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Residential Letting Law Changes

I have a farm cottage already let and a barn we are converting that will be available this autumn. Will the changes in letting legislation just affect the barn or both properties?

This year has seen a significant number of changes to legislation surrounding residential tenancies, with further changes due towards the end of the year. The changes will affect both properties and include:Health and Safety: It is expected that by October 2015, that amongst other important duties, it will be compulsory for a landlord to fit smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, where necessary.

Immigration Act: A Landlord could face up to five years in jail for letting to a tenant with no right to reside in the UK. We therefore have to ensure that all the correct questions are asked and checks are made before agreeing any new let.

Tenants’ Deposits: With a few exceptions these should now be protected by an industry approved tenancy deposit scheme; regardless of when they were taken.

Notices: The procedures for serving notices are expected to change and more protection is to be granted to tenants facing eviction as a result of their complaining. Therefore where relationships with your tenants are deteriorating you need to discuss the best way forward as soon as possible with your letting agent.

All the above changes are intended to protect tenants against unscrupulous landlords, but could leave the most well-meaning property owner open to prosecution for getting it wrong.

The residential letting market is currently strong, with a traditional summer/autumn surge; demand for well-presented farm cottages and character properties in rural or semi-rural locations are no exception.Often these properties are a side-line to a busy farm business with many other demands and timescales, not least imposed by livestock and weather. With these demands and constantly changing legislation in mind, it is likely to pay dividends to take professional advice when it comes to your rental property, be it a single cottage or a portfolio with farmhouses and barns.


If you are unaware of these changes in legislation or would like any further information then please do not hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to discuss them in more detail with you. Charlotte George MARLA, Balfours Property Professionals, Senior Lettings Negotiator.

Charlotte George

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