Landlord zone

Have your say on the proposals to renew selective licensing of private rented properties in Redbridge

 

Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015

The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set the minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties.

From 1 April 2020 a property must have an EPC rating of E or have a registered exemption if the property is to be rented.

The Regulations apply to all domestic private rented properties that are:

  • let on specific types of tenancy agreement
  • legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

The regulations do not apply to residential properties in the Public Sector, RSL’s, and properties let under license.

Landlords must ensure that their properties comply with EPC report recommendations detailing measures which should improve the energy efficiency of their property to band E or higher if they want to continue to let.

Circumstances where an EPC may not be required

  • a building that is officially protected as part of a designated environment or because of their special architectural or historic merit where compliance with certain minimum energy efficiency requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance
  • a building used as places of worship and for religious activities
  • a temporary building with a planned time of use of two years or less
  • industrial sites, workshops, non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand and non-residential agricultural buildings which are in use by a sector covered by a national sectorial agreement on energy performance
  • stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50m² (i.e. buildings entirely detached from any other building)
  • HMO’s (Houses in Multiple Occupation, for example these can be bedsits, hostels, shared houses etc) which have not been subject to a sale in the previous ten years, or which have not been let as a single rental in the past ten years

Registering an exemption

To register an exemption a landlord or agent must create an online account with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.  This must be evidenced to the Local Authority. Exceptions are valid for five years. They are not transferable to new ownership.

There are various exemptions that apply to the prohibition on letting a property with an energy efficiency rating below E

If your property meets the criteria for any of the exemptions, you will be able to let it once you have registered the exemption on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Other exemptions exist in the forms of:

  • High Cost exemption
  • Wall Insulation exemption
  • Third party consent exemption
  • Property devaluation exemption and in certain cases exemption due to
  • New Landlord Exemption

These apply if even the cheapest measure would exceed £3,500, where remedial measures would devalue or negatively impact on the fabric or structure of the property, or where third party permission cannot be obtained. The full list of exemptions and explanations can be found in The Domestic Private Rented Sector Minimum Standard guidance.

 

Council Enforcement for Non-compliance with regulations 

Compliance notices

If the London Borough of Redbridge believes that a landlord may be in breach, we may serve a compliance notice requesting information to help decide whether a breach has occurred. We may serve a compliance notice up to 12 months after a suspected breach occurred.

A compliance notice may request information on:

  • the EPC that was valid for the time when the property was let
  • the tenancy agreement used for letting the property
  • information on energy efficiency improvements made
  • any Energy Advice Report in relation to the property
  • any other relevant document

Penalties

The Council may take enforcement action if we confirm that a property is (or has been) let in breach of the Regulations. We can serve a financial penalty up to 18 months after the breach and/or publish details of the breach for at least 12 months. The maximum penalty amounts apply per property and per breach of the Regulations. They are:

  • up to £2,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for less than 3 months
  • up to £4,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for 3 months or more
  • up to £1,000 and/or publication for providing false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register
  • up to £2,000 and/or publication for failure to comply with a compliance notice

The maximum amount you can be fined per property is £5,000 in total. Read Government Guidance

Properties with low EPC rating or those that have been exempt could still fall under enforcement due to the Housing Act 2004 using the Housing Health and Safety Ratin System (HHSRS) to ensure disrepair such as cold hazards will be addressed.

If you have any queries please email Housing.Standards@redbrige.gov.uk

Green Homes Grant is now available to help Landlords to comply with Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). To apply go to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards webpage 

 

Here you will find information about your responsibilities as a landlord and the following topics:

  • Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
  • Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015

  • Civil Penalties and Legal Updates
  • Rogue Landlord Checker
  • Landlord Accreditation Scheme
  • Private tenancy agreements
  • Evictions
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Redress Scheme
  • Leasing your property to us 
  • Property licensing 

 

Anti-Social Behaviour

It is the responsibility of the landlord and/or Managing Agent to always take reasonable steps to prevent  any anti-social behaviour occurring in the first instance. 

You have a responsibility to deal with any anti-social behaviour caused by your tenants either in your property or within the curtilage of your property. 

Controlling anti-social behaviour is a licence condition and it is the landlords duty to address any complaints made by residents in the area or tenants living within the property in a timely fashion. 

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) gives landlords good advice on how to tackle this problem effectively and legally. 

We appreciate that sometimes good landlords have taken all reasonable steps to deal with ASB and are faced with legally taking back possession of the property as a last resort.  If this is the case, we ask landlords to keep us fully informed of the situation as it occurs and to update us with all steps take to resolve the problem, so that enforcement action is not taken against the landlord for breaching ASB licence conditions. 

The NRLA provides further advice and understanding on what is classed as anti-social behaviour and how best to address it.

 

Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

Which rented properties do the Electrical Safety Regulations apply to?

If a private tenant has a right to occupy a property as their only or main residence and pays rent the regulations will apply. This includes assured shorthold tenancies and licences to occupy.

All new tenancies granted on or after 1 June 2020 must comply with the regulations from 1 July 2020.  An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is therefore needed for all tenancies commencing on or after 1 June 2020. From Thursday 1 April 2021 the regulations apply to all existing tenancies

The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 previously put specific duties on landlords around electrical safety. This requirement has now been repealed, and HMOs are now covered by Electrical Safety Regulations 2020.

Exceptions are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulations and include social housing, lodgers, those on a long lease of 7 years or more, student halls of residence, hostels and refuges, care homes, hospitals and hospices, and other accommodation relating to healthcare provisions.

Landlords of privately rented accommodation must:

  • Ensure national standards for electrical safety are met. These are set out in the 18th edition of the ‘Wiring Regulations’, which are published as British Standard 7671.
  • Ensure the electrical installations in their rented properties are inspected and tested by a qualified and competent person at least every 5 years.
  • Obtain a report from the person conducting the inspection and test which gives the results and sets a date for the next inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test.
  • Supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they occupy the premises.
  • Supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report.
  • Supply the Council with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.
  • Retain a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will undertake the next inspection and test.
  • Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete this work within 28 days or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report.
  • Supply written confirmation of the completion of the remedial works from the electrician to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days of completion of the works

Enforcement

Should we believe a landlord has not complied with the regulations, we may serve the landlord with a notice requesting they comply with the duties and take remedial action. If there is evidence that urgent action is needed under the report (which is action immediately necessary in order to remove the danger present and risk of injury), the Council has powers to intervene.

It is important that landlords comply with the regulations as a penalty of up to £30,000 may be issued for non-compliance. Landlords must therefore ensure that the electrical installation in their rented property is inspected and tested by 1 April 2021 for all existing tenancies as the duty on landlords is that the first inspection and testing shall be by that date and not from that date.

Further information

You can read the regulations or you can find more information in the guidance if you have any queries please contact the team.

 

Civil penalties and legal updates

We have a zero tolerance policy towards rogue landlords and unlicensed properties. View our current enforcement policy (PDF 5.36 MB). 

Under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 we can now issue a civil penalty of up to £30,000 for an unlicensed property and other offences as an alternative to prosecution including: 

  • failure to comply with an improvement notice
  • offences in relation to the licensing of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
  • offences in relation to selective licensing under part 3 of the Housing Act 2004
  • contravention of an overcrowding notice
  • failure to comply with management regulations for HMOs

The legislation amends certain provisions in the Housing Act 2004 and introduces new financial sanctions for non-compliance with housing standards, property licensing and HMO management requirements.

Issuing a financial penalty will not require a criminal prosecution. If the local authority has sufficient evidence of the offence, they can award a civil penalty without any need to attend court. The local authority must have regard to new government guidance when setting the appropriate penalty. The process will involve issuing a notice of intent and inviting representations. A final notice and financial penalty can then be issued, with the option to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. If unpaid, we can then apply to the county court for an order requiring payment. For certain offences, both the landlord and letting agent can be held liable and subject to the new civil penalty legislation.

 

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 gives Local Authorities the power to apply to the first-tier tribunal for banning orders for persons who have been found guilty of banning order offences.

View the list of offences


The government has expanded the Rent Repayment Order (RRO) provisions under which English local authorities and tenants can claim back up to 12 months rent. RROs were previously only applicable to unlicensed properties and tenants were unable to lodge a claim unless the local authority had first prosecuted the landlord.

From April 2017, RRO applications can be made for a much wider range of offences including:

  • Illegal eviction or harassment of occupiers;
  • Using violence to secure entry; and
  • Failure to comply with a housing improvement notice or prohibition order.

Local authorities can submit a RRO application for any rent paid by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit whereas tenants can submit a RRO application if they have paid the rent themselves.

Tenants can now submit a RRO application without the local authority having first prosecuted the landlord. Instead, the tenant would need to prove the offence to the satisfaction of the First-tier Tribunal who hear the case.

A specific power has also been written into the legislation, enabling local authorities to assist tenants in applying for a RRO.

Unlike criminal prosecutions, any income received from civil penalties and RROs can be kept by the local authority and spent on housing enforcement activity

 

Rogue Landlord Checker

We participate in the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker. 

Check if your landlord or managing agent has been recorded on this database.

 

Landlord Accreditation Scheme

The Landlord Accreditation Scheme provides training and support to landlords. It also ensures that tenancy standards are maintained.

We support the London Landlord Accreditation SchemeYou can also apply for accreditation through the Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association.

An accredited landlord may be eligible for grant aid to bring an empty property back into use.

 

Private tenancy agreements

A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and a tenant specifying the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. These agreements are usually put in place before renting out a property. The Shelter website provides more detailed information about different types of tenancy agreements.

 

Evictions

You must follow strict procedures if you want your tenants to leave your property. The exact procedure will depend on the tenancy agreement and its terms. Read government guidance on evictions.

Shelter has detailed information about the process you should follow. If you live in Redbridge and are facing eviction you can contact our housing options team for help and advice.

 

Landlord's responsibilities

The key responsibilities a landlord has when there are damp and mould issues is to make sure a correct diagnosis is obtained and to carry out the treatment. This is because treating damp is a mandatory repair under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Landlord responsibilities for mould

When mould forms in a tenanted property it's important to make sure you deal with it quickly and effectively, once you have accurately identified the cause.

HHSRS, which landlords need to abide by stresses that landlords must ensure mould doesn't affect a tenant's physical and mental health. Mould is a nasty fungus to live with and is known to cause breathing difficulties. Tenants who suffer from asthma or rhinitis conditions, or are taking any cancer treatment, may suffer serious health problems if exposed to it. 1 in 8 children and 1 in 13 adults suffer with asthma in the UK, so it is best to tackle it quickly.

In addition to the health implications, damp and mould growth can also cause;

  • timber window frames to rot
  • damage to plaster, wallpaper and painted surfaces
  • damage to tenants’ property

Causes of Damp and Mould Growth

Moisture production is influenced by the design, construction, disrepair and on occupant density and activity.

In our experience, the majority of enquiries regarding damp and mould growth are related to a condensation problem within the property.

Condensation occurs mainly in cold weather, whether it is raining or it is dry, it does not leave a tell tale tidemark. It will appear on cold surfaces, such as windows, tiled areas, toilet cisterns, and areas of the dwelling where there is a lack of ventilation, and little movement of air. It often becomes a problem when mould growth appears. Black mould and mildew can grow on almost any surface including wood, silicone, tiles, floor coverings, paint and paper. When this happens a tenant will usually contact their landlord, or their local authority.

What action can landlords take?

Provide suitable ventilation to the property, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Ensure that windows in those rooms can be opened, and where possible, provide extractor fans in these rooms. Ensure that your tenants understand how to use fans and open the windows. Ensure that existing air vents are not blocked, or decorated over, and that trickle vents on windows and doors work correctly.

Ensure your property has suitable cavity wall and loft insulation to reduce the number of cold surfaces where condensation can form. Older properties may require more work in providing additional insulation.  Home Upgrade Grants are available from the Council to homeowners and landlords in the borough to help improve the energy efficiency of their homes, through the installation of low-carbon heating improvements. 

Provide safe and suitable heating in your property with timer and temperature controls and ensure that tenants understand how to use the heating system in your property.

Landlords can also ensure that damp is not being caused by leaking central heating or waste piper, defective rainwater goods, drains, toilets or a failed damp proof course or rendering. It is also advisable to ensure that the structure of the property is in a sound and watertight condition.

Advise your tenants to produce less moisture by applying some simple, cost-effective measures to their lifestyles.

  • Wipe away excess moisture from windows and windowsills and wring out the cloth rather than drying it on a radiator to prevent the removed moisture evaporating back into the atmosphere.
  • Dry clothes outdoors where possible; if using a tumble dryer, ensure it is a condensing unit or vented to outside.
  • Cook with pan lids on and open kitchen windows or use the extractor fan when cooking.
  • Open windows or use the extractor fan when bathing and showering.
  • Avoid using bottled gas or paraffin heaters in your property as these can produce up to 4 pints of moisture in 8 hours.

As a landlord you have specific legal responsibilities to your tenants when it comes to gas safety. 

Your duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence, which includes, but not exclusively:

  • homes provided for rent by us ( Redbridge Council), housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
  • rooms let in bedsit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages and flats.
  • caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
    The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlord's duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.

As a landlord your gas responsibilities are:

  1. Maintenance pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced to the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered
  2. Gas safety checks: a 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
  3. Record: you must provide tenants with a record of the annual gas safety within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.

All installation, maintenance and safety checks need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If a tenant has their own gas appliance not provided by the landlord, then you are responsible for the maintenance of the gas pipework but not for the actual appliance. You should also make sure that tenants know where to turn off the gas and what to do in the event of a gas emergency.

Visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website for more information about landlords' responsibility for gas safety.

What if I'm only renting my property out for a short period of time?

Even if a property is only rented for a short period of time, you are still responsible for gas safety.

Smoke alarms and Carbon monoxide alarms

All landlords need to make sure properties are fitted with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

All landlords are required to:

  • fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the property
  • fit a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance
  • check that all alarms are working when a new tenancy start
Smoke alarms 

For maximum protection, smoke alarms should be fitted in every room.

Smoke alarms should be fitted as close to the centre of the room, hallway or landing as possible. They should be at least 30 centimetres / 12 inches away from any wall or light fitting.

Test the alarms once fitted and remind your tenants to test them regularly. Special smoke alarm kits are available for those who are head and hard of hearing.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is highly poisonous and is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels. This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also happen if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

Fuels that can create Carbon monoxide include:

  • gas
  • coal
  • wood
  • petrol
  • oil
  • liquid petroleum gas

Carbon Monoxide alarms can be fitted with screws to a wall. You can also get free-standing alarms.  Alarms should be placed next to the potential sources of Carbon Monoxide. The alarms should be between one and three metres from the source and at least a metre and a half from the ceiling. Avoid putting them next to windows or air vents.

People suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should get fresh air immediately, open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances or extinguish other sources, leave the house and see a doctor. 

More information on the legislation and free alarms: 

As a landlord, you must have an energy performance certificate for your tenants when you rent out your property. Check how to get a certificate

 

Managing Agent responsibilities

Managing Agent's booklet (PDF 3.63 MB)

Correct Presentation of Waste (PDF 440 KB)

 

Tenant Advice

Sometimes tenants experience issues with their property or landlord and need assistance.  The London Borough of Redbridge has published a guide for tenants to help them resolve these issues.

 

Redress Scheme

Legislation has been introduced which means that from 1 October 2014 it is a legal requirement for lettings agents and property managers in England to join 1 of 2  government approved redress schemes. The requirement will be enforced by us and we can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where an agent or property manager who should have joined a scheme has not done so.

All lettings agents and property managers in England should join one of the Government approved redress schemes listed below. This is a legal requirement from 1 October 2014.

The approved redress schemes are:

 

Leasing your home to us

Find out how you can let your property to us

 

Property licensing

Most landlords and letting agents now need a licence for each property they let in the borough.

  • Selective licensing applies to all rental properties that are not Mandatory HMO's (i.e 5+ occupants forming 2 or more households) but are in one of the 12 designated areas: 
  • Selective Scheme 2

Aldborough, Chadwell, Church End, Cranbrook, Fairlop, Goodmayes, Loxford, Mayfield, Newbury, Roding, Seven Kings, Snaresbrook.

 

 

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