Property investors and their letting agents are being urged to remember their legal responsibilities, as new banning orders are now in force across the private rental sector.
The latest warning comes from specialist Landlord Insurance provider Just Landlords. As of 6th April 2018, landlords and letting agents can be issued a banning order by the local authority in their property’s area, which could prevent them operating a lettings business for a year or even longer, perhaps even indefinitely.
The banning orders, which have been brought in by the Government, form part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016. The new laws include a national database of landlords and letting agents that have been convicted of housing offences.
Failing to comply with your legal responsibilities as either a landlord or letting agent could result in both a banning order and inclusion in the nationwide database.
If issued with a banning order, you will not be able to earn income from letting a property, or engage in letting agency or property management work.
Additionally, new laws brought into force back in April last year could result in a hefty fine of up to £30,000, so it’s essential that you avoid being subject to these harsher measures.
Some of the housing offences that you could be issued a banning order for include:
- Illegally evicting a tenant
- Letting a property deemed unsafe
- Failing to conduct works required by local authorities
- Letting a property to an illegal migrant
- Using violence, or threatening violence, against a tenant
Just Landlords is urging all property investors to be aware of the new banning orders and ensure that they comply with their legal responsibilities to avoid them.
Furthermore, adhering to lettings law will make sure that your tenants and lettings business are protected – it’s essential that you always consider the health and safety of your tenants. This will not only prevent you facing hefty fines and a potential ban, but will also avoid your property becoming unlettable and, therefore, empty.
If you operate your lettings business in London, you must also be aware that you could face being named and shamed across the capital thanks to Sadiq Khan’s own database. This blacklist, unlike the Government’s national database, is available to the public, so you could risk losing your trust throughout the whole lettings industry.
To prevent any detriment to your lettings business, remember to always comply with the law and protect your tenants at all times.