Housing Act 2004
The Housing Act 2004 consists of 7 parts:
Part 1: The standard of rental properties is governed by the overarching legislation of Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, specifically under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. This is an ‘evidence-based risk assessment’ approach to housing and is actively targeted at the PRS because of the number of rental properties that would be judged unacceptable under it’s criteria.
Note that it applies to all residential properties which includes blocks of flats and their common areas.
Part 2 covers the licensing of houses in multiple occupation with those of a prescribed description having a mandatory requirement to be licensed. The main details of the scheme are set out in the regulations.
Part 3 covers selective licensing of other residential accommodation. This gives local authorities in selected areas new powers to enable them to establish a licensing scheme to private landlords. If certain conditions are met all private landlords will be required to obtain a licence to rent out their properties.
Part 4 – Additional control provisions in relation to residential accommodation
Part 5 – Home information packs which are designed primarily to speed up the conveyancing process that currently costs both buyers and sellers around £350m per year.
Part 6 – Other provisions about housing
Part 7 – Supplementary and final provisions
The Housing Act 2004 also gives protection for those tenants who give a tenancy deposit to the landlord under s213 (requirements relating to tenancy deposits).
Landlords must be able to provide proof that the tenancy deposit has been protected in one of the three government-approved deposit protection schemes (2 insurance-based and 1 custodial-based which can be found here.