The Housing and Planning Act has finally been given Royal Assent. So how does this important Act affect landlords?
The main purpose of the Act is to weed out rogue landlords, many of whom make tenants’ lives a misery. There are various measures contained within the Act. These include:
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A Rogues Database A central database of rogue landlords and letting agents will be held and maintained by the Department for Communities and Local Government. This can be updated by local authorities. Certain offences will lead to a banning order, which will prevent these individuals from letting out property.
Deposit Protection Scheme Data Share Local Authorities can request data from DPSs to help them identify landlords and rental properties.
Property Abandonment Landlords won’t need a possession order or Section 21 notice to recover property if a tenant has abandoned it. However, this will depend on certain conditions being met, including: • The tenant must have actually left the property • The tenant must owe a minimum of two months’ rent • Three warning notices must be served before a landlord is able to repossess the property • Landlord must allow the tenant eight weeks to respond to notices
The government is also expected to extend the HMO licensing scheme to include flats above shops and two-storey buildings. There may also be a stipulation regarding minimum room sizes. Any changes in this area are unlikely to be implemented before October next year.