Private Rented Sector

These regulations cover landlord and tenant relationships, including leasehold properties, and rented properties. They include regulations relating to the management of empty homes, and the protection of tenants’ deposits. They also include regulations relating to the management of residential caravan sites. Towards the end of last year, the Government published its Housing Strategy which set out its commitment to supporting a strong and thriving private rented sector. Find out more here.

We want to hear your views on what more we can do to deliver a simpler, less bureaucratic and more effective system, whilst maintaining necessary protection and legal rights for tenants and leaseholders, including security of tenure. You can find the regulations that relate to the Private Rented Sector below to the left. Visit the Housing & Construction theme landing page here.

Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) Regulations 1998

Lists the bodies and educational institutions who are exempt from giving assured or protected tenancies to students to whom they are offering accommodation (as an assured or protected tenancy have a security of tenure that is not suitable for student accomodation).

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UK regulation

Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) (Amendment) Regulations 1999

Amends the Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) Regulations 1998 by adding or removing bodies from the list of bodies and educational institutions who are exempt from giving assured or protected tenancies to students.

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Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) (Amendment) (No 2) (England) Regulations 1999

Amends the Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) Regulations 1998 by adding or removing bodies from the 1998 list

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Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000

Amends the Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) Regulations 1998 by adding or removing bodies from the 1998 list

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Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2009

Amends the Assured and Protected Tenancies (Lettings to Students) Regulations 1998 by adding or removing bodies from the 1998 list

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Assured Tenancies (Amendment) (England) Order 2010

Extends the scope of assured tenancies and assured shorthold tenancies to all properties with a rent of up to £100,000 annually. An assured tenancy and assured shorthold tenancies allow landlords to charge a full market rent. Assured shorthold tenancies can also be let for short periods.

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Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Rent Information) Order 1988

Specifies the information on rents (including the address of the premises, the rental period) under assured tenancies (private tenancies that began on or after 15 January 1989) and assured agricultural occupancies (tied accomodation for farm workers) to be made publicly available by a Rent Assessment Panel. This order was made under the Housing Act 1988, which states that the Secretary of State shall specify how this information should be made available.

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Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Rent Information) (Amendment) Order 1990, SI 1990/1474

Amends the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Rent Information) Order 1988 to clarify the circumstances when a rent assessment panel is not allowed to make a decision in relation to a assured shorthold tenancey.

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Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Rent Information) (Amendment) Order 1993, SI 1993/657

Makes a minor amendment the information that the rent assessment panel publishes on assured tenancies and agricultural occupancies, as specified in the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Rent Information) Order 1988. The Order alters ‘rates’ to ‘council tax and rates’.

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Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) Regulations 1997, SI 1997/194

This regulation amends the forms to be used in connection with assured tenancies and agricultural occupancies, as detailed in the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Rent Information) Order 1988.

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Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2002

This regulation prescribes a new form (Form No. 4A) to be used in connection with assured tenancies and agricultural occupancies, as detailed in the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) Regulations 1997. This form is to be used by landlords (in England) when proposing a new rent for an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy.

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Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/260

Makes consequential amendments to the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) Regulations 1997. Prescribes, (for use in England), two new forms to replace Form No. 4A, for use by landlords proposing, a new rent for an assured periodic tenancy, or a assured agricultural occupancy.

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Commonhold (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Makes minor amendments to the Commonhold Regulations 2004 as a result of the Companies Act 2006 (which made changes to the organisation of companies, including “commonhold association” companies).

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Commonhold Regulations 2004

Allows land in England and Wales to be registered as a freehold estate in commonhold land. Commonhold differs from freehold, as individuals will own a unit (ie a flat) and be a member of a commonhold association (which owns and manages the common/shared parts i.e. hallways).

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Dwelling Houses (Execution of Possession Orders by Mortgagees) Regulations 2010

Prescribes the form and content of the notice that is served on the tenant when the landlord’s mortgage lender seeks to enforce a possession order. This notice makes the tenant aware that a warrant for possession is being sought, and advises them of their rights.

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (Certain Blocks of Flats) (Modifications to the Housing Act 2004 and Transitional Provisions for section 257 HMOs) (England) Regulations 2007

Prescribes the licensing and management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) within converted blocks of flats, to which the conversion work does not comply to building standards and most of the flats are not owner-occupied. A House in Multiple Occupation is a property which has at least three tenants (who form more than one household) and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (Management) (England) Regulations 2009

Imposes duties on the manager of all Houses in Multiple Occupation (whether licensed or not) to ensure that minimum safety requirements are met. A house is in multiple occupation if it is rented to at least three tenants, who form more than one household and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

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Housing (Codes of Management Practice) (Student Accommodation) (England) Order 2010, SI 2010/2615

Approves a code of practice for the management of accommodation occupied solely by full-time students in further or higher education.

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Housing (Contributions Towards Expenditure for Area Improvement) Order 1988, SI 1988/1258

Increases to £600 the amount for each dwelling which a local housing authority can take into account when calculating the maximum expenditure for improvement works.

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Housing (Empty Dwelling Management Orders) (Prescribed Exceptions and Requirements) (England) Order 2006

Enables local housing authorities to bring back into use empty private sector dwellings when the owner is unwilling or unable to do so.

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Housing (Interim Management Orders) (Prescribed Circumstances) (England) Order 2006, SI 2006/369

Prescribes the circumstances that need to be satisfied in order for a residential property tribunal to authorise a local housing authority to make a special interim management order. A local housing authority can make a interim management order is in multiple occupation but is unlicensed. A house is in multiple occupation if it is rented to at least three tenants, who form more than one household and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.

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Housing (Management Orders and Empty Dwelling Management Orders) (Supplemental Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006

Makes additional provisions for where a local housing authority is treated as the lessee for premises that are subject to an interim or final management order. It requires the authority to give notice to the leaseholder of the property that a management order or Empty Dwelling Management Order has been made.

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Housing (Prescribed Forms) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 1997, SI 1997/1903

Amends the Housing (Prescribed Forms) (No 2) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/1730 following the coming into force of deferred action notices (Chapter IV of Part I of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996). A deferred action notice is to be served by a local housing authority if they are satisfied that a house is unfit for human habitation.

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Housing (Prescribed Forms) (Amendment) Regulations 1997, SI 1997/872

Amends the Housing (Prescribed Forms) (No 2) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/1730 with regard to the forms relating to houses in multiple occupation relating to recovery of expenses by the local housing authority.

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Housing (Prescribed Forms) (No 2) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/1730

Prescribes forms for use by local housing authorities for the purposes of the Housing Act 1985 (with regard to repair notices, slum clearance, overcrowding and houses in multiple occupation).

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Housing (Replacement of Terminated Tenancies) (Successor Landlords) (England) Order 2009, SI 2009/1262

Applies to an occupant of a residential property who is subject to a possession order (which enables a landlord to evit the tenant) and whose landlord has changed since that order was made. This regulation prevented such a tenant being regarded as a “tolerated trespasser”, and instead from the commencement of this order ensures that a new tenancy will arise.

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Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007

Inserts new provisions into the existing legislation covering procedures where there is a dispute over the return of the deposit to the tenant.

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Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Prescribed Information) Order 2007

Sets out the information that landlords are required to provide to tenants in connection with the protection of the deposit (includes the address of the administrator of the tenancy deposit scheme).

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Housing (Tenancy Deposits) (Specified Interest Rate) Order 2007

Sets out the interest rate for funds held in a Housing Tenancy Deposit scheme.

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Housing Defects (Expenditure Limits) Order 1992, SI 1992/446

Revokes the Housing Defects (Expenditure Limits) (No. 2) Order 1988 and specifies the amount a local housing authority can give as a grant to the owner of a defective dwelling.

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Housing Defects (Reinstatement Grant) (Amendment of Conditions for Assistance) Order 1988, SI 1988/884

Removes the requirement for the housing authority to decide solely on the basis of cost whether to offer a grant for repair of a designated defective home or to repurchase it.

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Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005

Housing Health and Safety Rating System is an evidence based system used to assess housing conditions, and replaces the previous ‘housing fitness standard’.

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Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 (Notices) Regulations 1995

These regulations provide the forms for notices to be served under the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995. Includes notices to a former tenant over unpaid charges.

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Landlord and Tenant (Notice of Rent) (England) Regulations 2004

Prescribes the form and content of the notice (demanding ground rent) which landlords must serve on leaseholders before ground rent becomes payable.

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Landlord and Tenant (Notices) Regulations 1957, SI 1957/1157

Prescribe the forms of notices to be used for the purposes of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1954. These forms mostly relate to security of tenure.

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Landlord and Tenant (Notices) Regulations 1967, SI 1967/1831

Amends the Landlord and Tenant (Notices) Regulations 1957, SI 1957/1157, to prescribe revised forms of notice for terminating a long tenancy at a low rent of residential and business premises.

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Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (Appropriate Multiplier) Order 1990

Prescribes the formula for determining statutory compensation payable by landlords to business tenants in certain circumstances where the lease is not renewed.

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Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, Part 2 (Notices) Regulations 2004

Prescribed notices for the statutory renewal and termination of Business Tenancies.

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Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, Part II (Assured Tenancies) (Notices) Regulations 1986, SI 1986/2181

Prescribe the forms of notice to be used for the purposes of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 in the case of assured tenancies

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UK regulation

Leasehold Houses (Notice of Insurance Cover) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2005, SI 2005/177

Corrects a minor error in Schedule 10 Leasehold Houses (Notice of Insurance Cover) (England) Regulations 2004, which had given a misleading impression that paragraph 10 of the Schedule did not need to be included in a notice of insurance cover.

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Leasehold Houses (Notice of Insurance Cover) (England) Regulations 2004

Prescribes the further information that is to be included in a notice when a leaseholder of a house wants to insure the building themselves (rather than use the insurer nominated or approved by the landlord)

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Leasehold Reform (Collective Enfranchisement and Lease Renewal) Regulations 1993

Prescribes the procedures to be followed in exercising the right to collective enfranchisement (buying the freehold of a leasehold house) or a claim to exercise the right to lease renewal. Collective enfranchisement allows flat leaseholders to join together to force their landlord to sell the freehold or their block of flats to them.

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Leasehold Reform (Collective Enfranchisement and Lease Renewal) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/1990

Consequential amendments to the Leasehold Reform (Collective Enfranchisement and Lease Renewal) Regulations 1993. These regulations abolish the residence test (for tenants claiming collective enfranchisement) and reduce the residence requirement for where tenants applying for lease renewal. Collective enfranchisement allows flat leaseholders to join together to force their landlord to sell the freehold to their block of flats to them.

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Leasehold Reform (Collective Enfranchisement) (Counter-notices) (England) Regulations 2002

Prescribes the need for additional information to be included in the landlord’s counter-notice for flats. When a landlord recieves a notice for a claim for collective enfranchisement, they must respond with a counter-notice.

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Leasehold Reform (Enfranchisement and Extension) Regulations 1967

Sets the procedure to be followed when serving a prescribed notice to enfranchise or extend the lease of a house (deposit; proof of title; rights etc)

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Leasehold Reform (Enfranchisement and Extension) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003,

This regulation clarifies the changes to the Leasehold Reform (Enfranchisement and Extension) Regulations 1967 (from the abolition of the residence test by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002). The remaining execeptions to the residence test are: where it is a business tenancy, or where it is a flat (within a house) which is let to a tenant who qualifies for collective enfranchisement.

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Leasehold Reform (Notices) Regulations 1997

Set out the forms to be used by tenant and landlord when claiming freehold or lease extension for houses.

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Leasehold Reform (Notices) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2002

Amends the Leasehold Reform (Notices) Regulations 1997 and provides new forms of notices to be used by tenants applying for collective enfranchisement and extension of long leaseholds under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. Collective enfranchisement allows flat leaseholders to join together to force their landlord to sell the freehold or their block of flats to them.

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Leasehold Reform (Notices) (Amendment) (No 2) (England) Regulations 2002, SI 2002/3209

Amends the Leasehold Reform (Notices) Regulations 1997 and provides new forms of notices to be used by tenants applying for collective enfranchisement and extension of long leaseholds under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. Collective enfranchisement allows allows flat leaseholders to join together to force their landlord to sell the freehold or their block of flats to them.

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UK regulation

Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007

See Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006. Applies the regulations to section 257 Houses in Multiple Occupation (converted blocks of flats).

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Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006

Sets out regulations governing the administrative aspects of both Houses in Multiple Occupation and selective licensing.

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Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions) (England) Order 2006

Applies mandatory licensing to certain high-risk Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), namely those on three or more storeys with five or more occupants in two or more households.

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Long Residential Tenancies (Principal Forms) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2227

Amends two forms prescribed the Local Government and Housing Act 1989, regarding security of tenure on the termination of long residential tenancies.

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Long Residential Tenancies (Principal Forms) Regulations 1997

Prescribes notices to be used be used by landlords, tenants, and Rent Assessment Committee’s for the purposes of the procedures and rights available at the end of a long lease.

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Long Residential Tenancies (Supplemental Forms) Regulations 1997

Prescribe the notices that can be used by a landlord to end a long residential tenancies.

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Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006

Imposes duties on the manager of all Houses in Multiple Occupation (whether licensed or not) to ensure that minimum safety requirements are met.

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Protected Shorthold Tenancies (Notice to Tenant) Regulations 1987, SI 1987/267

Revokes the Protected Shorthold Tenancies (Notice to Tenant) Regulations 1981

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Protected Shorthold Tenancies (Rent Registration) Order 1987, SI 1987/265

Removes the requirement that for a tenancy to be a protected shorthold tenancy (which gives greater security of tenure), it either must be registered under the Rent Act 1977 at the time the tenancy is granted, or a certificate of fair rent must have been obtained and a application for registration must be made within 28 days of the tenancy being granted.

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Protection from Eviction (Excluded Licences) (Royal British Legion Industries Ltd) Order 2003

Exempts the Royal British Legion Limited from having to go to Court to evict a tenant.

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Protection from Eviction (Excluded Licences) (The Shaftesbury Society) Order 1999

Exempts the Shaftesbury Society from having to go to Court to evict a tenant.

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Protection from Eviction (Excluded Licences) Order 1991

Exempts the London Hostels Association Limited from having to go to Court to evict a tenant.

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References to Rating (Housing) (Amendment) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/701

Correct an error in the References to Rating (Housing) Regulations 1990

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Rent (Relief from Phasing) Order 1987

With some exceptions, removes the requirement to phase in rent increases over time, for regulated tenancies.

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Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) Regulations 1980

Prescribes the forms to be used for the purposes of various provisions under Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 and Rent Act 1977, with regard to notices of increase of rent and application for registration of rent.

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Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) (Amendment) Regulations 1984, SI 1984/1391

Amends the Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc.) Regulations 1980. These regulations increase the fee for a copy of an entry in a rent register (under the Rent Act 1977), and replace Forms Nos. 5 to 10 and Forms Nos. 12 and 13 (including: forms for applications for fair rents, certificates of fair rent, cancellation of fair rents, notices to be given by rent officers)

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Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) (Amendment) Regulations 1987, SI 1987/266

Amends Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) Regulations 1980. Replaces the forms to be used for giving notice of increase of rent under a regulated tenancy where the rent is registered.

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Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) (Amendment) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/2195

Amends form No. 15 (application for cancellation of a rent registered by a rent tribunal where the dwelling is not subject to a restricted contract) in the Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) Regulations 1980.

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Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) (Amendment) Regulations 1993, SI 1993/655

Consequential amendments to the Rent Act 1977 (Forms etc) Regulations 1980, because of the introduction of the council tax. Prescribe the form to be used for application for an interim increase of rent on account of council tax.

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Rent Assessment Committee (England and Wales) (Leasehold Valuation Tribunal) (Amendment) Regulations 1997

Sets out procedures for Leasehold Valuation Tribunals in England and Wales.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1980, SI 1980/1699

Makes minor amendments to the Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) Regulations 1971; redefines the term ‘committee’ (in respect of a Rent Assessment Committee); amends the procedure in applications for fair rent (including the notice the Committee has to give to an applicant)

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1981, SI 1981/1783

Amends the procedure to be followed by rent assessment committees – by reducing the the period within which either representations in writing or a request to make oral representations may be made to the rent assessment committee; notice which must be given of the date, time and place of a hearing of the committee where one is requested;

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/2200

Amends Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) Regulations 1980, to take account of the functions of rent assessment committees under the Housing Act 1988 in relation to assured tenancies and assured agricultural occupancies.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/427

Amends Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) Regulations 1980 to take account of the functions of rent assessment committees under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 in relation to long residential tenancies.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1993, SI 1993/653

Amends Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) Regulations 1980 to take account of the functions of rent assessment committees under the Housing Act 1988 in relation to increases in sums payable under assured tenancies and assured agricultural occupancies in respect of council tax.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 1997, SI 1997/3007

Amends Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) Regulations 1980 to take account of the functions of rent assessment committees in relation to long residential tenancies.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) Regulations 1971

Sets out procedures to be followed by Rent Assessment Committees in registering a rent and in obtaining a certificate of fair rent.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) Regulations 1980

Transfers functions originally carried out by Rent Tribunals to Rent Assessment Committees in England and Wales.

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Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) (Amendment) Regulations 1981, SI 1981/1493

amends Rent Assessment Committees (England and Wales) (Rent Tribunal) Regulations 1980 to reduce reduce both: the minimum time within which representations may be made to the tribunal; and the minimum period of notice the tribunal must give of the time and place of a hearing.

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Rent Book (Forms of Notice) Regulations 1982

Sets out the notices to be included in Rent Books issued by landlords of regulated tenancies

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Rent Book (Forms of Notice) (Amendment) Regulations 1988, SI 1988/2198

Amends Rent Book (Forms of Notice) Regulations 1982, by adding a form of notice (relating to premises let on or subject to an assured tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy) which is to be inserted in rent books or other similar documents.

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Rent Book (Forms of Notice) (Amendment) Regulations 1990, SI 1990/1067

Amend the forms of notice (prescribed by the Rent Act (Forms of Notice) Regulations 1982) which must be inserted in rent books or other similar documents. Amends forms (update references to relevant booklets and relate to the abolition of rating of domestic properties) to relating to restricted contracts and regulated tenancies, and assured tenancies and agricultural occupancies.

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Rent Book (Forms of Notice) (Amendment) Regulations 1993, SI 1993/656

Amends Rent Book (Forms of Notice) Regulations 1982. amendments are consequential on the introduction of council tax and are to the forms relating to restricted contracts, regulated tenancies and tenancies under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976, and assured tenancies or assured agricultural occupancies.

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Rent Regulation (Cancellation of Registration of Rent) Regulations 1980

Sets out the process to be used when the landlord and tenant jointly seek to cancel the registration of the rent associated with a regulated tenancy

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Rent Regulation and Furnished Lettings (Transitional Provisions) Order 1974

Sets out transitional arrangements for the switch to new local authority areas of Rent Assessment Committees.

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Rent Repayment Orders (Supplementary Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007

Gives power to local housing authorities to apply to a residential property tribunal for a rent repayment order to be made in respect of a house in multiple occupation or a privately rented property that is not licensed under a HMO, or selective licensing scheme.

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Rentcharges Regulations 1978

Prescribes the form and content of the application forms to be used by rentcharge payers (payment by a freeholder of land) when seeking to redeem or apportion a rentcharge / ground rent from the Secretary of State.

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Residential Property Tribunal (Fees) (England) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/830

Sets out fees to be paid for appeals and applications to the residential property tribunal in England.

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Residential Property Tribunal Procedure (England) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/831

Sets out procedures to be followed for applications and appeals made to the residential property tribunal in England.

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Service Charge Contributions (Authorised Investments) Order 1988

Specifies financial institutions where service charges must be deposited in accordance with s.42 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987

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Service Charges (Consultation Requirements) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2004, SI 2004/2939

Amends the Service Charges (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003, and defines a long term agreement as, one between landlord and tenant and lasting for more than a term of 12 months

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Service Charges (Consultation Requirements) (England) Regulations 2003

Sets the amount that tenants can be required to contribute towards works, (through service charges). Also prescribes the consultation procedures to be followed by landlords when proposing major works.

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Service Charges (Summary of Rights and Obligations, and Transitional Provision) (England) Regulations 2007

Prescribes the content of the summary of tenants’ rights and obligations relating to service charges, which must accompany any demand for such charges made by a landlord.

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Statutory Form of Conditions of Sale 1925

Protects parties involved in a contract for the sale of land by correspondence, through introducing a default date for completion.

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Tenants’ Rights of First Refusal (Amendment) Regulations 1996

Extends period for tenants to respond to a prospective purchaser’s notice (notices served by prospective purchasers to ensure that rights of first refusal do not arise).

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Administration Charges (Summary of Rights and Obligations) (England) Regulations 2007. SI 2007/1258

Prescribes the content of the summary of tenants’ rights and obligations relating to Administration charges, which must accompany any demand for such charges made by a landlord

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The Right to Manage (Prescribed Particulars and Forms) (England) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/825

Prescribes the notices to be used by leaseholders when exercising the Right to Manage, and the landlord’s response. The right to manage gives long leaseholders the right to join together to take over the management of the premises containing their flats, irrespective of any fault on the part of their landlord.

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The RTM Companies (Model Articles) (England) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/2767

Prescribes the form and content of the articles of association of Right To Manage companies (following changes to Company Law). A Right to Manage company assumes the role of the Landlord for management purposes on a day to day basis.

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The RTM Companies (Memorandum and Articles of Association) (England) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/2120

Prescribe the form and content of the articles of association of Right To Manage companies. A Right to Manage company assumes the role of the Landlord for management purposes on a day to day basis.

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UK regulation

The Right to Manage (Prescribed Particulars and Forms) (England) Regulations 2003, SI 2003/1988

Prescribes the notices to be used by leaseholders when exercising the Right to Manage, and the landlord’s counter-notice.

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UK regulation

The Approval of Code of Management Practice (Residential Management)(Service Charges)(England) Order 2009, SI 2009/512

An Order approving the Code of Practice of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which sets out best practice and the law relating to management in the leasehold sector. The code of practice can be used in evidence at court or tribunal proceedings.

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UK regulation

The Approval of Code of Management Practice (Private Retirement Housing) (England) Order 2005, SI 2005/3307

Approving the Code of Practice for the Association of Retirement Housing Managers, which sets out best practice and the law relating to management in the leasehold sector. The code of practice can be used in evidence at court or tribunal proceedings.

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UK regulation

The Caravan Sites Act 1968…Definition of Caravan (Amendment) (England) Order 2006 SI 2006/2374

Amends section 13 of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 to increase the maximum defined size of a caravan. The other provisions in the Act are concerned mainly with the harassment and eviction of occupiers of caravan sites.

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UK regulation

The Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Commissions) Order SI 1983/748

Sets the maximum rate of commission (at 10% of the sale price) a owner of a site for mobile homes is entitled to receive on a third party sale of a mobile home.

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UK regulation

Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1) (England) Order SI 2006/1755

Amends the implied terms (by section 2 of the Mobile Homes Act 1983) in agreements for the stationing of mobile homes on protected sites in England. Adds terms around: quiet enjoyment, the owner’s right of entry to the pitch, the pitch fee, the occupier’s and the owner’s obligations.

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UK regulation

The Mobile Homes Act (Jurisdiction of Residential Property Tribunals) (England) Order 2011 SI 2011/1005

Transferred dispute resolution under the Mobile Homes Act from county courts to residential property tribunals.

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UK regulation

The Mobile Homes (Written Statement) (England) Regulations 2011 SI 2011/1006

Outlines what must be contained in the written statement that a site owner is required to give to a potential occupier, before the occupier enters into an agreement with the site owner to either buy /station a mobile home on a site.

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UK regulation

Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

59 responses to Private Rented Sector

  • Stephen Battersby said on February 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    The HMO provisions particularly the licensing provisions (and licensing renewal) are over complex – in any licensing or registration regime, it is the better landlords who are most likely to apply. The licensing regime that exists now was not that envisaged in the past when HMO licensing was campaigned for. While licensing or registration helps to sort out the more responsible landlords, the worst landlords and their properties still have to be sought and found by the local housing authority. In fairness to the responsible landlords, the LHAs have to be more effective at finding with bad landlords. That means using all the powers available to squeeze the “rogues” out of the market, or to getting them to improve their performance. The complex nature of the legislation with standards prescribed on the basis of little evidence and means that secondary legislation has proliferated. Nor does permit local authorities to apply some risk assessment on the ground and be proportionate in their response.

    While the legislation relating to HMOs could be improved, it would be retrograde to scrap it. It would make sense however to allow hazards that would normally be dealt with under Part 1 to be dealt with as part of licensing. It could be argued that physical conditions be dealt with by incorporating Part 1 (HHSRS) into the licensing regime rather than have prescribed standards. An different approach to assessing and demonstrating competency in management needs to be devised and membership of appropriate landlord or other organisations should permit fast track licensing, without the potentially lengthy process that exists currently. This again would free some resources to seek out the very worst landlords.

    Comment Tags: enforcement, HMOs

  • Mark Ireland said on February 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    This response is on behalf of Leeds City Council.

    The city has a large private rental market. The last stock condition survey estimated it to represent approximately 43,000 properties. Each year the private sector enforcement team receive around 3,000 requests for assistance. The city also has 2,755 live mandatory HMO licences as well as a selective licensing area with over 500 licence applications.

    The private sector is a complex market with no single solution to all the issues it raises. There are markets that do not require intervention as the market conditions dictate a quality of product above any legal minimum.

    However there are also markets where unless intervention takes place an individual’s health and safety may be put at risk by unscrupulous owners who operate at the margins of the law. Regulation of the sector will become increasingly important as it grows to meet demand due to the lack of social housing and lending for first time buyers. It is even more important now authorities can discharge their homelessness duty to the private rented sector.

    Recently there has been a trend in this city that more formal action has been required in the sector whereas previously informal actions with owners have resulted in the necessary improvements to peoples homes.

    There are issues that do make the matter complex in relation to the sector. Some suggested changes include

    All private sector enforcement under one body – the LA. EPC is currently with Trading Standards; Fire could be the LA or Fire Service, Gas Safety with HSE. Placing the enforcement responsibility under one organisation would make enforcement more consistent, with owners having a single point of contact thus making the situation less complex for them.

    Currently, the section 239 process is over burdensome. The need to give notice when invited in by tenants needs to be reviewed. If an LA has an appropriate enforcement concordant then owners, unless there is imminent risk to occupants, should allow informal resolutions to any issue that may arise from an initial inspection. To visit numerous times is an overburden for LA’s in the current climate

    The evidence base used for hazard rating urgently requires up dating. Whilst local evidence is used to support local issues, the national evidence is now 10/15 years old and needs to be updated as soon as possible.

    The 5 year HMO licensing period has now expired and properties are coming up for renewal. The need to go though the same process again is bureaucratic and costly for owners and LA’s alike. The current review needs to be completed, simplified and the process adopted without delay. Generally HMO licensing has been a success in the city, especially as the sector helped to develop how it would be introduced and the standards to be adopted.

    HMO management – need to be considering the return to the use of notices rather than going straight to prosecution. As per the previous HMO management regulations. The current system is not in the public interest or cost effective for the LA or owner. A simple notice could resolve matters without the expense of court.

    Accreditation is a useful tool to support the sector. As a voluntary code it provides owners with a marketing tool and “badge” to show that they are providing a product above the legal requirement. However not all landlords are members, generally those who are operate in a market that dictates that they have to be members to enable them to let properties, or use it to differentiate from others. It does not operate in all markets. It does not remove the need for LA’s with successful schemes still to take enforcement action against certain owners.

    Selective licensing is a useful tool in certain circumstances. However it does not tackle housing conditions. Housing standards should be part of the licence conditions.

  • Ben Nattrass said on February 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I am commenting on behalf of a Local Authority Empty Homes Team. These actions were raised during the development of our tackling decent homes in the district delivery plan these are:

    1. Simplified legislation (an Empty Homes Act)

    Practitioners thought that the current legislation lies in too many different pieces of legislation and that made it complicated. Some of the legislation was overly bureaucratic and would benefit from simplification. They therefore suggested that all the relevant powers be brought together under one act / set of regulations to deal with empty properties.

    2. Funding

    Would like to see funds targeted at empty homes work, for example an allocation from the new homes bonus to be ring fenced to guarantee some long-term funding stream.
    Links need to be established with banking system to secure lending at preferential rates for targeted regeneration and larger empty homes schemes.
    The practitioners thought that the Affordable Housing Programme made it too easy for Registered Providers to ignore investment in empty homes in favour of developing new housing. They recommended that the Affordable Housing Programme be linked to performance in investing in empty homes.

    3. HCA / CLG – coordination at national level

    Would like to see empty homes work coordinated more at a national level. Following on from a strategy, coordinated marketing campaign to public. Need consistency in policy with national guidance and support through a central point, I.e. central legal team with procedures and good practice to enable better sharing of information. A lot of work currently replicated across the country which could be centralised.

    Comment Tags: empty homes

  • Fiona Macleod said on February 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I am commenting on behalf of Lancaster City Council Private Sector Housing Service.

    Regulation of the Private Rented Sector.

    Should we scrap them altogether?

    The private rented sector is becoming an increasingly important source of housing in particular for vulnerable people. Changes to Homelessness and Housing Benefit legislation will only increase the need for low cost private accommodation.

    Management is a particular problem in the PRS. Market forces do not adequately ‘police’ management quality since there is an excess of demand for rental property at the bottom end of the sector.

    Because there is little security of tenure from an assured shorthold tenancy, there is a risk of retaliatory eviction should tenants complain.

    Therefore, in our opinion it is important to provide a strong regulatory framework to protect the legal rights of both tenants and landlords.

    Could their purpose be achieved in a non-regulatory way (e.g.. through a voluntary code)? How?

    Voluntary codes or accreditation schemes are a positive way to promote good standards in the private rented sector.

    However, our experience has been that landlords will only sign up to a voluntary scheme where there is significant incentive, and that the problematic landlords and properties do not become involved

    We would, therefore, support a voluntary code underpinned by regulation.

    Could they be reformed, simplified or merged? How?

    The legislation is complicated, comes from a number of sources and there is dual enforcement in places and inappropriate enforcement in others. Examples are dual enforcement of gas safety and fire safety in HMOs. Enforcement of EPCs and tenancy deposits may sit better in a housing department than with Trading Standards.

    So some consolidation and simplification would be beneficial.

    Can we reduce their bureaucracy through better implementation? How?

    We use the housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) to assess housing conditions. This is a complicated and cumbersome procedure that is very time consuming.

    A review of the appeals procedure would be beneficial.

    Continue to make it more straightforward for local authorities to introduce licensing applicable to their local circumstances.

    Can we make their enforcement less burdensome? How?

    A review of the appeals procedure.

    Should they be left as they are?

    The existing regime was only implemented in 2006, and it involved huge changes so it would seem overly burdensome to make significant changes now.

    Although cumbersome, the HHSRS operates by risk assessment, so it does allow us to prioritise hazards, and it is more flexible than the old ‘checklist’ system.

    Other suggestions that could help the sector self-regulate better are:
    • Link housing benefit payments to housing condition and excess cold. Landlords would have to bring their properties up to scratch.
    • Licensing or compulsory membership of a professional body for managing agents. Link this to payment of housing benefit.
    • Clearer guidance on what standards rented property is expected to meet eg. for heating provision. The LACORs guide on fire safety is an example of good practice in this area.

  • Luke Spanton said on February 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I’m commenting on behalf of Bristol City Council Private Housing Service.

    Additional and Selective licensing schemes (Parts 2 and 3)

    Red tape: The two discretionary licensing schemes are useful tools, but the legislation prevents the use of the schemes to target the worst accommodation in the most deprived areas.

    Solution: Discretion to use the available powers through Selective or Additional licensing to take account of local communities without having to satisfy restrictive qualification criteria.

    Specific sections could be changed to enable discretionary licensing schemes to be more effectively used to target the worst condition housing affecting local communities. These include:

    - Discretionary licensing schemes are bureaucratic and time-consuming to establish. Whilst this takes place, landlords may sell off or change the use of properties within a designated area. Concentrations of poor condition accommodation may appear around the edges of the designated area. The procedure defined in sections 56 and 80 to establish discretionary licensing schemes should be reduced to allow LAs to respond quickly to local community concerns.
    - Additional licensing is restricted to HMOs, so will not help resolve problems with other private rented properties in an area. Selective licensing requires low housing demand or significant and persistent antisocial behaviour. Some areas are affected by deprivation and poor housing conditions, but not low demand or ASB. Either additional or selective licensing should be expanded to include all private rented accommodation to allow local communities, through their local authorities, to target all areas of poor housing. This would involve changes to sections 55 or 80.

  • Lisa Osborn said on February 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I offer the following comments in relation to those affecting my work area.

    2006 No. 369
    HOUSING, ENGLAND
    The Housing (Interim Management Orders) (Prescribed
    Circumstances) (England) Order 2006

    I am unclear of the benefit of removing this S.I as it gives clarity as to the circumstances when it is appropriate to apply for a special IMO. Without this S.I it will be left to the RPT to determine in what circumstances it is appropriate to grant one and therefore will make the process much more difficult for local authorities as regard would have to be had to local RPT decisions whilst also awaiting for higher tribunal decisions to dictate case law, when there is already a S.I in place. Therefore it should remain.

    2005 No. 3208
    HOUSING, ENGLAND
    The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005

    The HHSRS is still in place and this S.I specifies the calculation system for the calculation of the risk. The operating guidance does not cover the background to the calculation in any detail. I do not think it is appropriate to withdraw something which is still in current and in place.

    2007 No. 1903
    HOUSING, ENGLAND
    The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007

    To retain

    2006 No. 372
    HOUSING, ENGLAND
    The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 and
    2006 No. 373
    HOUSING, ENGLAND
    The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions)
    (England) Regulations 2006

    Both of the sets of management regulations are used by this authority on an almost daily basis and are a very important tool to ensure landlords of properties in multiple occupation and managing their properties to an acceptable standard. Without these regulation the council would need to use the HHSRS system to attempt to enforce poor management, in most instances this would not result in an actionable hazard leaving the most vulnerable tenants in poor living conditions.

    2006 No. 371
    HOUSING, ENGLAND
    The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed
    Descriptions) (England) Order 2006

    This S.I prescribes the types of HMOs which fall under mandatory licensing under part 2 of HA04, without this there would not be any HMOs which would require to licence under the mandatory regime. This should remain.

    The Mobile Homes (Commissions) Order 1983 Limits to 10% the maximum commission an owner can charge an occupant on the sale of their caravan. Important to retain to protect residents

    2006 No. 1755
    MOBILE HOMES, ENGLAND
    The Mobile Homes Act 1983 (Amendment of Schedule 1)
    (England) Order 2006
    Specifies the right of residents of park homes sites and gypsy and traveller sites and requirements of site owners. Removing this S.I will limit the amount of protection offered to these often vulnerable occupants.

    The Mobile Homes (Written Statement) (England) Regulations 2011 SI 2011/1006

    Useful to have prescribed written statements for clarity

  • Liam Jowett said on February 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I am Local Goverment Manager working for a Metropolitan District Council.

    I think Ian Sanders (6.2 12) raises some valid points around appropriate enforcement & duplication of powers. The overlap & duplication of powers created by the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) & the Housing Act 2004 relating to fire safety does cause problems between enforcement authorities. This has led to Local Authorities (Las) & Fire Authorities having to meet & agree separate enforcement protocols in order to agree a way forward in terms of who enforces what and where. Any review should identify areas where legislation duplicates, overlaps or contradicts in order to reduce bureaucracy

    Another example of duplication was the Decent Home Standard, which initially related to Registered Social Landlord stock & then appeared to be foisted on to the PRS. LAs can only enforce the first part of the decency standard relating to Cat 1 hazards & yet we have had to report on the number of houses we had made decent! The Decent Home Standard may now have less importance within the sector, but having this alongside the Housing Health and Safety Rating system (HHSRS) was less than helpful.

    In relation to EPC’s and Gas safety certificates, I also agree that those who regularly inspect private rented property should be the ones that have the powers to enforce in those properties & not have to refer to another authority.

    The HHSRS is a useful tool, with its risk based approach, but I agree with other contributors its does need updating & reviewing, with the opportunity for professionals, practitioners and interested parties having the opportunity to feed into a review. We have identified anomalies such as not being able to take more than one course of action for the same hazard for example. We had to prohibit the use of a dangerous 3rd floor attic staircase, but also required handrails to the other two floors. Technically we had to prohibit the whole staircase, meaning which in effect meant we could not require handrails on an improvement notice for the remainder of the staircase.

    I would also favour a simplification of the HMO definition & a removal of the specific requirement for 5 or more occupants in the licensing requirement. I feel that it is the number of storeys that poses the greater risk, rather than the number of people, so a definition along the lines of 3 or more storeys and two or more families constituting a HMO requiring a licence. The main thrust is to licence high risk properties and the number of storeys is crucial, not the number of occupants.

    We are also finding it difficult to prosecute landlords of unlicensed HMOs who claimed they were not aware of the number of occupants they had in the house or that they had only let out to 3 or 4 people and the tenants had sublet & the tenants are either unwilling or afraid to give statements and then attend court.

    The HMO licence procedure should also be simplified by removing the requirement to issue a proposal, prior to the actual licence. This is arguably unnecessary and would reduce bureaucracy and ultimately the fee.

    The regulations around Management Orders also requires an overhaul and simplification. Again there is a need to issue a proposal stage, which could be simplified. Working in a LA that has stock transferred we found it an extremely difficult & time consuming process. Firstly attracting a partner to manage the property was nigh on impossible and the rules around procurement made it doubly difficult. The legislators appear to assume that LAs have their own stock and property managers, however this is not always the case & implementing a MO under these circumstances was costly & resource intensive.

    It could also be argued that the inclusion of the RPT in the appeal process also adds another level of bureaucracy to enforcement in the PRS. There have been some decisions that have raised the stakes in terms of bureaucracy. One example relates to the service of S239 ‘notices of intended entry’. An officer visited a multiply occupied house in relation to suspect wiring. Once in the property, other defects were noted and the officer carried out an inspection of all the lets. The subsequent notice was appealed and the appeal upheld, as the officer was informed they should have left the premises once the wiring had been checked, then served S239 notices on the landlord, all the residents and all interested parties before returning to carry out a further inspection. I realise that notices of intended entry are nothing new, but surely some common sense must prevail.

    I also feel we should not overlook the findings and recommendations of the Rugg Review, regarding the mandatory regulation of Managing agents to ensure better quality management standards and Light touch licensing to support the existing regulatory framework.

    The importance of the PRS in terms of its growth and as a viable and attractive alternative to Social Renting should not be under estimated and therefore regulation is necessary in order to maintain standards. As a LA officer I recognise that rogue landlords are in the minority, but they do exist, as does substandard accommodation so regulation is necessary, but at present there is duplication and over complexity, which in turn leads to bureaucracy.

    Comment Tags: enforcement, HHSRS, HMO

  • Andrea Hewinson said on February 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I am expreiencing all sorts of problems due to the growth in private rented housing where I live in the Forest of Dean. I have spoken to the local council who have indicated that as the area does not suffer with lots of empty properties or I am suffering from lots of Anti-social behaviour, that they cannot declare something called a licensing scheme to restrict the increase in the rented sector in our area and to deal with the poor management of properties.

    You need a license for all sorts of things these days but it seems like managing and renting properties, most of which are occupied by young people and managed by poor landlords is not one that needs a license. This seems wrong to me as the number of rented houses in this area has increased a lot as yopung people cannot afford to buy their own homes.

    It seems like the current legislation is very restrictive and prevents local people working with their local councils to deal with private rented problems in their area. The legislation should be made easier to use, if their is local comminity support for it.

  • Ian Sanders said on February 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I am an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) working within the Private Housing Team of a local authority in the North of England. These are my opinions on the possible changes to the legislation relating to the Private Rented Sector which should reduce “red tape” and therefore costs.

    1. Move the enforcement authority for Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) from Trading Standards (TS) to Local Authority Private Housing/Environmental Health Sections. Local Housing Authority (LHA) officers are visiting properties on a daily basis and are dealing with other related issues. They are witnessing breaches of this requirement and can deal with them proactively rather than TS officers who are dealing with them reactively if the issue is reported to them. EHOs/Technical Officers can require an EPC under S.235 of the Housing Act 2004 but if it doesn’t exist (and should) then the matter is referred to Trading Standards to issue a fixed penalty notice. How many fixed penalty notices have been issued? I would suggest not many and therefore does not act as a deterrent.

    2. Approve the ongoing private members bill and set a minimum SAP/RDSAP of 35 or 37 for all new tenancies. I appreciate that there are flaws with this in that the number of energy efficient light bulbs and how efficient the hot water system is, are included in the calculation and can slightly skew the score but in principle the system works by providing a mechanism for comparing properties against a “standard” and therefore one another. This will massively reduce excess cold hazards and costs to the NHS.

    3. Transfer the enforcement authority for the production of an annual Gas Safety Certificate from the HSE to Local Authority Private Housing/Environmental Health Sections. I am suggesting that the HSE still continues to enforce the regulations if non Gas Safe engineers carry out works on gas appliances or work is completed incorrectly. LHA officers are inspecting properties every day and coming across instances were gas appliances have not been checked annually. Again officers can require a gas safety certificate under S.235 of the Housing Act 2004 but if it does not exist then it has to be referred to the HSE. How many officers does the HSE have dealing with domestic gas appliances in comparison to LHA officers who are inspecting properties? I don’t know the exact figures but I suggest there is a lot more LHA staff than HSE staff.

    4. Remove the duplication in the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order which requires the Fire Authority to be the enforcing authority in the common parts of licensed HMOs. Keep the requirement for landlords to produce a fire safety risk assessment and the ability for the Fire Authority to enforce within the communal parts of self contained flats but not this. How can you have a situation where a LHA issues a licence and sets the fire precautions required in the conditions but can only enforce them within the living accommodation and must rely on the Fire Brigade to enforce the conditions in the communal areas. Some licensed HMOs are shared houses and therefore do not even have “communal areas”.

    5. Update the National statistics for HHSRS. Some of the figures are from 1997 and are now nearly 15 years old. How long before landlords begin appealing notices based upon the inaccuracy of the figures used to assess the likelihoods and outcomes of hazards? I understand that LHAs are supposed to look at their local area and amend the figures where possible, such as local crime figures, however there should be a national set of figures to ensure consistency.

    6. Bring back notices for the HMO Management Regulations. These were very useful tools under the Housing Act 1985 which were lost when the 2004 Act came in to force and can apply to areas which are not covered by HHSRS (displaying of landlords’ details etc.). Going straight to prosecution for some minor contraventions is not within the publics best interest and a notice is likely to get the job done cheaper.

    7. Bring the fire precautions required in the Building Regulations and by LHAs more in line with each other. They currently come at the same problem from two different directions i.e. high structural separation with small detection systems for early warning (Building Control) versus low structural separation and extensive alarm system for early warning (LHA). The two are incompatible and cause confusion and in some cases additional costs for the public.

    8. Review the LACORS fire safety guidance as it is inconstant and flawed in places, particularly when comparing the works required in different types of properties. Lath and plaster ceiling are acceptable in 3 storey shared houses, but in 3 storey self contained flats with lath and plaster ceilings you need additional compensatory detection in each room. The definition of LD3 in the guide does not correspond with that within the British Standard. The guide takes the current occupants in to consideration but HHSRS which is used to enforce the work required does not take occupants in to consideration.

    9. Provide tenants on AST agreements with more stability by introducing a requirement for landlords to declare during eviction proceedings why they want to regain possession of the property.

    10. Look at the definition of HMOs covered by mandatory licensing. How can a 3 storey house with 5 students be classed as “high risk” and yet a 100 year old 5 storey warehouse converted in the 1980’s with 25 flats, up to 50 occupants, located next to a river making evacuation by the fire brigade possible from only 1 side and with a history of vandalism to the alarm system be “low risk”.

  • KATRICE PETERS said on February 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    We need LOADS mroe regulation. Estate Agents are charlatans and should do realtor qualifications as in USA. Fees they can charge should be set in law. It is crazy that they can charge a percentage of a transaction wortth hundreds of thousansds for purchases and arbitrary rates for rentals for just filling in a few forms. MAnaging agents are the worse they are rubbish at doing repairs and there is no incentive for them to offer good custimer service as you have to pay your rent or you are in brach of contract, They know that after a while of complainign youusually give in or sit out the tenancy and then move on. NO RED TAPE WHATSPOEVER needs cutting in this area. Every agent should be forced to have a blog on its website so that customers can comment on their service and share bad experiences

  • Kevin Sharpe said on February 5, 2012 at 10:19 am

    None of the current housing legislation should be scrapped- it will just open the door wide and let the bad landlords take over. A registration scheme for all landlords not already on a register should be adopted, as Scotland. HMRC need to take more interest in landlords that take rent payments in cash and provide no rent books or receipts. It’s fairly obvious where that money goes.

  • mark reeves said on February 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Ok , firstly I would like to explain that I am a landlord with over 70 tenants in the London borough s of Harrow Brent and Hillingdon, 95% of my tenants are housing benefit recipients, an accredited landlord and chartered surveyor.

    Harrow council have recently chosen to use the selective licencing route in the Borough. As a result three un related persons sharing a flat or house requires a licence. This means in reality, smoke/fire detectors and fire doors and other legal requirements plus a circa £500 fee to licence the premises. There is a statutory requirement for 3 storey HMOs to be licenced, as they are considered high risk etc and this is common sense ? But 3 people in a flat or house ? Seems massive over kill ! I think, this sort of extreme legislation in leafy suburban areas is wholly excessive, and will act as a disincentive to let as HMOs just as the single homeless problem is getting worse (housing benefit changes now entitle single homeless people under age 35 to a room in a shared house/flat only)

    I think the ability of local authorities to use selective licencing powers should be removed, they already have very strong Article 4 direction powers under Planning Laws to restrict HMOs in problem areas as well as Housing Act powers for sub standard properties, selective licencing is a sledge hammer to crack a nut and will result in fewer and fewer rooms available for single homeless people on low income or benefits

  • Elliott Davis Properties said on February 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Currently the private rented sector is full of red tape that gives 90% rights to the tenant and virtually nothing to the landlord. Generally speaking the landlord has no rights to get his property back without going through months & months of red tape but councils have the right to penalise landlords for tenants misdoings.
    Now with this Landlord Licensing Scheme that LB Newham are looking to instate, landlords will have to suffer £500 in fees for something that gives tenants even rights and even to the landlords. As it stands, tenants are allowed to get away with sub-letting properties and not paying rent which are both against statutory law. However the courts take on average 6 months to evict a tenant during which time the landlord suffer undue stress both financially & mentally, most face reposeession of thier properties but the tenants are quite happily re-housed by local councils.
    We appreciate that there a small number of bad landlords but local councils have powers ranging from enforcement order to compulsary purchases but wish to hit the majority of good landlords with even more legislation.
    The laws should be changed so that landlords can get more rights to thier own properties by way of possibly setting a new deprtment within the courts to specifically deal with evictions, etc

    Comment Tags: landlords rights

  • Kim Samuelson said on January 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    There have been no initiatives to assess the impact of HMO legislation and related regulations on the HMO market. In my Authority we have over 1500 properties subject to licensing including hostels accommodation for students, professionals and benefit claimants. Standards of amenity and safety are now much improved. We have had more than 10 prosecutions.There are in excess of 8000 HMOs and Welfare Reform will increase the numbers further potentially impacting on the quality of accommodation available. We rely on regulations to ensure they are being properly managed, the HHSRS and PH legislation is not enough. They should be beefed up with the ability to serve enforcement notices rather than relying solely on legal proceedings. We have used management orders (11in place) without which tenants would not have had the same protection. It is imperative that the legislation is retained and strengthened. Consideration should be given to extending the definition of a licensable HMO to properties housing five or more as the risks are not just associated witht the height of the building and fire safety.

    Comment Tags: Enforcement of regs

  • Chris Hughwa said on January 30, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Securing a roof over a persons head is one of the most imprortant things a person will ever do sadly there are too many bad landlords out there, in my own area a landlord became the first in the UK to recieve an anti social behaviour order. in a neighbouring town a promenant landlord was also i major drug dealer using his tennante to pedal his drugs he is now in prison, but it highlights the need for tough control. many towns through out the country have included projects around private sector rented housing improvement to regenerate communities which again highlights how far these areas have fallen and that with out regulation many landlords will not invest in there property, poor living conditions is one of the biggest influences on ill health costing the health service billions each year.

  • Jim Moody said on January 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Tenants in privately rented property need greatly enhanced protections compared with the present. Compared with 60 years ago the rights of those renting have been enormously eroded by governments of various complexions. Fatted calves have nothing on what many landlords can make from their properties, especially if they just keep within legislation about living spaces and thus screw maximum amounts out of what are often appallingly cramped premises. Council rents are at artificially high levels, especially as council departments dealing with them are simply passing money from housing benefit sections within the same councils, purely to ensure that private landlords make grotesque amounts from this human need. If council rents were cut by 90%, then we might find some of the regulations could be tightened up so that private landlordism was not the grasping business that it so overwhelmingly is.

  • christopher buckley (EHO) said on January 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Scrap the HHSRS its simple it is just too much paper work and way over the top!

    • James Elliott said on January 26, 2012 at 9:24 am

      I do not agree that the HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System) should be scrapped; risk assessment is now the basis for most functions of Environmental Health and Housing should not be any different, as it is designed to ensure that any works that may be required are justified against the potential risk to health. I do not pretend that it is perfect – The Operating Guidance could stand to be updated, and I agree that it can certainly be more paperwork than most of us would like, but it does allow for enforcement officers to consider what is necessary, not just what is prescribed (as with mandatory licensing). The argument for having minimum standards is that they are easier for landlords to follow and for enforcement officers to check compliance against and this is a good argument as far as I am concerned, but I do not believe that there is a one-size-fits-all template that would work to allow comprehensive standards to be written for use in every property. This could end up with landlords having to comply with conditions that would not really be necessary in their property or even applying the wrong standards and having to re-do works after an inspection.

      Comment Tags: HHSRS

  • James Elliott said on January 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I work for a local authority in the Private Sector Housing Team and am responsible for enforcing the legislation. One of the main changes that I think would benefit landlords and enforcement officers alike is removing the ambiguity and question marks form legislation and guidance, as well as correcting some of the more ludicrous criteria.

    A good example of where this would help is HMO licensing; if a landlord has a three storey property with five people sharing then it will require a licence. The third storey may include a basement or attic room (depending on its use) and so could in reality only be a two storey property. Yet a two storey property with ten tenants sharing would not require a licence because it does not meet the criteria for mandatory licensing. A five storey property with four tenants sharing, despite one being tucked up in the roof space with only a central staircase for escape in a fire, does not require a licence. Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004 can be used to address these risks but there is no onus on landlords of these properties to declare their property to the local authority, and so they can remain undetected and unchecked until someone complains to the authority.
    Under the Scottish legislation a property is an HMO and requires a licence. The guidance (found here:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2004/07/19734/40901) states that “A house is an HMO if it is the only or principal residence of three or more qualifying persons from three or more families.”
    This is much more sensible and inclusive of more properties. If this definition can be applied to properties in England and Wales as well, then it will ensure all shared properties are HMOs have to be licensed. This should then (in my opinion) be combined with a more straight-forward licensing process. A licence should be issued when the property is free from serious hazards. The Management Regulations could be simplified to require a property is safe and set out the criteria for management, and keep the requirement to comply on tenants as well. Non-compliance by tenants could be used as justification for landlords to evict them, allowing better control of anti-social behaviour amongst tenants. The licence itself can be simplified so that the administrative burden is reduced on the Local Authority, who in turn can reduce or remove the price of issuing a licence to good landlords with well managed properties. An increase in fee could be applied to the worst landlords or those who fail to declare their property is an HMO. As an increase in tenants requiring HMO accommodation is expected, licensed landlords should be able to request that LHA, or ultimately Universal Credit is paid directly to them to cover the rent. Un-licensed HMO landlords could be denied this.

    Regulation is important and although it can be viewed as a burden by good landlords (who make up the majority of landlords) it is necessary to prevent or punish the bad landlords that tarnish the reputation of the private rented sector.

    Comment Tags: HMO, HMO licensing

  • Terry Paxman said on January 19, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Change the thresholds for the ready availablity of Public Funding (Legal Aid) in disputes.

    This would have pre-empted the following case.

    A family on Housing Benefit has just succeeded in a case in which they perjured themselves (provably) to say landlord had been told about item of disrepair which they had caused and later perjured themselves again saying landlord had harassed them. They even admitted they had sworn loudly at landlord.

    Were it not for such easy access to Public Funding the issues would have been settled in a few days.

    The result has been needless waste of public money for a case lasting exactly one whole year.

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