For Coronavirus information including the current restrictions, any disruptions to Council services, how to book a COVID-19 test and the support available for residents and businesses visit www.stockton.gov.uk/coronavirus
Landlords, make sure you don't get caught out by new legislation - be sure to read the latest news.
PLuSS (Private Landlords Supporting Stockton)
We work in partnership with private landlords (with a housing stock in the two Target Action areas), and have agreed a Membership Scheme (PLuSS) to raise and improve housing standards and management practices. PLuSS members will be required to adhere to a Code of Conduct. We would like to encourage private landlords outside of the two Target Action areas to consider becoming PLuSS members too.
For further information on PLuSS including how to become a member visit the PLuSS website.
The following documents will assist Private Landlords in preparing for PLuSS membership and meeting the scheme's Code of Conduct:
We have decided not to pursue a Selective Licensing scheme at this time. It is anticipated that the Membership scheme will provide a strong partnership approach to raising and improving housing standards and management practices without the need for more formal action. We will work cooperatively with PLuSS members, however, for non-members, especially those with properties in the PLuSS priority areas, their approach will be a more formal one with greatly increased inspection regime.
We will review and assess the effectiveness of the PLuSS scheme over the next twelve months reserving the right to introduce a Selective Licensing scheme in the future. Any new proposals about Selective Licensing will be subject to consultation with private landlords and approval from the Council.
Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 S.I. 2002/312 Made: 18 March 2020 – In force 1 June 2020
These regulations impose duties on private landlords of residential premises in England in respect of electrical safety standards. The landlord must ensure that prescribed electrical safety standards are met and that every fixed electrical installation is inspected and tested (by a qualified person) at least once every five years. Any necessary work identified by that report must be carried out within 28 days or such shorter period as the report may specify. On request, a copy of the report must be provided to the local authority and to any prospective tenant. Where there is already a tenant in occupation, it must be provided within 28 days of being produced without any request for it. Local authorities may enforce these provisions by use of a fixed penalty notice (for up to £30,000), with a right of appeal to the FTT (General Regulatory Chamber). The regulations come into force on 1 July 2020 (for tenancies granted on or after that date) and to all tenancies from 1 April 2021.
The government has published non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities, which can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Previous News for Landlords
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
Requires that any property let by a landlord (private or social) is fit for human habitation. More information can be found at Landlords' Guide.
Altered definition of an HMO under the Housing Act 2004 for licensing purposes
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that are occupied by five or more people forming more than one household will be required to have a licence, regardless of the number of storeys. In addition, as part of the new measures, the Government has introduced National Minimum Room sizes for those rooms used for sleeping.
Safety checks on private residential tower blocks
Immigration Act 2016 - Check your tenant's Right to Rent