Published 28th January 2019
2018 was a pivotal year for the UK Private Rented Sector (PRS) making positive steps forward for the protection of tenants renting in the UK.
Landlords have an obligation to maintain and repair properties and to keep tenants safe, under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Also to comply with the licensing terms that permit rental, as set out by the local council mandatory, selective and additional licensing laws.
So, what has changed in 2018?
On April 26th Newham Council was the first UK local authority to adopt new powers and directly prosecute a landlord, relating to the breach of the terms of the property license agreement.
Councillor Terry Paul, Mayoral Advisor for Housing, said: “Newham is proud to be the first council in the country to adopt and make use of (these) new direct fines for criminal landlords.
“Our swift adoption and application of the new powers underlines our commitment to protect tenants from rogue landlords. In this case there was a single breach of the law, but by failing to install fire alarms, even after a blaze in the block, this landlord clearly showed his reckless lack of care for the safety of his tenant.”
The maximum penalty for a fine is £30,000 however this can be applied to a property multiple times for different breaches. There is also in excess of £3 million worth of fines in London alone, which is growing every day. Kamma (formerly GetRentr) is committed to helping good agents ensure they are fully compliant with the dynamic fragmented legislative framework in which they have to work. Using Kamma to influence the PRS and provide peace of mind with ‘a seal of approval’ on properties for tenants and estate agents.
First debated by MPs in the House of Commons in July 2017, it reached the House of Lords in October 2018 and gained Royal Assent in December 2018. The new rules will come into force in March 2019.
These new rules give renters greater protection and powers against rogue landlords. Tenants can be at the mercy of their landlords, and can struggle to find a voice for their complaints against substandard living conditions. This new bill is one of many new approaches the Government is taking to better protect tenants and to help improve the standard and safety of accomodation in the private rental market.
In many cases where fines occur there is an issue gaining access to the right data and information to help simplify the complex rental market licensing laws and regulations that apply to the property you are managing. Kamma helps by being the one place agents and landlords can go to access all mandatory, selective and additional licensing laws data for the UK, visually displaying this into an easy digestible format, highlighting next steps needed on properties in their care. It even highlights licenses that are being considered on properties and those which are about to expire. This means agents can make better judgements on whether to take that property onto their books, as well as whether to place a tenant in that property or find a suitable alternative until fully compliant.
Landlords can easily access this data too, to help them privately manage their properties and interpret the laws and regulations that apply to their portfolio. This reduces the risk of fines whilst protecting tenants in their care.
To request a demo of Kamma and understand how it can help you better manage your properties, and protect you from fines, please fill out this form we will get in touch.
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