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Welcome to jml Property Services part of the long established jml Group

The jml Property Services website offers information on the rental market in the UK/Ireland and other parts of Europe and Worldwide.

Click on a topic below or use the menu on the left for more information on property related topics

Select from the Main Menu on the left for full details

Click on image below for excellent guide that was issued in June 2014

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Right to Rent Checks - England from February 2016

From 1st February 2016, the requirement to undertake "right to rent" checks becomes mandatory throughout England for all tenancies starting on or after this date.

Essentially the principle legislation is the Immigration Act 2014. There is currently a further Immigration Bill before parliament which may change certain aspects, including making a failure to comply a criminal offence. The Home Office is continuing to issue Guidance and it is expected that over the coming months further Guidance and tweaks to the existing Guidance will be issued.

The basic principle is that a landlord may not allow an adult to occupy a property under a residential tenancy agreement unless they satisfy one of three criteria:

  • The adult is a British Citizen; or
  • They are an EEA or Swiss National; or
  • They have a right to rent in the UK.

Of particular note is that this does not just apply to the named tenants but any known occupiers of the Property. You must therefore ask if there is intended to be any additional occupiers.

If the tenant should sub-let, whether lawfully or unlawfully, they will become the responsible person for undertaking these checks. Also if the tenancy is a company let for the company's employees the onus will be on the company to check however their remains uncertainty about other occupiers such as family members and many agents will wish to satisfy themselves that they have a right to rent, at least initially, until further clarity.

This means for all tenancies you need to think who actually will be occupying. You are required to check the right to rent in the 28 days prior to the start of the tenancy.

To check whether someone has the appropriate right to rent you need to see the appropriate documents. The types of documents you can accept are set out in two lists. Group 1 (sometimes referred to as the Safe List) and Group 2 (Semi-safe list). Essentially Group 1 are passports and Visas which will be the norm although it is believed over one million British Citizens do not have a valid passport.

You must physically see the original of these documents with the person in front of you (there is a provision for you to have the originals with the person on video link but this is unlikely to be widely used). You must check the document to be satisfied that it is not an obvious forgery, you are not expected to be a document expert but should be satisfied as to the authenticity of the documents presented. You should then take and keep copies. These copies should be kept for one year after the end of the tenancy. You should ensure you record how and when the copies were taken and by whom.

If the person has a time limited right to be in the UK (e.g. a time limited visa) provided they have even one day beyond the start of the tenancy left on that document they will have a right to rent for 12 months. However you must then do a follow up check either within 12 months or if the right to remain is later (i.e. longer than 12 months) at the end of this right. Given therefore such checks must be done within 28 days before hand this means in month 11 or the month before the right expires and you should ensure you have systems in place for recording when follow up checks are required.

Whilst prior to the start of the tenancy if someone cannot establish the right to rent you have no obligation to report them to the Home Office on a follow up check if the documents are not provided (again face to face) or the right is established you will have to report this to the Home Office.

There is a provision within the Immigration Bill that in the case of a follow up check failure the Home Office may be able to issue an Order allowing you to evict the tenant. We need to wait and see exactly what the provisions are when passed and any accompanying regulations to see how this will work in practice.

For those who have not got documents, possibly because of an application or appeal which is pending, you can contact the Home Office Landlord Checking Service either online or via the telephone enquiry line. You will then receive within 2 working days a response confirming whether or not this person has a right to rent. This response will have its own unique reference number and will contain details as to when follow up checks are required and should again be kept.

The Home Office makes clear this is not however an advice service. It is important to note that you must not apply the checks in a discriminatory way. This means that you must not offer someone less favourable terms (e.g. as to length of term) simply based upon the right to rent check. In terms of enforcement it will be the Home Office who will enforce probably following on from intelligence they have gained.

You will then have 28 days to object and if appropriate provide evidence of compliance. Thereafter the Home Office can issue a civil penalty which must be paid within 28 days (if paid within 21 days the penalty will be 30% lower) or may be appealed to the county court. For a first offence the penalty is £1,000 per occupier and for subsequent penalties £3,000 per occupier. Source Pain Smith Solicitors

More Information Here from HM Government and Landlord Zone and

ARLA and NLA - National Landlords Association and NLA Blog

More information below

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Tenants safer under new government measures - March 2015

Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties -Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties, under measures announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis today (11 March 2015). More here

Also this article

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Legionella Concerns in rental property - information for providers of residential accommodation from The Health & Safety Executive September 2013

The revised Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance Legionnaires' disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems has some important changes that could affect you as a provider of residential accommodation. This short guide will help you understand what these changes mean for you, and the action you will need to take to ensure that the risk from exposure to legionella in the premises you are responsible for is properly controlled.

View this information here

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Information for tenants from HM Government October 2015 - Make sure that this document is given with the the tenancy agreement to all tenancies starting after 1st October 2015 onwards - Click on image above to download

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The Electrical Safety Council have recently produced two documents on Electrical Safety which can be used by landlords and to answer their queries. More Information on this here

Don't be caught with one of these in your rental property

July 2011 - Leading safety charity, The Electrical Safety Council, launches new guide for landlords – FREE Copies available now

Hefty fine for landlord letting hazardous house

A landlord has been fined £30,000 and given a six month suspended sentence for letting a dangerous and sub-standard house in Coventry. A statutory notice was served by Coventry City Council officials following an inspection of the property which revealed numerous hazards including severe damp, mould, electrical problems and inadequate cooking facilities. The landlord Steven Boote, was also reported for failing to provide a gas safety certificate.More Here

The Health & Safety Executive have launched a new website which gives all sorts of up to date information on Gas Safety

More Information on this here

Gas Safety in rented accommodation March 2011

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Topical International property and travel news items can be found in our Internaltional Real Estate Property News section. (click on logo below)

see the following stories and more

August 2016 HomeLet Rental Index figures have just been released More on this Here

Intasure is appointed by BIBA as Holiday Homes scheme provider More on this Here

Ireland has world's fastest growing house prices More on this Here

Renting and Letting in Scotland what could happen next? More on this Here

Danger of Wood burning Stoves in the news More on this here

 

Hot tips for cold weather from Thames Water Here

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