Latest News

Ex-Housing Minister calls for changes to landlords Capital Gains Tax

18 April 2019

Former Housing Minister, Dominic Raab has called for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) for landlords to be scrapped on properties up to £35,000 where they have sold the property on to a sitting tenant. Read More...

Bristol City Council to lead on lettings enforcement

18 April 2019

Bristol City Council has been announced as the Lead Enforcement Authority for letting agents operating in England. The new Lead Enforcement Authority follows its counterpart for UK-wide estate agency, which is headed by Powys County Council. Read More...

Government consult on extending AML rules to lettings

16 April 2019

On 15 April 2019, the UK Government launched a consultation on extending the anti-money laundering rules to cover letting agents as set out in the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD). Read More...

Homes Act comes into force on 20 March 2019

Tuesday 19 March 2019

The Home (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 finished its parliamentary journey in December 2018. From tomorrow all social and private landlords, including letting agents, in England will be required to comply.

Originally introduced by Karen Buck MP, ARLA Propertymark supported the legislation during its passage through Parliament.

Known as the Homes Act, landlords and letting agents acting on their behalf will be required by law to ensure that a home is fit for human habitation from the beginning and throughout the duration of a tenancy.

If a home is found to be hazardous, and the issue is not resolved, tenants will have the right to take direct legal action in the courts for breach of contract. Certain exemptions apply where the landlord or letting agent will not be held responsible.

We are advising that agents use the 29 hazards of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) as a basis to check against hazards in the home. Earlier this month the Government released Guidance on the legislation.

Tenancies

All new or renewed domestic tenancies on or after 20 March 2019 will apply to the new rules. This includes any tenancies that are significantly changed, such as a Change of Sharer.

Existing Fixed-Term Tenancies will fall under the requirements of the Act when they are renewed or become Periodic.

Existing Periodic Tenancies have 12 months until they will need to comply on 20 March 2020.

Commenting on the legislation coming into force, David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive: “We’re pleased the Homes Act is coming into force tomorrow and congratulate Karen Buck MP on her work to provide a better private rented sector for all. This new legislation will give renters greater protection against criminal operators and means they will now be able to take direct legal action if their agent or landlord does not comply.”

Further help and information

Homes Fitness for Human Habitation Act - news article 

Government Releases Homes Act Guidance – news article

To help ARLA Propertymark members comply, we have created a detailed and comprehensive Homes Act Fact Sheet, which can be accessed in the Member’s Area. The Fact Sheet explores eligible tenancies, what is required of letting agents, and their landlords, at the start of and throughout the duration of a tenancy, as well as how best to monitor the condition of a property. It also provides guidance on where agents and landlords are exempt from rectifying issues with the property.

Keep your eyes peeled for our article on the Homes Act in the next issue of Property Professional magazine, which will available at the end of March.

The legal helpline is available to members with individual queries, make sure to have your membership number ready when you call.