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Agents Alert - years of legal and regulation changes ahead

A senior figure in an industry trade body says lettings agents are going to have their hands full dealing with legislative changes over the rest of this decade. 

Paul Offley, compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, says the changes that agents need to be aware of begin this April with Right to Rent checks on tenants with the Home Office going digital. 

The temporary measures during the pandemic allowed Right to Rent checks to be carried out via video call, and by using photocopies or photos of documents - but these come to an end this spring. 


This is in line with the government’s plan to implement a digital system for reviews, so as part of the Right to Rent changes, landlords and agents in England will no longer be able check biometric residence cards or permits manually, applicants will need to prove their Right to Rent with a share code, which agents can check online.

According to Offley, there will be drastic changes within the lettings market in Wales. 

“In July, tenancies become ‘occupational contracts’ and tenants become ‘contract holders’. Landlords will need to give their tenants six months’ notice on no-fault evictions, which cannot be served until the first six months of the new tenancy has passed” says Offley. 

“There are also changes to joint contract holders’ rights, as well as the introduction of succession rights for contract holders, meaning the contract can be passed onto a successor such as the pervious occupier’s children, whether they can afford to take over the tenancy or not” he adds.

Further ahead, April 2025 sees the next phase of changes to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards with a minimum rating of EPC C for all new tenancies. 

Exact details are yet to be agreed but Offley says he expects the new standard will apply to all tenancies from 2028.  

“Between now and 2030 we will also start to see the impact of the Levelling Up legislation being introduced in England. And then of course we have the [recommendations of the] Regulation of Property Agents working party.”


He adds, “The Guild is now working with its Members on the implications of all the changes and helping to ensure a smooth implementation and transition. 

“With any change in legislation it always brings some resistance but the key thing is really 'don't panic' - the saying 'the devil is in the detail' really does apply here and this is something The Guild will be working on with its members over the coming months; helping them understand what is required and what preparations they can start to make now so that it does not have a massive impact on their businesses and their clients. 

“Landlords and agents who are fully prepared for the coming changes will find them easier and they will be in a much better position to assist their clients adapt to the new requirements.”

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    For the life of me I can't understand what all the fuss is about landlords not being able to improve the energy efficiency (and therefore the EPC) of their investment buildings. I, like thousands of other professional landlords, realised this when EPCs were introduced way back in 2008. It not like the Government has sprung it on us!
    Over the years I've been spending some of my annual rental income on improving loft insulation and cavity wall insulation. I've used external wall insulation on one of my properties - the EPC up-lift for me and energy cost saving for the tenant have been extremely good.
    I've recently installed Dimplex Quantum night storage heaters in a rental flat. I've helped my tenant sign-up to an off-peak electricity tariff, which is a fraction of the cost of expensive 'day time' electricity'. Night storage heaters have come on massively since the 1980s and retain the heat all day whilst the tenant is out at work. It's a pile of bricks in a steel box and is ideal for rental homes where the tenant can be less than careful.
    A domestic EPC is an energy COST calculation, the worse the Grade the more my tenant has to pay to the NPower, British Gas (and indirectly the Qatari Royal Family and Vladimir Putin) and the less money they have to pay my rent. It makes good financial sense to drive down the money my tenants have to pay in energy costs. Don't landlords on this Blog understand this? Every single resi landlord mate of mine in the Thames Valley has either fixed-up their houses and flats to EPC Grade C or long since sold their 'difficult' assets and reinvested the capital in energy efficient homes (which can indeed be both older or modern buildings)
    For me and other professional landlords this simply is not an issue and not a problem. Relaxing Planning regulations so I and others can build a few more houses and flats for renters would be a far better issue for us all to campaign on. Domestic EPCs and MEES is NOT what rational landlords worry about.


    You're one of those people who likes to think they're smarter than everyone else aren't you?

    There are so many holes in your comment you could strain spaghetti with it. No-one cares what you or your mates have done, or your ridiculously simple rationalisations for doing it. Your massive paragraph is made up of almost entirely anecdotal, or irrelevant commentary, but I doubt anything I could say could make you understand why.

    Oh, and paragraphs are a thing.


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