Buy to let landlords are choking on red tape as new research reveals they must comply with around 100 laws detailing more than 350 ways they must run their letting properties and deal with tenants.
The landlord law research was commissioned by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) as part of an investigation in to how the cost of regulation pushed up the price of rents for tenants.
The research uncovered some little known Acts of Parliament dating back to the 1700s that modern day landlords and tenants should observe.
For instance, the Landlord & Tenant Act 1730 states anyone staying on after the end of a fixed term lease can be required to pay double the annual value of the lease.
The Distress for Rent Act 1737 also lets a landlord charge double rent to tenants remaining in a property after they give notice to quit.
The Sexual Offences Act 1956 bans a landlord letting property as a brothel, while the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has provisions for punishing property owners for allowing other people to smoke cannabis on the premises.
Most of the more modern legislation deals with health and safety, rights for tenants, licensing houses in multiple occupation and planning issues.
“This list is to give landlords a general indication of the kind of responsibilities they are taking on when they own and rent out properties in the private rented sector,” said the RLA.
“This is what they need to know about. All types of private residential let are included. It is important to stress however that whether or not a particular requirement will apply very much depends on the individual circumstances. Many will not be encountered in practice.
“The next stage of the project will be to identify those requirements which place heavier burdens on landlords, taking into account those which are most commonly found to be relevant. We will then be looking to cost out their impact.”