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Farmers warned of change in residential property law

Farmers who let out any residential property have been warned to be alert to recent and forthcoming changes in the regulations for landlords.

Olivia   Midgley

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Olivia   Midgley
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Fran Barrigan, associate in the Land Management Department of Strutt and Parker, said whether properties were let out to farmworkers or otherwise, farmers could face fines if they fell afoul of the law.


“For example, since February 1, 2016, anyone who rents out property [other than to an employee] must obtain proof the tenant has the legal right to live in the UK and is not in the country illegally,” she said.


“Overlooking this sort of requirement could result in a significant fine.”


The new rules require landlords to take copies of suitable documentation, which includes a passport or residence permit. The penalties for non-compliance include fines of up to £3,000 per instance.

 

Alarms


Ms Barrigan said landlords should also be aware that since October 1, 2015, it has been law for landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.


Before an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is granted, it is also now a requirement landlords must provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the house, the current gas safety certificate, if applicable, and a copy of the Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide.


Failure to do so will mean the landlord cannot serve notice to regain possession of the property until the situation is rectified.

 

Efficiency


Further changes are also on the way with regard to energy efficiency requirements.


Andrew Crowther, assistant in Strutt and Parker’s resources and energy department, said: “Under the Energy Act 2011, Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards are being introduced to increase the energy efficiency of let properties and will require the property to obtain an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above to continue to be let without penalty.


“The regulations will be introduced from April 2018 and will apply to new leases and renewals/extensions to an existing tenant. From April 2020 the regulations will apply to all privately rented properties in the scope of the regulations.”

 


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