Information and advice
If you are a landlord in Warwick District or considering becoming one, the Private Sector Housing Team can advise you on legal requirements and good practice. If you have concerns about a property you let, we may be able to offer an advisory property visit.
The team has a Landlord Liaison Officer who is able to provide information on:
- Best practice in letting
- Landlord and tenant issues
- Local training opportunities
- Landlord Steering Group and Forum
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New Powers - Fixed Penalty Notices
Fixed Penalty Notices under Housing and Planning Act 2016 came into force in April 2017. They are an alternative to prosecution for various private sector housing offences. The Council has now formally adopted a Civil Penalties Policy which incorporates a schedule of penalties for various offences. The maximum penalty that can be levied is £30,000. The offences that are covered are as follows:
- Failure to comply with Improvement Notice (Housing Act 2004 Section 30)
- Failure to license an HMO under Housing Act 2004 Part 2 (Housing Act 2004 Section 72)( mandatory licensing )
- Breach of HMO Licence Conditions
- Failure to license houses under Housing Act 2004 Part 3, (Housing Act 2004 Section 95)( selective licensing )
- Failure to comply with an Overcrowding Notice, (Housing Act 2004 Section 139(7))
- Breach of Management Regulations in respect of HMOs. (Housing Act 2004 Section 234)
The Council will consider the most appropriate course of action in accordance with its Enforcement Policy
The process will involve the service of a ‘notice of intent’ to impose a financial penalty. A person served with a notice may make representations within 28 days. A decision will then be made in regard to whether to impose a penalty and the amount. If it decides to impose a penalty, the Council must issue a final notice requiring payment within 28 days. There is a right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.
'Right to Rent' - Immigration checks on new tenants
Private landlords are required to check the right of prospective tenants to reside in the country before giving them a tenancy.
Landlords will need to see evidence of a person’s identity and citizenship, e.g. a passport or visa and retain copies for up to a year after the tenancy ends. All adults occupying the property in addition to the tenant will need to be checked. In most cases landlords will be able carry out these simple checks. Children under 18 will not need to be checked. Landlords may be fined up to £3000 for failing to complete the right to rent checks.
The Gov.uk website contains information about how to carry out a right to rent check and there is also a Home Office helpline - 0300 0699 799.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements
Since 1st October 2015 smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor in private rental properties, and carbon monoxide alarms in properties that burn solid fuels. Private landlords must check the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy.
Where properties are found to be missing smoke alarms, landlords will be served with a Remedial Action Notice giving them 28 days to provide alarms, failing which a Penalty Charge Notice will be issued with the level of fine ranging from £750 to £5000. Local Authorities are required to publish a Statement of Principles including penalty charges.
Responding to repair requests
Landlords are advised to respond to disrepair complaints in writing to their tenant within 14 days, detailing the action you intend to take and a timescale for the work to be completed. If the landlord does not undertake the repairs and the local authority serve an enforcement notice, the landlord may not evict the tenant using section 21 for 6 months.
Eviction - Section 21
Landlords must use the Section 21 Form (6A). Landlords are advised to seek legal advice if they wish to evict a tenant.
Section 21 cannot be served in the first 4 months of a tenancy and expires 6 months after being served.
Section 21 is invalid if you have not given the tenant the information required at the start of the tenancy (see below).
Giving tenants information at sign up
The landlord or agent must give the tenant a set of documents at the tenancy signing. It is advisable to get the tenants to sign to confirm they received these documents before signing the tenancy agreement.
- A copy of the EPC (this should also be shown at viewing and in the advertisement for the property)
- A copy of the Governments 'How to rent guide'
- A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (if the property has a gas supply)
- A copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report
- The deposit protection schemes 'prescribed information' (within 30 days of taking the deposit)
Where the above information hasn't been provided a landlord is unable to serve a valid section 21 notice.
01926 456733 or email; firstname.lastname@example.org our Landlord Liaison Officer for further advice.
The GOV.UK website also provides information about being a landlord and renting out a room.