The contract we use has been specifically drawn up for the lettings industry and is comprehensive and fair representing both the interests of the landlord and tenant equally. Tenants often asked about what is the standard term for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and the answer is usually twelve months, however we usually include a break clause at six months, for both the landlord and tenant.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is run under Government legislation that requires Landlords to register details of the start and end of all new tenancies. The Dispute Service (TDS) runs this Scheme and is required to supply summarised details of all tenancies to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). As a member of this scheme all deposits are held in a segregated client account and protected by a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme. This rule applies if the tenancy is an assured short hold tenancy.
Energy Performance Certificates
The Energy Performance in Buildings Directive laid down in Parliament in March 2007 requires all buildings to have on EPC in place before letting. Mr Simons is registered and approved to carry out EPCs on behalf of our clients. He also carries out inspections for other letting agents and estate agents through ealconsult.com. He is registered through Elmhurst and BRE to carry out commercial EPCs as well as On Construction EPCs and SAP calculations. As all properties are going to have to achieve a ‘C’ rating in the next few years and tenants are more aware of the cost of fuel and comfort levels it will be more attractive if the property is energy efficient and cost effective to run. It is therefore worth taking the EPCs seriously.
2004 Housing Act
The housing bill, which was first published in draft in March 2003 and stated:
- a new Housing Health and Safety Rating System to replace the Housing Fitness Standard
- a mandatory licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation
- selective licensing of private landlords in areas of low demand
- new powers for local authorities to lease long-term empty homes compulsorily
- a requirement for residential property vendors to produce a Home Information pack
- reforms to the Right to Buy scheme, to prevent its abuse and exploitation
- new powers to extend the length of an introductory tenancy to 18 months
- a national Tenancy Deposit Scheme, to protect private tenants deposits
- a new power to update the statutory definition of overcrowding
- new rights for Gypsies, travellers, and parked home-owners