With Coronavirus (COVID-19) now affecting many areas of our services to the residents and businesses of Amber Valley, we are keen to keep you right up-to-date with the changes we are being forced to make. Read more about your council services.
We provide information and advice to landlords on a variety of subjects, please use the following links to find out more.
An eviction moratorium was introduced on 27 March 2020 due to COVID-19 and is set to be lifted on 24 August 2020.
For those of you that served a 2 month section 21 notice before the 27 March 2020 we strongly advise that should you still wish to continue with possession proceedings that you make your application to the court before the notice becomes invalid as you may not be given an extension which may lead to a new notice being required and further delays experienced.
That new notice, under the new COVID-19 legislation, would require you to provide 3 month notice not the usual 2 months.
Please also be advised that before future possession orders are granted the court may require a pre-court protocol to evidence what steps you have taken to avoid eviction.
There are many alternatives available should you no longer wish to proceed to court or if your notice has expired, Call B4 You Serve is a free of charge service that is funded by your local authority to offer advice and support to all landlords and letting agents in the private sector.
If you would like to explore these alternatives to get your tenancy back on track and avoid the court process or if you need any general advice regarding the current situation, then please call either Helen or Sally at Call B4 You Serve on 01332 641408.
Calling all landlords - are you considering giving notice to your tenants?
If so, please contact call B4 you serve for help with:
A how to rent guide has been developed by the government. Remember that many landlords may not be familiar with the rules that they need to follow.
The private rented housing plan sets out the council's strategic approach to working with private landlords and ensuring good standards of accommodation.
The private rented sector provides a preferred housing option for many households. The wide choice of property types and their locations makes this sector desirable for many people. The council, through its housing team, is responsible for addressing housing conditions. We achieve this in the private rented sector by responding to service requests from both tenants and landlords. Our officers make judgements about house conditions based on the housing health and safety rating system and will make enforcement decisions based on the seriousness of the hazards identified.
We provide advice and support to property owners and agents that want to ensure that their properties meet minimum standards. We receive approximately 200 service requests per year and this ranges from basic advice to situations where tenants lives are being put at risk. Where possible we will seek to work with the owner to bring a property up to standard, but if an agent or landlord knowingly rent a property that puts the tenants at risk then we will serve appropriate enforcement notices. The council currently charges £320 for every enforcement notice served. We have an enforcement policy to which we work.
The council has decided to increase the options available to recover the costs associated with enforcement. It has approved a rent repayment orders and civil penalties policy under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. This policy sets out a framework for enforcement decisions and will be useful for tenants, landlords, agents and their advocates.
Supplementary to the council’s overarching enforcement policy the housing team have an enforcement policy that sets out the approach to enforcement of housing standards and a range of related functions. This document sets out the decision making processes made by the council’s officers and may be of use to landlords, agents, tenants and their advocates.
Amber Valley Borough Council invites landlords to join the DASH landlord accreditation scheme
The council has worked in partnership with DASH (decent and safe homes) Services since 2005 and the landlord accreditation (formally known as EMLAS) is a region-wide scheme that encourages and rewards good property standards and management practice in the private rented sector.
You can find out more by visiting www.dashservices.org.uk/accreditation
We are working hard to help landlords and tenants to access funding to make it easier to keep warm. At present we do not have any plans for another landlord forum, however if you would like to be kept informed about any upcoming events then please provide us with your details below.
On 1st February 2016, right to rent went live across England. This means all private landlords, including anyone subletting or taking in lodgers, need to carry out quick and simple checks on all new tenants to make sure they have the right to rent property in the country.
The roll out of right to rent has been informed by input from a panel of experts from trade bodies, local authorities, and housing charities and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and backed up by stakeholder events with landlords and agents.
Landlords need to check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. A wide range of documents can be used for the checks, and the government has worked closely with housing and homelessness charities to design a document list which can accommodate different individual circumstances. This includes where people do not have traditional identity documents such as a passport.
There are resources available to help landlords comply with the new rules, including an online checking aid which landlords can use to guide them through the process and to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office.
For more information about making the checks go to www.gov.uk/righttorentchecks
Private sector landlords will be required from 1 October 2015 to ensure that at least one smoke alarm is installed on every storey of their rented property and that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. They also require landlords to ensure that such alarms are in proper working order at the start of each new tenancy.
The requirement will be enforced by Amber Valley Borough Council. Interested parties wanting to know the detail should read The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 which can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2015/1693
Amber Valley Borough Council works closely with the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service www.derbys-fire.gov.uk on the identification of vulnerable people and offers home safety checks. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service may be able to provide free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors but this cannot be guaranteed.
Amber Valley Borough Council is required to issue a remedial notice where they have reasonable grounds to believe a landlord has not complied with one or more of the requirements. The landlord must comply with the notice within 28 days. If they do not, Amber Valley Borough Council must carry out the remedial action (where the occupier consents) to ensure the requirements in the regulations are met and can issue a civil penalty of up to £5,000.
Amber Valley Borough Council has consulted on the policy and it has been agreed that for a first offence the penalty will be £2500 and for second and subsequent offences the penalty shall be £5,000. To find out more, please read our draft statement of principles for determining financial penalties policy.
Separate general guidance for landlords on the requirement of the regulations is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords.
Landlords need to be aware that this legislation does not replace requirements under the Housing Act 2004 and battery operated smoke detection is only suitable as a temporary measure. Whilst fire and smoke detection are important ensuring a safe means of escape is also really important. It is also important that landlords risk assess their property and also take a view on the likelihood of the tenant interfering with the alarm.
To support the enforcement the government has provided the following booklet:
The Housing Act 2004 included new arrangements for the protection of all rent deposits paid to landlords at the start of the tenancy. This affected all new tenancies that began after 6th April 2007. There are three schemes that can be used:
The council has adopted a policy to enforce the parts of the Tenant Fees Act that is it has been given powers to do. This new legislation places specific restrictions on the charges that can be levied by both agents and landlords. Some parts are enforced by Derbyshire County Council Trading Standards and some elements by both organisations. The council is committed to working with the county council and sharing intelligence to stop unfair practices.
A policy has been approved by cabinet setting out the way that the legislation is applied. View the enforcement policy in relation to the Tenant Fees Act.
The council will be happy to answer any questions about uncertainties that landlords have or we would encourage landlords to secure advice from landlord membership organisations.
Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org