The other day, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced a couple of new measures which will put:

… power in the hands of people to get the deal they [deserve], without punishing the vast majority of good landlords while still encouraging more investment in the sector.

The first measure is a model assured shorthold tenancy agreement which can be freely downloaded by landlords. Quite how such an agreement has the “benefit of avoiding the need for landlords to leave properties empty …” is a little unclear! We are currently writing about the agreement. There are a number of clauses we would have preferred to see but equally all the fundamental clauses appear to be present.

There is no requirement whatsoever that a landlord must use the agreement. It is simply a means of any landlord being able to download a free tenancy agreement.

The second measure is a code of practice which –

… makes clear the legal requirements of landlords and letting agents alike, leaving both in no doubt about their responsibilities to their tenants.

Although voluntary, in reality it’s mandatory because all it really does is act as a reminder for current landlord obligations under the various rules and regulations. For example, under the code it’s a requirement to have an annual gas safety record and to protect deposits but this is required by law anyway.

These measures don’t introduce anything new nor add any new obligations onto landlords.

The Housing Minster, Brandon Lewis said:

… this will not strangle the industry in red tape and regulation, which would destroy investment in new housing, push up prices, and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent.

Instead, today’s measures will both provide the help tenants need, without jeopardising the millions of pounds in investment already lined up to build new homes specifically for private rent.

We will be reporting in more detail about the model agreement and code in due course.