- House Prices
So October has arrived! The Deregulation Act has come into force, and the lettings team at Nock Deighton is concerned about how it will affect landlords and tenants.
There is still some confusion in the industry about how the new rules will be enforced - and Dawn Clarke, our director of lettings and property management and regional spokeswoman for ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) has called for more clarity.
She said: “The Deregulation Act is a significant piece of legislation for landlords and it really hasn’t been handled very well.
“Put simply, the Act means that landlords will potentially be open to more litigation and risk, so it’s important that anyone managing a property gets up to speed with the details as quickly as they can.
“As of October 1, landlords will need to provide what the Act calls an ‘adequate’ response to any repair request within 14 days or risk losing the right to serve a Section 21 notice if a future eviction is required.
“For a response to be deemed adequate it will need to meet certain criteria, such as being in writing rather than a phone conversation, and the landlord will need to confirm what work will be carried out and when.
“One of the grey areas though is what timescale repairs will need to be carried out in. The new law says a ‘reasonable’ timeframe will have to be given, but does not say what a ‘reasonable’ timeframe is.
“There are other complicating factors too, such as the vulnerability of tenants and what the actual complaint is about, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people are confused about how things are going to work.
“Ultimately, if a response is not deemed ‘adequate’, the council can step in and serve an emergency remedial notice which would mean a landlord would be unable to use the Section 21 process for six months.
“We are calling for the Government to clarify exactly how the Act is going to be implemented and we are advising any landlords who have concerns to contact their letting agent.”