GN07-20 - ELECTRICAL SAFETY STANDARDS IN THE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2020

These Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 (England only) introduce another important element to the long list of landlords’ legal responsibilities. They place an obligation on private landlords to check compliance with the relevant electrical safety standards in order to ensure that electrical installations in the private rented sector are safe for continued use.  

This Guidance Note sets out the scope of the new legislation; the implications for relevant landlords; the enforcement regime and some practical advice on what steps landlords should be taking now.  

It contains a link to the latest Government guidance but members should please be aware that this will be reviewed again as there have been some discrepancies over the start dates.

 

GN05-20 Residential Tenancies COVID-19 Rent Concessions

In these extraordinary times landlords and tenants may want or need to reconsider the terms of their existing residential tenancy agreements.

This Guidance Note deals with the issue of rent concessions and contains suggested template letters that could be used or adapted by landlords to record temporary changes to the rent payable under residential tenancy agreements.

 

Sophie Dwerryhouse

Sophie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and joins us from mfg solicitors where she worked in the Agricultural, Residential and Commercial Property team providing advice on a number of aspects of rural land ownership including sale and purchase of agricultural land and properties, farm business and commercial tenancies, deeds of easement, first registrations and adverse possession claims.

Sophie lives near Ludlow, in the Welsh Marches and her hobbies include hunting, cooking and singing. 

A New Deal for Renting

The CLA has responded to the Government consultation: "A New Deal for Renting - Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants" which proposes the abolition of section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and Assured Shorthold Tenancies.

We have argued strongly against these proposals, given multiple reasons why they would not work in practice and highlighted the serious unforeseen consequences of pursuing such a policy.

In order to be constructive, if reforms are to be made, we have suggested alternative approaches that we believe would work in practice and be fairer to landlords and tenants.

We have emphasised the vital importance of flexibility when it comes to providing accommodation for emmployees and argued in the strongest terms that the efficiency of the rural economy and the very sustainability of rural communities will be adversely affected by these proposals.

We are very grateful to the many members who shared their thoughts and views with us and to those who have responded individually to this consultation.  Whilst the consultation deadline has now passed, the fight carries on and we would still encourage members to lobby their MPs on this issue so that the voice of rural landlords continues to be heard.

Agricultural Tenancies

The CLA responded to the consultations undertaken by DEFRA and the Welsh Government on agricultural tenancy legislation reform.  Both Governments produced very similar consultations suggesting changes which could remove barriers to productivity improvements and facilitate structural change in the tenant farming sector.  Some suggestions were welcomed but others opposed.  In particular, the CLA made it clear that no steps should be taken to prolong the lifetime of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986.

GN22-19 Key Points to remember when granting an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) (England only)

There have been many legislative developments over recent years that impact residential landlords. The CLA takes steps to keep members updated as legislation is implemented and bespoke advice is available from the CLA Legal Department but this Guidance Note aims to summarise the key issues that should be considered and steps that must be taken when an AST is granted.

 

Conservation Covenants

Following the consultation on conservation covenants by the Law Commission in 2013, the Government is now looking to take forward the recommendations set out in their report, with some amendments. This will put conservation covenants into statute as an additional legal tool to aid conservation. A conservation covenant is a voluntary, private agreement between a landowner and another body, which commits the land to be managed for the benefit of conservation.

The CLA has responded, welcoming the introduction of this new conservation tool, but setting out some areas that may need to be refined for conservation covenants to be attractive to landowners.

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