Code of Practice

  1. The MKPLA Code of Practice (CoP) is designed to raise and maintain standards in the private-rented sector. It sets out the standards of good practice that member landlords are expected to observe in connection with the letting of their residential properties, and it seeks to promote good relations between landlord and tenant by ensuring a good standard of service to tenants.
  2. Members of the MKPLA, whether they manage their lettings themselves or do so through an agent or any third party, are expected to observe the CoP.
  3. Amendments to the CoP will be made as necessary by the Committee of the MKPLA and notified to members. Should there be any inconsistency between legislation and the CoP, legislation will take precedence.
  4. Business Conduct
    1. Dishonesty deception or misrepresentation or intimidation shall not be used
    2. Good principles and the law relevant to residential landlords shall be observed at all times.
    3. Members will not discriminate on grounds of sex, race, age, religion, marital status or disability.
  5. Creating a Tenancy
    1. The landlord should provide tenants with a written statement of the terms of their occupancy, stating the:
      • Address of the property being let, and what it is. 2.1.2 Start and end dates of the tenancy period.
      • Rent terms (frequency and method of payment).
      • Deposit amounts (and how the deposit will be protected).
      • Landlord's contact address in the UK for the service of notices.
    2. The landlord will make every effort to assist the tenant with the understanding of their tenancy agreement, referring them if necessary to an independent body for further advice.
    3. The landlord will inform the tenant in writing of any additional charges, utility bills, ground rent or maintenance charges that the tenant will be required to pay during the tenancy, stating where possible the amounts for each and the frequency and method of payment.
    4. The landlord will provide the tenant, at the beginning of the tenancy, with a telephone number or other means of contacting the landlord or their agent in an emergency; in particular when the landlord is absent.
    5. The landlord will give such reasonable assistance as is required by a local authority to enable a tenant to claim housing benefit.
    6. If a tenancy is managed by an agent or other third-party there should be communication between the landlord and the agent regarding the MKPLA code of practice and its recommendations.
  6. Maintaining a Tenancy
    1. MKPLA members are expected to abide by relevant landlord/tenant law, including racial equality and disability legislation, in the management of their lettings businesses. Where not covered specifically by the CoP, landlord/tenant law will, by implication and by default, be considered part of the CoP.
    2. In particular:
      • Tenants will be treated with appropriate courtesy and respect and will not be deliberately misled.
      • The landlord will act in a fair, honest and reasonable way in all their dealings with the tenant and will not, as far as is reasonable, disclose personal tenant information to other parties without their consent.
      • The landlord will acknowledge promptly (usually within two working days of receipt) all communications received from the tenant.
      • The landlord will inform the tenant of any change of manager or landlord contact details.
      • The landlord will abide by the rules of any tenancy deposit scheme of which s/he is a member and accepts that any breach of relevant scheme rules may result in a review of MKPLA membership
      • All disrepair in the property for which the landlord is responsible will be attended to promptly, with minimum disturbance to the tenant. Wherever possible urgent repairs will be dealt with within 3 working days and less urgent repairs as soon as practicable.
      • The landlord will respect the tenant's rights to peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the property and will, emergencies excepted, ensure the tenant is given reasonable notice of at least 24 hours when access to the property is required by the landlord or agent.
      • The landlord will provide the tenant with accommodation that complies with legal requirements relating to the fitness of accommodation (including, but not limited to, the provision of furniture, gas and electrical supply and appliances and their service/maintenance and repair, provision of rent book for weekly tenancies as appropriate, and local authority occupancy standards).
      • The landlord will, when requested, provide the tenant with a written statement of their tenancy account within five working days.
      • Before proceedings are commenced, the tenant will be notified of any breach of the tenancy agreement that is to be used as a basis for legal proceedings against the tenant.
  7. Determination of a Tenancy
    1. Members taking and holding a tenancy deposit, or on whose behalf a letting agent takes and holds a tenancy deposit, will do so in accordance with any legal requirements for the protection of deposits which may be in force at the time. At the end of the tenancy the landlord will return any deposit paid by the tenant promptly in accordance with tenancy deposit protection legislation in effect at the time.
    2. The landlord will not refuse a tenant a reference for the purposes of securing a new tenancy, without good cause.
  8. Complaints
    1. The MKPLA will require a complaint against a member to be made in writing, with the name, contact details and, where appropriate, the position of the complainant, included. E-mail is acceptable. Under arrangements made by the Committee of the MKPLA, the complaint will be investigated with a view to ensuring it is relevant, appropriate and presents a possible breach of the CoP. This will include checking that the landlord's membership of the MKPLA was valid at the time of the alleged breach of the CoP. If the complaint is considered inappropriate the MKPLA will inform the complainant in writing of the reason for rejection.
    2. If a complaint is considered valid, the MKPLA will acknowledge receipt of the complaint and advise the complainant that it will be investigated.
    3. The procedure will be as follows:
      1. A director or senior member of staff will be appointed to investigate the complaint. This person will first attempt to resolve the issue by mediation.
      2. If mediation fails, a report with a recommendation will be submitted to the Committee of the MKPLA, which will consider it at the earliest reasonable opportunity.
      3. If the Committee of the MKPLA accepts a recommendation that the member concerned is in breach of the CoP, the Secretary will write to the member concerned informing them of the Committee's conclusion.
      4. If the Committee accepts a recommendation that the member concerned is not in breach of the CoP, Secretary will write to the member accordingly and informing them that no further action will be taken.
      5. If the Committee accepts a recommendation that a member is in breach of the CoP and decides that the breach is of sufficient gravity to warrant exclusion of that member from membership of the MKPLA, Chairman will write to the member concerned advising them that the Committee is 'minded to' exclude them from membership.
      6. In this situation the following procedure will apply:
        1. The member will be offered the opportunity to make written representations to the Committee/Fellows within one month as to why the Committee's decision should not be confirmed. Oral representations will not be accepted.
        2. Taking into account any written representations, the Committee will reaffirm its decision or change it.
        3. Chairman will write to the member informing them of the Committee's decision.