Legislation affecting BOTH Tenant and Landlord

It’s no surprise that the rental market has undergone yet MORE changes to legislation from 2017-2019 than ever before.   If you don’t already know, The Private Residential Tenancy came into force on the 1st December 2017 and has brought about some big changes. The tenancy system establishes the legal agreement between tenant and landlord, and is an important part of making sure the private rented sector functions well. The new legislation, which must be used for all new tenancies created on or after 1 December 2017:

  • is open-ended, which means a landlord will no longer be able to ask a tenant to leave simply because the fixed term has ended, nor will the tenant be tied in to a lengthy lease agreement
  • provides more predictable rents and protection for tenants against excessive rent increases
  • includes the ability to introduce local rent caps for rent pressure areas
  • provides comprehensive and robust grounds for repossession that will allow landlords to regain possession in 18 specified circumstances

Any existing short assured and assured tenancies will continue, but new tenancies granted in the private rented sector from December 2017 will be private residential tenancies. More recent changes that we have seen implemented from 1st March 2019 onwards are those covering Heat, Smoke and CO detectors, and The Repairing Standard. Although it is well known that heat, smoke and CO detectors are mandatory in all private rental properties, the principle change is that from 1st March 2019 all smoke detectors must be either mains-operated alarms or tamper proof long-life lithium battery alarms. In order to comply with The Repairing Standard there should be at least:

  • one functioning smoke alarm in the room which is frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes (normally the living room/lounge),
  • one functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings, or in main room if no landing in upper storey
  • one heat alarm in every kitchen,
  • all alarms should be ceiling mounted, and
  • all alarms should be interlinked.

Legislation states that The Repairing Standard is a basic level of repair that all private rented properties must meet. A home meets the Repairing Standard if:

  • it’s wind and watertight
  • the structure and exterior (like the walls and roof) are in a reasonable condition
  • the installations for water, gas, electricity, sanitation and heating are in a reasonable state of repair and working order
  • any fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by the landlord (like carpets, light fittings and household equipment) are in a reasonable state of repair
  • any furnishings provided by the landlord can be used safely for the purpose they were designed
  • electrical safety inspections are carried out by a qualified electrician at least once every five years

A tenancy that lasts for less than 31 days and is used for a holiday does not need to follow the repairing standard. A flat in a tenement does not fail the repairing standard if work cannot be done because of other owners refusing consent. Stay ahead of the game and keep up to date with legislation changes by reading our monthly blog posts.