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Private rented homes

The private rented sector is an important part of our housing stock

Many people will live in the private rented sector at one time or another. This section contains information for both landlords and tenants.

Landlords are required to fulfil a number of responsibilities to both property and tenants.

Call B4 You Serve

The local authority is committed to homelessness prevention at the earliest opportunity and in partnership has commissioned a Call B4 You Serve service specifically to support landlords. The dedicated service is available to help and assist landlords to resolve difficulties they may experience with tenants so they do not need to serve a notice.

Call B4 you serve leaflet [1MB]

Landlord Accreditation Scheme

The Landlord accreditation scheme is a voluntary and free scheme for all private landlords who have rental properties in the area. Included in joining are scheme benefits and incentives, and grant assistance.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force 1 June 2019.

Landlords and agents will only be able to charge payments 'permitted' in the legislation. Landlords are responsible for the costs associated with setting up, renewing or ending a tenancy.

Further info for landlords and tenants is available here

Payments for utilities, broadband, TV, phone and council tax are all excluded from the ban.

Agents and landlords do not have to pay back any fees that have been charged to a tenant before 1 June 2019.

If a landlord or agent requires payment under a term within a tenancy which was entered into before the ban came into force, such as renewal fees, they can continue charging until 31 May 2020. After 1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment will no longer be binding. If a tenant makes a payment in error, they can ask the landlord or agent to return the payment immediately. The payment must be returned within 28 days.

EPCs and lettings

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations mean that from April 2018, landlords of privately rented property in England and Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.

However a landlord can lawfully let a sub-standard property if a relevant temporary exemption may apply and only if a landlord registers it on the PRS Exemptions Register.

Landlords should read the guidance on the Minimum Energy Efficiency Regulations to fully understand their obligations before deciding on their course of action.

Further information is available here  

These requirements will apply to private rented properties where there has been no change in tenancy arrangements from 1 April 2020.

What are tenancy deposit protection schemes?

From 6 April 2007, all deposits (for rent up to £25,000 per year) taken by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales, must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

There are two types of tenancy deposit protection scheme available for landlords and letting agents (insurance-based schemes and custodial schemes). All schemes provide a free dispute resolution service.

Further information (for both landlords and tenants)

Letting agents and property managers redress schemes

From 1 October 2014, there is a legal requirement for all letting agents and property managers in England to belong to a Government approved redress scheme. A fine of up to £5,000 can be imposed or licence revoked where a letting agent or property manager who should have joined a scheme has not done so.

There are two approved schemes, further information about the schemes.

Tenants and landlords dealing with letting agents and property managers will be able to complain to the redress scheme about the service they have received.