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Pre-tenancy requirements for Landlords

Since October 2015, landlords have been subject to stricter regulations when it comes to supplying their tenants with certain pre-tenancy information. Unfortunately, there are many landlords who are still not aware of these requirements and their omission can cost them the ability to evict their tenants.

When a landlord takes a new tenant under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, they are now required by law to provide them with a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a current Gas Safety Certificate (which is to be renewed every year) and the most up-to-date edition of the government’s “How to Rent” guide. 

In addition, the property must have a smoke alarm installed on every floor and the landlord must have checked that they are in working order before the tenancy begins. If the property has a fuel burning heating system or open fire, a working carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted in the same room.  If the property comes with electrical appliances provided, they must be in good working order at the outset of the tenancy.

The landlord must also provide the tenant with the details of the tenancy deposit scheme where the deposit has been protected. Finally, the landlord must have made the necessary checks to make sure that the tenant has the right to rent before any tenancy is signed and copies of the documents should be retained for the landlord’s record.  

Unfortunately, the situation cannot be remedied by the landlord by subsequently producing these documents or carrying out the checks after the tenancy has commenced.

The result is that a landlord can be barred from being able to serve a valid s.21 notice to evict that particular tenant and must therefore wait until the tenant leaves the property on their own or use the s.8 route.  This can put any landlord in a very difficult position if he wants to remove a tenant.

If you would like any further advice on this or any other landlord and tenant matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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