This Code is intended to promote best practice in the letting and management of private rented sector housing in England. The aim of the Code is to ensure:
• Good-quality homes for rent.
• Consistent and high standards of management.
• Choice for the consumer.
The Code is intended for use by landlords and lettings and management agents in the private rented sector (PRS).
Whether you are a landlord or an agent, if you are responsible for the letting and management of homes you have a minimum duty to achieve basic compliance required by law. However, landlords and agents should aspire to a standard above minimum legal requirements and in line with industry best practice as set out in this Code. If you are unsure of what you should do or what is required of you, seek professional advice.
Ignorance or inexperience is not an acceptable defence for poor practice.
A useful checklist has been provided for inexperienced landlords at the back of this Code of Practice – see Appendix B.
This section makes it clear that the code is aimed at the private sector only. This means that it is not intended to be directly relevant to social housing, for example housing associations and local authorities. And also the various charitable organisations, co-operatives and the like who fall within this class.
We are also reminded that ignorance is no defence and that if you don’t understand anything you should seek legal advice.