The Deregulation Act 2015. What does this mean for Landlords?
The Deregulation Act of 2015 came into being on the 1st of October 2015 and it had an immediate impact on landlords and tenants. While there are a number of aims for the Act, some of the key provisions were introduced to provide tenants with protection against unfair eviction in the wake of raising a legitimate complaint about the property.
The Act has also required all landlords to provide new tenants with information and guidance with respect to the tenant’s responsibilities and rights. If a landlord is looking to serve a Section 21 notice on a tenant, they will have to comply with a range of legal responsibilities. While this may seem as though it is making life more difficult for a landlord, it actually makes things more straightforward for a landlord to convict a tenant when there is a legitimate reason to do so.
A reason the legislation was brought in because not all landlords were acting responsibly or only seeking to evict tenants for legitimate reasons. The vast majority of landlords operate in an appropriate manner and the new legislation won’t actually have too much of an impact on these landlords. It will however provide these landlords with legal support and backing if they follow procedures correctly and have the right to evict a tenant.
Landlords have had to familiarise themselves with The Act
When any new Act is passed, there is a need for a landlord to understand the requirements and responsibilities of the Act. Ignorance of new laws is never a defence that can be used when the regulations have been breached. This has probably been the biggest issue for landlords because all landlords have had to familiarise themselves with the new legislation and make sure that they are meeting all of the requirements for it.
The Section 21 notice element of the Act has been the headline issue that has captured the most attention but there have been other issues to consider with the Act, including:
- The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Tenancy Deposit Protection
With respect to tenant’s deposits, changes were made to ensure that landlords are maintaining a tenants deposit in a safe manner and that deposits are dealt with in a fair and effective manner at the end of a tenancy.
For landlords that have been operating in an efficient and above board manner, the Act is actually a positive one. This is because it will provide these landlords with safeguarding and a clearer route to deal with issues regarding the tenant or the deposit. There is also support for tenants who should now clearly know what their rights are with respect to their stay, on what should happen if the landlord tries to evict them and how their deposit should be taken care of at the end of a tenancy.
The fact that landlords and tenants should benefit from the Act means that it is a good one for the lettings industry. If it also helps to highlight or penalise rogue landlords or make it easier to deal with problem tenants, the Act should be considered as a positive force for people operating in the industry.