The government recently outlined its plan for the run up to Brexit, where tens of thousands of EU directives enshrined in UK law will be re-introduced next month as a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ of domestic laws.
How this will be done has yet to be clarified, but our EU-influenced laws include a significant number directly related to the private rental market.
Will it change how people let or rent properties in the UK? Here we explore the key potential areas of law that could be changed in the coming months and years.
How green is my new home?
What might change: Energy Performance Certificates
The heaviest influence on UK property law from the EU has been the introduction of minimum environmental standards for rented property. It can therefore be argued that this is one of the areas of legislation that might be altered or repealed after Brexit.
Since its introduction in 2013 most rental properties advertised in the UK must include details of their EPC ratings. For two years, failure to do this had resulted in a fine of £200 for the landlord. It also makes evicting tenants much more difficult if an appropriate EPC has not been supplied when it was rented out.
Are property ads accurate?
What might change: Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
These regulations, which implement an EU directive, police a wide range of unfair practices, but for tenants it prevents properties being advertised inaccurately. These regulations recently replaced what used to be known as the Property Misdescriptions Act.
Will there be more properties to rent?
What might change: Right to Rent checks
After the UK leaves the EU it is likely that the number of EU or European Economic Area (EEA) citizens entering the UK will fall and, it has been suggested, that there may be more rental properties available long term as a result of this.
But this depends largely on how the current Right to Rent system – which requires landlords and agents to check that potential tenants have a right to reside in the UK – are modified after Brexit.
This is a difficult issue both for landlords and tenants. Those EEA citizens who already have a right to live and rent a property in the UK are likely to retain that right after the UK leaves the EU. But it is not clear what will happen to EEA citizens who enter the UK afterwards will be subject to Right to Rent checks.