitchens, bathroom hallways, stairs and landings) · extensions and their construction and rooms in the roof · the dimensions of the building and the number of floors · the amount and type of glazing (i.e. single or double glazing) · the material used to build the property (e.g. brick, stone, timber frame, etc.) · wall insulation · roof construction (e.g. flat, pitched) and insulation · the number of chimneys and open flues · the heating systems and the type of fuel used (source

An Energy Performance Certificate is valid for 10 years. Under The Deregulation Act 2015 it became a requirement to ensure that tenants had been given a copy of their EPC prior to starting a tenancy, and if this did not happen then the landlord would be unable to regain their property by way of a Section 21 notice.


Landlords have a duty to ensure that they have carried out a risk assessment at their rental property to ensure that there is very low risk of a tenant becoming unwell due to the presence of legionella bacteria. Several pieces of legislation cover this duty. Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provision for relevant health and safety legislation to apply to landlords to ensure a duty of care is shown to their tenants with regard to their health and safety. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provides a framework of actions to control the risk from a range of hazardous substances, including biological agents (eg Legionella) - to identify and assess the risk, and implement any necessary measures to control any risk Landlords must ensure that the risk from exposure to Legionella in their premises is properly controlled. Since the L8 Approved Code of Practice (3rd edition) (ACOP) was published in 2001, there has been a requirement for landlords of both domestic and business premises to assess the risks from exposure to Legionella to their tenants.

Legionella are bacteria that are common in natural water (rivers and lakes etc) and artificial water systems, e.g. hot and cold water systems (storage tanks, pipework, spa baths, taps and showers). Legionella bacteria can multiply in hot or cold-water systems and storage tanks in residential properties, and then spread, e.g. in spray from showers and taps. Although there is generally higher water temperature throughout, and a relatively low volume of water held in smaller water systems, which in turn reduces the likelihood of the bacteria reaching dangerous concentrations, you must still carry out a risk assessment to identify and assess potential sources of exposure. Legionella bacteria thrive between 20 C and 45 C. Temperatures above 50 C will kill the bacteria. The infection is caused by the inhalation of water droplets or spray mists which have been contaminated by the bacteria.

Specific areas of concern in small domestic systems are mainly to do with stagnation. Your property is likely to have adequate water flow throughout when occupied, but there may be times when outlets are unused for extended periods, or there could be old, redundant pipework which is allowing water to stagnate.


Risk assessments should be compliant with current legislation. Risks to be considered are: poorly designed and maintained Cold water tanks, or tanks with a missing or poorly fitting lid. Hot water taps and pipes that are not achieving temperatures of at least 60 C. Shower heads fouled with limescale and / or microbiological growth. Poor disinfection procedures after refurbishments or new installations. Non WRG compliant materials (i.e. natural rubber liners in flexible fittings). Landlords also need to consider if their tenant could be more vulnerable and therefore susceptible to legionella bacteria, eg elderly, ill, or anyone with a compromised immune system.

Your risk assessment has to identify any potential source of exposure and steps must be taken to actively prevent or control any risks that are identified. Records should be taken and kept for a period of at least 5 years.

Steps that can be taken to reduce risks include: raising the temperature of warm water (this has to be balanced out against the risk of any possible risk of burns / scalding). Disinfecting the system, make sure that no water can stagnate anywhere, insulate pipework, and keeping cisterns covered and free of any debris

 What we are doing:

 We are informing our Landlords about the legislation and that the law states that Landlords are responsible for carrying out these risk assessments.

  • We will be making all new Tenants moving into properties aware of precautions that they should take (by handing out some written information to them).
  • For our Fully Manged and Rent Collection Landlords we will organise a legionella risk assessment 2 yearly (charges apply)
  • For properties that we manage: If we receive a report from a Tenant or contractor of a property defect that may result in there being a risk of Legionella bacteria arising, we will arrange remedial works as deemed necessary by a competent contractor (charges to Landlord will apply)


The ‘How to Rent Guide’ is an informative booklet, designed and produced by the Government, it advises tenants on their rights regarding renting a property. The guide covers topics such as: how much deposit a landlord can legally ask for, if a landlord or agent can charge any fees to a tenant plus lots of practical information that is useful for a tenant to know.

To ensure that all tenants looking to rent a property have been given a copy of the guide, under The Deregulation Act 2015 it became a condition that the most up to date guide is given to a tenant by the agent / landlord, prior to a tenancy commencing. If this does not happen then the landlord is prevented from gaining possession of his property by way of a Section 21 notice.

The most up to date version of the guide van be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england


Please be advised it isn’t enough just to ‘have’ all the correct certificates in place. Part of The Deregulation Act 2015 legislation is that you have to have given your tenants copes of all of these …… and be able to prove that you have done this.

Tenants are entitled to up-to-date copies of the following as a minimum:

Electrical safety cert, gas safety cert, how to rent guide, deposit prescribed information and scheme rules, EPC, property licence certificate.

Other documents that must be provided if available (and if not available will affect deposit deductions and rent guarantee claims): inventory, legionella risk assessment.


 Debbie Jones Cert CIH, FARLA 12 September 2023

Many tenants will be asked to provide a Guarantor to pass the referencing. Please see our previous article on referencing for more details regarding this) https://www.gpslettings.co.uk/blog/34-a-short-guide-on-passing-the-referencing-process

If you are asked to stand as Guarantor for someone you should consider this very seriously

It is an enormous responsibility, and if the person you are Guarantor for stops paying their rent, or breaches their tenancy, then as Guarantor you will be legally obligated to step in and cover the financial loss. Ultimately this loss could end up amounting to £1000’s

Tenants will usually ask close family members, who know them very well and who trust them completely, to act as Guarantor for them.

The Guarantor is Guarantor for ALL tenants who are named on the tenancy agreement. A Guarantor cannot opt out of being Guarantor for ANY named tenant.

Please remember, you cannot ‘end’ you Guarantor obligations if you subsequently have a falling out with the person you have agreed to act for. This includes if there is some kind of relationship breakdown, or divorce / separation.

Obviously, most people who act as Guarantors are never then contacted by us, because the person they have acted for has honoured all their tenancy obligations. It is never nice for us to have to contact the Guarantor after a tenant has moved in, as this will almost always means that there are issues within the tenancy, and the Guarantor will now need to cover rental payments.

If a Guarantor does not honour the terms within the Guarantor deed, and the tenant is taken to court for rent arrears or other tenancy financial breaches, then the Guarantor is also named in the court process. Ultimately this means that both tenant and Guarantor could end up with CCJ’s against their names.

All Guarantors are reminded of the following:


Re: Guarantor deeds


This is provided for information purposes only and does not form part of any contract, nor does it alter, affect or amend any guarantor agreement which may be entered into at the commencement of the proposed tenancy.


If tenants fail to pay the rent for the property or fail to meet any of the other obligations set out in the tenancy agreement, the guarantor agrees that they will be solely responsible for all costs.

Furthermore, regardless of the length of the initial tenancy, after signing a guarantor agreement, the signatory understands that they will be the guarantor indefinitely for the entire time that the tenants have tenure of the property.

Effectively, there is no limit to the amount that the guarantor is liable to pay. However, in practice, if the guarantor is confident that the tenant will not default on their rent or cause damage to the property, they should be confident that they will never be called upon to pay anything.

As guarantor you will be asked to attend this office, with the tenants, to sign a copy of the guarantor deed in our presence, they will also be asked to bring along their passport and proof of address (dated within the last 3 months)


Draft copies of the guarantor deed and the tenancy agreement are available at our office for inspection.

We are not writing this to stop anyone from consenting to be a Guarnotor, as without a Guarantor the tenants will not pass the referencing process and will not be able to move into the rental property. We provide this information so that all Guarantors are fully aware of the responsibility being a Guarantor carries, and that they only consent to doing this if they firmly believe that the persons, they are agreeing to act for have the financial capabilities to meet their tenancy obligations and that they are also sensible with their finances and understand that paying rent is a financial priority.

If you have been asked to be a Guarantor, and have questions regarding this, please seek your own legal advice before consenting to sign a Guarantor deed.

Debbie Jones CertCIH FARLA


The Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver on the government’s commitment to “bring in a better deal for renters”, including abolishing ‘no fault’ evictions and reforming landlord possession grounds. It will legislate for reforms set out in the private rented sector white paper published in June 2022.

Quote: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guide-to-the-renters-reform-bill

The Renters Reform Bill is causing a huge stir in the private rented sector right now. Many landlords are concerned about its implication and are asking questions on my views on what it will all mean. I am writing this article about what we know so far regarding the Renters Reform Bill, and in places am giving my personal views on what I think this means to the landlords and tenants that we look after.

There has been an enormous surge in the number of private rented properties over the last 20 years. The Government have become increasingly concerned about the standards of properties available, and very concerned about the increase in much highlighted and sometimes very tragic cases due to the living conditions within some of these properties.

The bill is being used to address the following:

  • Abolish the Section 21 notice.

Section 21 is commonly referred to as a ‘no fault eviction’. In our experience, landlords use a Section 21 notice most commonly when they wish to end a tenancy for the following reasons: 

When they need the property back to live in themselves or house a close family member.

When they wish to sell the property 

When they wish to carry out extensive refurbishments to a property 

When their tenants are not abiding by the terms of the tenancy. This may be; constantly paying rent late, or missing rental payments, or not living in a manner that is conducive with looking after the property, or causing a nuisance to other neighbours.

For a landlord to use a Section 21 notice he will always have a reason that he needs to regain possession of his property. A Section 21 is a speedy and cost-effective way for landlords to legally regain possession.

The abolishment of the Section 21 will have a huge impact on the private rental sector. The government are saying that to ease the process and still give landlords rights to regain possession of their properties they will, in turn, revise the Section 8 notice grounds.

  • Introduce more comprehensive grounds so landlords can recover possession of their property within the Section 8 notice.

Currently landlords prefer to use a section 21 notice as it is cheaper and quicker than the Section 8 route, plus it is far less complicated. Using a Section 8 notice is a much more complicated legal process. Set ‘grounds’ must be met, and even if grounds are met, some of these grounds are ‘discretionary’ when it comes to a judge issuing a possession order. It is therefore possible to have identical situations before 2 different judges, and for one judge to grant a possession order and the other not to. Under the current system, there are some ‘mandatory’ grounds for possession. So, if tenants meet these grounds the judge must grant a possession order. If a landlord seeks possession using a Section 8 notice he will almost certainly choose to use a legally qualified professional to represent him, and there will always be a court case. We have recent Section 8 notices that have taken 18 months to get to court. The court system is bursting at its seams, my view is that it currently isn’t fit for purpose, so with the weight of additional cases when the Section 21 route is no longer an option, I can see the system and process taking even longer than it currently does. Leaving landlords financially out of pocket by tens of thousands of pounds. The government recognise this too and have undertaken to work alongside the Ministry of Justice and the HM Court and Tribunal Service to improve the system. They have announced that they are also looking at end to end digitisation. I just hope that any changes regarding the abolishment of the Section 21 do not happen until the court process has been radically reformed.

With the abolition of the Section 21 notice, grounds that are being suggested as added to the Section 8 notice will include: sale of the rental property and additional grounds for anti-social behaviour. Full details of how this will work haven’t been released yet.

  • Provide stronger protection against ‘back door’ evictions if a tenants rent is increased excessively, forcing the tenant to leave as they can no longer afford to stay.

The Bill still says it will allow landlords to charge ‘market rent’, plus increase rents annually. The notice period given to tenants for a proposed rental increase will increase from one month to two months.

Some landlords have become very concerned about this part of the bill, but then I remind them that this will not change the fact that they can still increase rents annually, and still increase them to market rents. I also remind landlords that there is already a mechanism in place to protect tenants against landlords who look to charge higher rents than market rents, by way of a tenant appeal under the first-tier tribunal. https://www.gov.uk/housing-tribunals

In my view, this part of the bill is a belt and braces approach. The bill is not going to make increasing rents illegal, but it wants to stop landlords who are maybe looking to evict tenants, of using the fact the tenants refuse rent increases (or run into large rent arrears due to a rent increase) from regaining possession. I suspect this is being introduced into the bill as currently landlords simply serve a section 21 notice, and it could have been a loop hole to evict tenants under the revised legislation if this wasn’t within the bill. 

  • Introduce a new rented Sector Ombudsman

We are waiting on the full details of this. Currently landlords who use gps lettings are already using an agent who is part of an Ombudsman Scheme, and we are also part of a redress scheme. This means that tenants (and landlords) have channels they can already go to if they feel they have not been treated fairly and correctly by us. 

The government feel that with the abolishment of the Section 21, that it will ease pressure on the courts if rather than then having to simply rely on a (new and revised) Section 8 notice, that there is an alternative dispute resolution process in place.

The Bill proposes making it mandatory for all landlords to join the Ombudsman Scheme, but there are lots of details within this to establish, especially surrounding landlords whose agents belong to schemes and how the new Ombudsman scheme will work in these instances.

  • Create a private rental property portal.

The idea behind this is that all landlords and tenants can log into a portal and check their legal obligations, plus check how legally complaint the rental property is.

There is mention on this draft, that local authorities can also use this to check compliance of landlords and target enforcement.

Again, we need more details on how this is all going to work in practice before we can advise further on this.

  • Tenants will be given the right to request a pet in a property, landlords must not unreasonably refuse.

This has also caused a lot of comments and discussions. From my understanding, and knowing our landlord’s attitude to pets in properties, I do not believe that very much will change. Landlords will still be able to refuse certain pets in flats where the head lease already stipulates this. Landlords will still be able to refuse certain pets if the property is deemed unsuitable.

We obviously need more clarity in the wording surrounding this part of the Bill. But our experience regarding landlords allowing pets in properties is that landlords do already take a realistic view. We are a nation of pet lovers, and the problem with pets is normally nothing to do with the pet itself, more the property being totally unsuitable for that particular pet or the pet owner leaving their pet alone and unsupervised for extended periods of time.

One thing that has been said regarding this within the Bill is that there will be an amendment to the Tenant Fees Act, as if this is passed, landlords will be able to insist on pet insurance to cover any damage that the pet may make to their rental property (currently this would be banned under the existing tenant fee act as a prohibited payment)

  • Remove Assured Shorthold Tenancies and replace them with periodic tenancies.

So, we have a divided landlord and tenant base on if this will be something you prefer / like.

Currently all our tenancies start off as a fixed term 6- or 12-month contract. The pluses for this are that you all know where you ‘stand’. The tenancy starts on x date and will expire on y date. On expiry you know you need to decide to renew the contract or look to end the contract. If you renew both landlord and tenant then decide if they want to renew for another fixed term contract, typically another 6 or 12 months, or move to a statutory periodic tenancy (rolling contract). During a fixed term neither party can just ‘end’ the contract. If it is close to the end of a fixed term, then currently a landlord must serve the tenant a section 21 notice (2 months’ notice) to end the contract. The tenant doesn’t have to serve any notice and can just leave at the end of the contract. If the tenancy is on a statutory periodic tenancy, then the landlord still needs to serve the 2-month notice, but the tenant only must serve one (to coincide with a rental term)

If you read the above, you can see that the current system isn’t equal for landlord and tenant and can be confusing.

Also with the current system, what happens if one party or the other desperately needs to end the tenancy? This can only be achieved by mutual consent and will involve one party ‘buying themselves’ out of the contract. It is not common sense to simply assume that as there is a 12-month contract in place, that both parties will stay within the terms of that contract, and that nothing in their lives will change, within that 12 months. Things do happen, and tenancies do sometimes need to be ended.

The new proposal is that all tenancies will be ‘rolling monthly’ contracts and a tenant will be able to serve notice to end that contract by serving the landlord with 2 months’ notice. The landlord will only be able to end the contract by using one of the grounds within a Section 8 notice (which will be extended upon).

  • Make it illegal to have a blanket ban on renting to tenants on benefits or tenants with children.

This Is mentioned in the guidance notes for the bill but may not be implemented when the bill becomes law. It could possibly be added at a later stage?

On a day-to-day basis, if this is implemented, we cannot see how this will negatively impact landlords. Landlords still have a right to choose who rents their property. They cannot discriminate against a tenant on any of the protected characteristics in law. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance

Landlords will choose the best applicants at the time. A landlord’s view will vary from landlord to landlord about who makes the ‘best’ tenant. Some landlords prefer couples, some families, some single tenants. Some landlords will always look at income only. Some landlords are more concerned about if they think the tenants will be long term.

For many landlords their rental property is an investment. It makes very bad business sense to keep any rental property empty if there are applications available.

It is more difficult to be accepted if you are ‘competing’ with several other applications for the same property and your financial status isn’t as strong. It is also more difficult to be accepted if you have a very large family and are looking at smaller family houses, or you have pets, and other applications maybe do not. We have tenants in these situations who have asked us to pass on letters to landlords, addressing any concerns the landlord may have. We would suggest to tenants who feel they keep missing out on properties because other applications always appear stronger to consider doing this, plus maybe also submitting a reference from a previous landlord at the time you apply. Remember, landlords only have a ‘on paper view’ of you. Which can be very cold and clinical. If you have additional information with your application that personalises you and shows a landlord how much you fell in love with their property, it could be the piece of the puzzle that secures the let for you.


This has been written as a simple overview of what we currently know about the Renters Reform Bill. It isn’t to be read as definitive legal advice, and any points that you want to rely on, should only be done so after seeking your own legal advice.

I am not a solicitor. I am a letting agent who has worked within the property industry for more than 30 years (since 1988). During that time, I have seen enormous changes in legislation and changes within the private rented sector in general. This Bill will be the biggest change that has happened since the Housing Act 1988. Personally, I feel that the Government aren’t giving enough consideration to how much they need the Private Rented Sector to fill the huge void in property available. When the Housing Act 1988 was introduced and replaced the Rent Act 1977, there was an enormous increase in private landlords, and therefore rental properties. This was largely due to the fact that finally some control was being given to private landlords, they were able to create fixed term contracts, and they were able to regain possession of properties fairly simply and cheaply if their circumstances changed or if the tenants breached their contracts.

For the Reform Bill to ‘work’ the court system must have a massive overhaul. To remove the ‘no fault eviction’ and to make all landlords rely on a Section 8 Notice, which in turn relies totally on how swiftly the court system can handle the cases will be a total disaster unless the courts can handle these cases efficiently and speedily.

We are of course waiting for the final version of the Reform Bill to be published, during the draft and consultation periods already things have changed, some things have been excluded, so until we have the final version no one knows where we all stand.

We remain hopeful that additional rights for possession are added to the Section 8 notice, and these aren’t completely restrictive. We also remain hopeful that the process once using a Section 8 is expedited and not costly.

I have always recommended landlords have rent guarantee insurance in place, If landlords do not have this already, I suggest looking into getting this product. If landlords need help with this, then please contact us.

Once more details are released, I will write a new update on my views and how we can manage this latest change in legislation.

  • There is no date for the Reform Bill to become law, predictions vary, but most seem to think that we are looking at the Summer of 2024.

Debbie Jones CertCIH FARLA


Disclaimer: all views expressed here are my own. This article does not constitute legal advice.

The legislation which controls residential lettings seems to be forever changing. All changes need analysing and implementing, and almost all changes will carry huge penalties if they are not adhered to correctly and on time.

At gps lettings we invest heavily in staff training. We are extremely mindful that if we do not know the laws that affect your residential tenancies, then we can very easily leave our landlords in awful predicaments with non-compliant tenancies and properties. This will result in huge fines, not being able to regain possession of properties and in some more serious breaches, imprisonment.

To make sure we are aware of the necessary and relevant legislation all staff take part in regular training sessions. These may be office based, via zoom meetings, via webinars, or externally with a qualified training provider.

More recently most of the team have also been taking formal qualifications to cement their knowledge. These have been a mixture of ARLA Propertymark qualification, and a highly recognised Government Apprentice scheme.

At the same time, I have also been completing some additional formal qualifications.

I am adding a pdf to this blog, which shows some of the notes I made during this process, where I noted down some of the legislation, case law and relevant points. This is not meant to be a true interpretation of the law, and some of my notes may be slightly inaccurate (so please do not rely on these in a court of law!!!), I am adding it just to show how complex the law can be, and how much a landlord should be aware of (or his letting agent should), to be able to let properties legally and compliantly.

Both myself and my team are always ‘learning’ as the law is always changing. We want to be able to offer landlords good and accurate advice, and to help our landlords navigate what is quite frankly  a legal minefield.

There is so much legislation, that occasionally something crops up that even stumps us! This is where me being a member of ARLA Propertymark is helpful for our landlords. Due to my time spent working in this industry (Since 1988) and my level of qualifications, I am now a Fellow member of ARLA, as such I have access to a legal helpline meaning that if one of my landlords is in trouble and needs a little extra advice, I only have to reach for the phone to get this for them.

I am also a Certified Practitioner for the Chartered Institute of Housing.

If you are a landlord and are looking for a letting agent, I would be only too happy to have a chat with you and see if we can help you. Not all letting agents are the same!




Year Legislation Description
1925 Law Of Property Act 1925 Section 146 - Forfeiture Clause. Breach by tenant must be detailed to gain possession.
1953 Accommodation Agencies Act 1953 Offence to charge a tenant for registering their details 
1953 Accommodation Agencies Act 1953 Ilegal to advertise a property without owners consent - case law Islington v Winkworth 1998
1953 Case Law Warren V Keen 1953 Judgement made by lord Denning, Tenants must live in a tenant like manner and undertake small and simple repairs themselves
1954 Business Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 Live work tenancies
1972 Defective Premises Act Section 4 Landlord responsible for repair which they ought to be aware of
1974 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act : Gas Safety Offences
1974 Control of Pollution Act 1974 Noise from speakers and construction
1974 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Landlords must ensure a duty of care to their tenant whist work is being undertaken in the rental property.
1974 Control of Pollution Act 1974 Control of noise and waste on land - mainly from building works/ construction
1974 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Identify risks of legionella bacteria
1976 Estate Agent Act 1976 Does not apply to letting agents
1977 Protection From Eviction Act 1977 Banning order Offence to commit offence under this act. Protects tenant from unlawful eviction
1977 Criminal Law Act Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act. Protects tenant from forceful entry
1977 Protection From Harassment Act 1977 Protects a tenant from harassment from the landlord, eg violence, threats or intimidation, constant confrontation etc
1977 Protection from Eviction act 1977 covers cutting off of utilities and other means of harassment
1977 Protection from Eviction act 1977 Serve min 4 weeks notice to evict (although contract or other law applies if longer notice should be served). Cannot evict without due legal process.
1977 Rent Act 1977 Applies to certain, older tenancies (pre housing act tenancies) Protected Tenancy and rent. Right of Succession
1977 Interference with Goods Act 1977 Landlords cannot simply dispose of tenants goods
1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Deals with invasive plant species such as Japanese Knot weed
1983 Case law Clarke v Taff ely bc 1983 under defective premises act, council prosecuted as tenant fell through flooring
1983 Case Law GLC v Tower Hamlets 1983 Under Environmental Protection Act 1990, property design caused excessive condensation
1985 Housing act 1985 Created the right in certain tenancies for a family member to take over tenancy on the death of the original tenant.  Although had vague wording on HMO's - just 'not a single household' updated wording in Housing Act 2004
1985 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Landlords address to be provided if requested in writing by the tenant
1985 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Landlord specifically responsible for: Structure and exterior repair, Repair and keep in working order installation for gas, electricity, water and sanitation, repair and keep in working order hot water and space hating installations, landlord not to pass these obligations onto a tenant
1985 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 If rent is paid weekly, landlord must supply a rent book
1985 Case Law Street v Mountford 1985 Landlord tried to say it was not a tenancy but a licence. The judge rules just because you call it something else, doesn't mean it is, and that the tenant was protected as it was in fact  rent act tenancy … judges comments ' a rose by another name would smell just as sweet'
1987 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 Section 47 - landlords address must be supplied for a lawful demand for rent
1987 Landlords and Tenant Act 1987 Section 48 - Tenant must be given an address to serve notices within the UK
1988 The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 Applies to beds, headboards, mattresses, sofas, cushions, pillows, stretch covers etc
1988 Housing Act 1988 (as amended in 1996) Brought in the assured and the assured shorthold tenancy.
1990 Environmental Protection Act 1990 Covers pollution from: smoke, fumes, gases, artificial lights and noise
1992 Case Law A section 47 can be served retrospectively. So putting the landlord address on the Section 8, will comply with Section 47. Lindsey Trading Properties Inc v Dallhold Estates (UK) Pty Ltd 1992 and Rogan v Woodfield Building Services [1995] and Staunton v Taylor (2010)
1993 Case Law Mountain v Hastings - struck out as full grounds and full wording of the section 8 were not listed
1994 Unfair terms in consumer contracts Act 1994 Now covered under consumer Rights Act 2015
1996 Arbitration Act 1996 Help with disputes - follows a legal process - dealt with, without unnecessary delay or expense
1996 Noise Act 1996 Covers noise issues during the hours of 11pm - 7am 
1997 Protection From Harassment Act 1997 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act Protection from harassment and stalking
1998 Case Law Breach of Accommodation Agencies act 1953 - Islington v Winkworth
1998 Case Law Islington v Winkworth 1998 Winkworths were prosecuted for advertising and letting a council owned property under The Accommodation Agencies Act 1953
1998 Gas Safety (installations and Use) Regs 1998 A Gas safety test must be carried out annually
2000 Proceeds of Crime and Money Laundering - terrorism Act 2000  
2002 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act - offences surrounding criminal proceeds of crime and acquisition of property
2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act High Hedge legislation (continuous barrier of2 or more 2 evergreens more than 2 meters high
2003 Criminal Justice Act 2003 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act. Violent and Sexual Offences
2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003  
2004 Housing Act 2004 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act. - Grounds, failure to adhere to an improvement notice
2004 Housing Act 2004 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act. - Grounds, failure to comply with HMO licence obligations/ requirements
2004 Housing Act 2004 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act. - Grounds, allowing overcrowding
2004 Housing Act 2004 Tenancy Deposit protection legislation
2004 Housing Act 2004 Houses in Multiple Occupation legislation / licensing
2004 Housing Health and safety rating Scheme Used by Environmental Health to 'score' 29 hazards in a property
2005 Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) order 205 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act Offences re fire safety
2005 Clean Neighbourhood Act 2005 Noise from intruder alarms
2005 Clean Neighbourhoods and Environmental Act 2005  
2005 Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) order 2005 Fire risk assessments in HMO's
2005 General Product Safety Regs 2005 Blind cords must be secured with a  cleat. Prosecution is under these regs
2006 Fraud Act 2006 Banning Order Offence to commit offence under this act
2006 The management of Houses in Multiple Occupation Regs 2006 Regs place set legal duties on managers of HMO's
2007 The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007 Regs place additional legal duties on managers of HMO's. it is a criminal offence to not adhere to these duties.
2009 Case Law Whitehouse v Lee 2009. Rent act 1977 tenancy, alternative accommodation must also be suitable in terms of location
2010 Equality Act 2010 Individuals can not be discriminated against if they have any of the prescribed characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership (in employment only), pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. 
2011 Localism Act 2011 Parts of the housing act were amended as they were not being interpreted as intended - famous superstrike case
2013 Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 Must belong to a redress scheme
2013 Article 4 Article 4 limits the work that can be caried out without needing planning permission.  When used around HMO's article 4 takes away the landlord permitted development right to convert from c3 accommodation (private dwelling house) to c4 accommodation (HMO)
2013 Case Law Superstrike v Rodrigues 2013 - this case was overturned by the introduction of the deregulation act. The case originally prevented a landlord from servy a section 21 notice to a tenant, who was on a  periodic tenancy, because the landlord had not re served the prescribed information to the tenant. Under the deregulation act it is ruled that prescribed information does not need to be reserved at every renewal.
2014 Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Conduct causing harassment or distress, or nuisance, Housing related nuisance
2014 Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 Rowdy behaviour vandalism, graffiti, street drinking, littering, abandonment of vehicles
2014 Immigration Act 2014 Right to Rent Checks mandatory - illegal to rent to someone who does not have the legal right to rent in the UK
2014 The Redress Schemes for Lettings Agency Work and Property Management Work (Approval and Designation of Schemes) (England) Order 2013 Legal requirement for letting agents to belong to a redress scheme
2015 Consumer Rights Act 2015 Regulates contract terms, descriptions and display of fees 
2015 Deregulation Act 2015 Bans Retaliatory Eviction. Cleared up the superstrike issue. Standardised the Section 21.
2015 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm Regs All rental properties must have a working smoke detector per floor. Carbon Monoxide detectors were only under certain situations (changed under amended regs in 2022) 
2016 Immigration Act 2016  
2016 Housing and Planning Act 2016 Rent repayment orders can be granted for certain landlord breaches of regulations or legislation. Act also introduced banning orders
2018 Data Protection Act 2018 Controls of how data is collected and stored and shared
2018 Homes Fitness for Habitation Act   
2018 Homes Fitness for Habitation Act  Implied obligation on tenants to grant access- fit for habitation at the start of a tenancy and throughout
2018 Domestic Minimum Efficiency Energy Regulations Now illegal to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G
2019 Tenant fees Act 2019 Unless specifically detailed in the Act, all other fees are prohibited payments
2020 The Electrical safety Standards in The Private Rented Sector Regs Properties must have a 5 yearly (or sooner) Electrical installation and condition report (EICR)
2020 The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 Under certain situations tenants can apply to have a breathing space from debts, whilst they work out a repayment plan
2022 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (amendment) Regs 2022 Amended the 2015 regs, to now include carbon monoxide detectors.
2023 Renters Reform Bill Going to be the biggest change in legislation since the Housing Act 1988 - going through parliament now
Section 13  Notice Rent increase on a periodic tenancy, one months notice
Section 21 Notice No Fault eviction notice .. Min 4 months into tenancy, served EPC, How to rent guide, Gas safety, Prescribed info and safeguarded deposit
Section 3 Notice Change of landlord notice - can be served with Section 48
Section 47 Notice landlords address must be supplied for a lawful demand for rent
Section 48 Notice  Tenant must be given an address to serve notices within the UK
Section 8  Notice Eviction notice - mandatory and discretionary grounds





TENANTS – This may be helpful to you

Depending on if the rental property is already vacant will depend on how we can market and advertise the property.

If the property is already empty then one of our team will visit the property, obtain marketing photos and produce a 3d virtual tour. These are then used in all the methods of advertising that we have opted to use.

If the property is occupied, then we will endeavour to obtain new marketing photos, this is not always possible due to complications with access as well as if the existing tenant is in the process of moving out and if the property is cluttered with removal boxes etc. We will always try our best to promote rental properties as fully as we can.

Landlords can keep track of all viewings and all feedback from viewings via their online account.

Viewers can also keep track of all viewings that they have booked via their own online account.

We market properties at a fair and competitive rent, we actively discourage ‘offers’ on rental properties. We keep landlords updated and advise landlords during this process if we feel that any works are needed at the rental property before a tenant is able to move in

We also advise viewers that if there is anything they feel needs doing to the rental property, that they make this view clear before they apply for the property. Rental properties are let ‘as seen’, so requests for decorating, flooring, additional cleaning must be made before a tenant decides to proceed with an application for the property, and definitely before a tenant pays over a holding deposit.

Things that tenants should consider when looking for a new home could include:

Location – is the property near to public transport/ train station. Is the property commutable to your place of work or your children’s school? Is the property on a busy road and if it is will street noise bother you? Visit the area at different times, do you feel safe? Is it noisy?

Parking – if this is important to you then find out the parking situation! Some blocks of flats are permit holders only, you may not be guaranteed a parking space, so do not assume. If the parking is ‘on street’ are there enough spaces for the number of cars in the street? You may need to view the property at different times of the day to determine this? Are you eligible for  a residents parking permit? If you are, how much will it cost and where will your visitors park? If you see a parking space outside of the property never assume it belongs to the property you are viewing. Get confirmation of this.

Size – Take a good look at each room, can you fit all of your belongings in? You may be viewing when the property is occupied by the outgoing tenant, they may have really fancy / modern furniture that makes the property look amazing, imagine your own furniture in place and determine if the size and style will look how you want it to. Think about who will be living at the property and make sure the property is large enough, also think about if you want or need outside space. Take a good look at the kitchen are there enough unit’s or work top space? If you want a dishwasher, washing machine, tumble drier etc will all of these appliances fit? Is there plumbing and space for all the appliances you want to use? Make sure you clarify what is being left behind – lots of appliances may belong to the tenant, so you may need to budget to buy your own. Never assume that something is included in the rental

Budget – Work out what you can afford, then stick to this. Its so very tempting to ‘just go and look at’ something that is over your budget. If you do this and then fall in love with the property you will over commit financially and then struggle for the next 12 months. Make sure you can afford to pay your rent and bills and have money left for any luxuries that are part of your lifestyle. If this is the first time renting then do not be tempted to underestimate how much you will be spending on food and bills each month.

Heating – Look at the sort of heating the property has. Is it all electric? Does it have gas central heating? Is it under floor heating? Also look at the windows, are they double glazed? Then think about if you will be comfortable living in this property. If the property is still occupied when you view and it is winter, then take a moment to feel how warm it is. Landlords do have a duty to ensure a property is adequately heated, but if you are a person who really feels the cold then please do give this some extra consideration.

If you decide to proceed with a property then you will enter into a legally binding contract, which is not easy to get out of and would be very costly if you ‘changed your mind’ or subsequently decide moving into this property was a mistake. It is a very big decision, so make sure you have given this the right amount of thought.