There is an increasing amount of consumer-related law which is relevant to landlords, some (but not all of which) is in the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
In this quick guide, we list the various types of law that which we cover in Landlord Law and which we have classed as ‘consumer’, and give a bit of information about them.
Note that although the deposit protection legislation could be classed as ‘consumer law’, because of its importance for landlords it has its own section.
There are a number of principles which now apply to landlords which come under the general description of 'consumer law' which include
For more information:
There has been legislation on unfair terms since regulations were first introduced in 1994. The rules are now contained in Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
This basically provides that if a clause would put a consumer in a worse position than they would be under the general law, the clause will not be enforceable unless it has been specially negotiated with the consumer (and the business is able to prove this).
For example, prohibition clauses (unless they are prohibiting something which is against the law anyway) MUST contain the right for the consumer (ie tenant) to request permission to do the prohibited thing, which permission should not be unreasonably refused. Landlords often invalidate pet prohibition clauses by removing this wording.
There are two types of discrimination that landlords need to worry about:
Landlords have special duties towards tenants who are disabled, in addition to the general duty not to discriminate (as disability is a protected characteristic). These are:
See some FAQ below:
Data protection is all about protecting people's data so that those who hold it (known as Data Controllers) are obliged to look after it properly. This includes landlords who should register with the Information Commissioners Office and make sure that they comply with the rules.
The Data Protection Rules, as well as being about being careful with people's data (so they are not used by criminals for identity theft for example) is also all about transparency. So you need to be very upfront with the people whose data you hold about what you do with it and where it is held.
Since new regulations came into force in May 2018 there has been a lot more focus on data protection rights and there are swinging fines for those who recklessly put other people's data at risk. So landlords need to know the rules and how to comply with them.