If you're a property manager working in lettings, chances are, you've heard of the Tenant Fees Act 2019, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and even its younger cousin Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. But do you know the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 as well as you do the others?
1. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 clarifies the duty to repair and maintain a rental property
Under Section 11, the landlord has an obligation to maintain and repair a property where a tenant has a lease of seven years or less. With that, comes rules about the time frame repairs should be carried out, and the amount of notice landlords must give to view the repair issue. Non-compliance can be serious. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 was enacted to strengthen tenant rights to a home "fit for human habitation". If a rental property falls behind on repairs and is subsequently deemed unfit for habitation according to the HHSRS rating system, it might give grounds for the tenant to complain about their landlord. In situations where there is serious bodily harm or loss of property, it could even create grounds for a law suit.
2. Non-compliance with certain landlord obligations can cost you £5000
That's right. The fines for non-compliance to certain requests can cost you £5000. By law, the tenant can ask for certain information about their tenancy, their landlord, and even ask for a record of rent collected from the rental property. Double check your obligations before you refuse a request from a tenant, despite the fact that it may be unusual to your experience. Non-compliance is fined at £5000.
3. It is still standing tall after 30+ years
When it comes to legislation governing rental properties, this tricenarian is one of the oldest of its kind. After its enactment in the Thatcher government, it has been amended numerous times as the social, political and economical conditions evolve in its jurisdiction. But there has been no fundamental amendments by either the Major, Blair, Brown or Cameron governments, and it is still the cornerstone of legislation governing the way landlords (and by implication, their letting agents) should behave. It is still the reference for the bare minimum rights for the tenant throughout the lease period.
Download our free Fact Sheet about the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and find out more about your legal obligation as a landlord and their letting agent.