Lettings agents – are you prepared for legislative changes? - Blog

Lettings agents – are you prepared for legislative changes?

Lettings agents – are you prepared for legislative changes?

Compliance Update Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer 4th November 2022

The Guild of Property Professionals has been reminding its Members in England of the legislative changes coming into play on 1 October 2022 regarding Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Right to Rent checks. Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild, adds that all agents involved with lettings in England need to ensure that they on track with their compliance plan with regard to these two important matters as the deadline fast approaches.


Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms

He notes that the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022, states that from 1 October 2022, all relevant landlords must ensure that their rental properties have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in a room where a combustion appliance other than a gas cooker is installed.  “Lettings agents should be in the process of making sure that all of their managed stock has the required alarms and meets the requirements. All alarms must be tested and working on the day the tenancy commences and either the landlord or agent will need to demonstrate this,” advises Offley.


Changes to Right to Rent checks

He adds that the other legislation changes happening on 1 October, pertain to right to rent checks. “The Home Office introduced new measures during Covid to allow for right to rent checks to be completed virtually. This comes to an end from the beginning of next month. From 1 October, the adjusted right to rent checks will end but new measures are being introduced,” Offley comments.


“Lettings agents will still be able to check an approved document to confirm a tenant or permitted occupier has an unlimited right to rent in the UK. Agents will need to see the tenant and the document in person as they would have pre-Covid, and this must be completed before the tenancy commences,” advises Offley.


He notes that a letting agent can use the Home Office online landlord checking service – with the tenant’s approval. The tenant can provide the agent with a share code to allow access to their right to rent status. 


“Lettings agents can work with one of the new IDSP’s (Identity Service Providers), which are approved by Government and are able to assist with Right to Work and Right to Rent identification. Using one of these providers will mean that the agent does not need to obtain any documents themselves.  As of today, there are only a few IDSP’s approved for Right to Rent, however, I suspect more will follow in the near future. Important that if agents are using this method then they should check the Government website to ensure the provider has approval status for ‘right to rent’ checks  says Offley.


“With the new changes shortly underway, it is worth it for lettings agents to review their processes and check that all is in order and compliant for new tenancies starting from 1 October,” he concludes.


Paul Offley, The Guild's Compliance Officer

Paul Offley joined The Guild in 2017 as our in-house Compliance Officer, to help Members stay on top of legislation. Paul’s career has maintained a focus in estate agency for over 40 years, building a specialist knowledge in the compliance function. Paul helps Members to reduce the probability of any risk materialising by working alongside agents to identify areas where the business is at a high risk of exposure. Guild Members have compliance tools at their disposal and are regularly presented with updated information on the latest legislation requirements. Paul is also on hand to speak to agents individually, delivering quality and high standards to all our Members. Paul has been providing continual support to The Guild Members throughout COVID-19, from legislation and Government updates, to providing indispensable and personalised advice through Facebook Live. He is passionate about raising standards, and is part of The Property Ombudsman Industry Forum.

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