The towns’ private rented sector is growing year on year and now makes up a significantpart of Luton’s overall housing market. The council state that they are considering taking steps to help improve the standards of living for all tenants ensuring they have a safe warm and affordable home allowing them to live in a sustainable community.
What does this mean for landlords of Luton?
For now this change is only in the consultation phase, however if approved it could mean that every private landlord in Luton (or their appointed managing agent) requires a certificate before they can let out their investment property. A certificate would be required for each individual property that a landlord owns.
What could the conditions be?
Local authorities have discretion to set the precise conditions of the licence in relation to anti-social behaviour and general management of the property. However some conditions would be mandatory, Licensees would be required to:
Present a gas safety certificate annually to the tenant, if gas is supplied to the house.
Keep electrical and furniture (under the tenancy) in a safe condition.
Keep smoke alarms in proper working order.
Supply the occupier a written statement of terms of occupation.
Demand references from persons wishing to occupy the house.
What effect would these changes make to the rental market in the town?
The reality is that if you are a half decent landlord you will have all the documents required to meet the licencing criteria, every property needs a gas safe certificate anyway, fire alarms are also required by law already and electrical goods should be safety checked prior to any tenant moving in. Any decent letting agent would have referenced a tenant and most tenancy agreements will cover the terms of occupation. If licencing is made mandatory the likelihood is that the changes will only affect the landlords who are not currently abiding by the laws anyone who lets a property with professional letting agency should find that most of the work required to get a licence is already in place.
I believe that the changes could be a very good thing for the town. Good landlords will get the great reputation they deserve, meanwhile rouge landlords will be forced to bring their properties up to scratch giving tenants a safe warm place to live.
Should you require any information on the latest laws and regulations surrounding the proposed changes or need any help finding a suitable tenant why not get in touch with William Walsh of Venture residential on 01582 249155.