The Tenancy Agreement you use MUST not contain any terms that are contary to the Legislation download the PIMS compliant Tenancy Agreement here
Headers of the PIMS Tenancy Agreement – being the first two pages download here
Generic Clauses changed throughout the Tenancy Agreement
Previously we were permitted to charge for Rent Arrears Letters, Possession Notices and penalties for Tenant non-performance this is no longer the case. The rules for what may be charged are now explicit there is no ambiguity. These are called permitted charges. Clauses such as check out costs and MUST pay X for carpets etc to be cleaned are now unlawful
The following clauses comply
We have defined charges for Tenant obligations in respect of Utilities, Television Licence and Communication Services
Late rent interest charges are now defined If the Rent is late by more than 14 days, the Landlord can charge thereafter interest at 3% above the Bank of England base rate and interest will be charged until the date full payment is received.
Keys should a Tenant request a spare or lose a key or security device giving access to the property and requires a replacement a fee can be charged for such. The Landlord or Agent shall provide evidence in writing to the person liable for the payment to demonstrate that such costs are reasonable and not exceeding £50
NEW CLAUSE Charges for variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy, should the Tenant request of the Landlord or Agent a variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy [the substitution of a new contract in place of an old one], the Landlord/Agent reserves the right to charge a fee that is not likely to exceed £50 but may do so. The Tenant shall be notified in writing a summary of the reasonable costs incurred. .
IMPORTANT TENANT LIABILITY WHILST PERMITTED CHARGES ARE DEFINED IT DOES NOT REMOVE THE LANDLORDS RIGHT TO SEEK RECOMPENSE FOR THE TENANTS FAILURE TO COMPLY. INCLUSION OF A GENERIC LOSS CLAUSE WITH CAVEAT “failure to perform or comply with prevailing legislation.”
LANDLORDS RIGHT TO RECOVER LOSSES The Tenant shall remain liable for any reasonable costs or losses suffered by the Landlord resulting from conduct of or damage caused by the Tenant (or any person they have invited into the Property or who is permitted to live there). The Landlord reserves the right to seek recompense for lawful costs. Such as damage, legal fees, court fees or any other losses resulting from the tenant, occupiers or their guest’s failure to perform or comply with prevailing legislation.
Why Changed to Contractual Periodic
“Councils have a habit of trying to pursue landlords for unpaid Tenant
council tax for they imply, a continuation as a periodic is a new
contract and therefore a minimum of being less than 6 months – whereas a
contractual periodic may provide extra protection to the Landlord.
Added - Tenant consent to email them the How to Rent Guide
Why - The Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 1646 The Assured
Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England)
Regulations 2015 permits service of How To Rent Guide by email where the
tenant has consented [section 3] but be careful any section 8 or
section 21 notice must still be served upon the dwelling.
Added confirmation service of key documents –
did you know should a tenant claim they did not receive a Gas Safety
Certificate before commencement of Tenure this can invalidate an
eviction using a Section 21 Notice. We have experienced a similar
argument re service of an EPC hence why included. Also added
confirmation tenant received GDPR notification which should have been obtained at Tenancy application stage.
Council Tax – Changed to “The Tenant will be liable for Council Tax unless specified otherwise.”
Why – Future proofing for PIMS believes councils will introduce new council tax bands for individual rooms so wish to avoid the position of being inclusive for HMO however if the property is an HMO where Tenants share facilities the landlord is currently liable for council tax.
The Ban on Letting Fees Bill is very strict and very easy to be tripped up. Not only can a Landlord or Agent be fined, the tenant can block eviction, a Landlord could pursue a Agent for consequential loss and an Agent can be barred from being a Letting Agent. The new Legislation is that severe
Please read the government guidance to Ban on Letting Fees – Which appears flawed but should provide a defence in that you had a reasonable expectation the government guidance be valid. See Government Guidance Ban on Letting fees Bill
Please ensure you print a dated copy for your records for this may be your ONLY defence to mitigate exposure against fines
fine of up to £5,000 for a first offence. If you repeat a breach within 5 years of the fine, you may face criminal prosecution or be fined £5000 up to £30,000. Such action may result in being banned to Let or Manage Properties as may be considered not a fit and proper person under 2004 Housing Act and subject to a banning order under section 14 of the Housing Act 2016.
Individual staff of the Letting Agents maybe banned if considered the individual was complicit/negligent
Immigration Act revised 2016 should a landlord or letting agent fail to ensure ALL tenants/occupiers have a righto reside for the duration of the tenancy then they may be fined £3000 for each breach. The Secretary of State may instruct the landlord to remove such persons without the need of a court order by way of reasonable force
Labour market enforcement - restriction on illegal migrants to work. A labour market enforcement undertaking (an “LME undertaking”) is an undertaking by the person giving it (the “subject”) to comply with any prohibitions, restrictions and requirements set out in the undertaking
Under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 it is possible for the Court to transfer a matter from the County Court to the High Court for enforcement but leave (permission) of the Court is required first. The transfer time varies from court to court and can take up to 28 days, but normally takes far less. An application to seek permission can be made either at the time of making the possession claim or after possession has been ordered.