8th March 2024

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Your Guide to UK Property Compliance in 2024

UK property compliance rules cover everything from residential to commercial property, new-builds to refurbished and extended properties, and include owner-occupied and landlord-tenant residences.

In this Property Management and Compliance Guide, we’ll take a look at some of the key issues affecting UK property compliance in 2024, so that you can avoid incurring penalties when buying, selling, renting or renovating UK property.

Black Brick’s property services can help you to understand your obligations – our experts are here to help you stay on the right side of UK property compliance.

Property Compliance in 2024

Keeping up with UK property compliance is an important and ongoing task. Secondary legislation published under the Building Safety Act 2022 came into effect on October 1st 2023, putting in place a new building control regime that will apply throughout 2024 and beyond.


What is property compliance?

Property compliance means understanding – and complying with – the rules and regulations that apply to your property. These can include landlord obligations, fire and gas safety rules, planning permission for new-builds and extensions, and other areas.


Landlord Guidelines

Landlord compliance is a broad field in its own right, encompassing a long list of building characteristics that aim to protect occupying tenants:

  • Carbon monoxide alarms
  • Electrical safety
  • Energy performance
  • Fire safety
  • Smoke alarms
  • Water hygiene

A good property management company can help landlords to assess their properties before listing them for rental, allowing any issues to be tackled and ensuring that the property is fit for occupation.


Building Regulations

Building regulations govern the way properties, their fixtures and fittings are constructed, in order to make sure everything is up to a minimum acceptable standard.

In many aspects of a building, be it residential or commercial, building regulations are what keep the property itself in good condition, while also protecting the occupants.

The scope of building regulations is far beyond this guide, but learning the basics about building regulations compliance can arm you with some great questions to ask estate agents when buying a property.


Planning Permission

Planning permission is an eternal problem area when attempting to build, extend or substantially refurbish property in the UK.

Waiting for planning approval and making any requested changes can add to legal costs and architects’ fees, with knock-on effects for the profitability and affordability of projects. But failure to comply can have serious consequences, including the demolition of property constructed without permission.


Fire, Health & Safety

The new rules introduced under the Building Safety Act 2022 have particular relevance for fire and safety risks in high-rise residential buildings. By April 6th 2024, businesses involved in building control work must register as Registered Building Control Approvers (RBCA) in order to continue.

Any work in progress by unregistered businesses must be completed by October 1st 2024, with high-risk projects completed by April 6th 2024.


Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is another good area to examine when buying a property in 2024. Many UK properties – especially period properties – are poorly insulated and may have old, outdated electrical supplies.

It’s worth noting that compliance with the Future Homes Standard is due to become mandatory in 2025, with significant impact on energy efficiency.

New homes built after 2025 should be up to 80% less carbon producing, using technologies like heat pumps, triple glazing and highly effective insulation. Heating and powering buildings accounts for 30% of the UK’s total energy usage, so our homes will play a vital role in the UK’s efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions.


Documentation Requirements

Under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, buying agents like Black Brick must carry out due diligence on clients and buyers alike. This is so your agent knows who you are and helps them combat money laundering to keep everyone’s money safe.

This includes documentation such as photo ID (driving licence, current passport, national ID card etc) and a recent utility bill, bank statement, mortgage account statement or council tax bill. This cannot include bills or statements over three months old or printed from the internet. Black Brick uses ultra-secure electronic verification which lets you electronically verify your identity safely and securely via a specialized app. This provides a much safer way for you to share your information with Black Brick and removes the inconvenience of sending your documents or attending their office.

Buyers (or their solicitors) must also provide reasonable information about the source of their funds and wealth e.g. proof of inheritance or regular income.

Again, this is a wider issue than we can cover here, but it highlights the importance of using a trustworthy, reputable buying agent like Black Brick to ensure that this very important due diligence is completed in full.


Penalties when Non-compliant

There are consequences for building, renovating, selling or renting a property without properly complying with the relevant building regulations, landlord obligations and other rules.

Failure to comply with UK property legislation can result in a variety of penalties, including:

  • Monetary fines (ranging from quite small to very large in extreme cases)
  • Prison sentences (especially for severe landlord breaches)
  • Demolition of property (when constructed without planning permission)

Any of these is an unwelcome outcome, but in the most extreme circumstances, non-compliance risks losing the property, any money spent on it and incurring a jail sentence.

To discuss any of the issues raised in this Property Management and Compliance Guide, or to talk to our buying agents about any other aspect of your property, contact Black Brick today.

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We’re ready when you are

We would be delighted to hear from you to discuss your own property requirements. For a non-obligatory consultation, please contact us.

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