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Trading Standards news
On this page the primary aim is to update and make aware both businesses and consumers of new developments that impact on both these groups.
1. Offensive Weapons Act 2019. This Act received royal assent on the 16 May 2019. There are new criminal offences for selling corrosive substances to those under 18, possessing a corrosive substance in a public place and in relation to bladed articles.
2. Tenant Fees Act 2019. This Act came into force on the 1 June 2019.
The only payments that landlords can charge in connection with a tenancy are:
- the rent
- a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five week's rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
- a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week's rent
- payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
- A default payment for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement.
All other fees are now prohibited payments and are not legal. Go to Guidance for the private rented sector
Regulation of Property Agents Working Group - Final Report
On the 18 July 2019 the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group, Chaired by Lord Best released its final report. The working group was tasked with advising the Government on the way forward on a new approach to the regulation of property agents. The approach that has been recommended, includes proposals for:
- the scope of a new system of regulation,
- a new licensing regime,
- a framework for codes of practice,
- mandatory qualifications,
- transparency an use of leasehold and freehold charges,
- the set-up, functions and relationships of a new regulator; and,
- assurance and enforcement under the new system.
To see a copy of the full report go to Gov.uk
Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
On the 18 July 2019, the BEIS Minister Kelly Tolhurst published its response to its consultation on upgrading the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. The proposal is that it will focus outcomes and be underpinned by a set of essential safety requirements which all upholstered furniture must meet. In the meantime the existing Regulations will continue to apply.
To see the announcement from BEIS go to Gov.uk
The Trading Standards service continues to engage with national campaigns to alert consumers of the dangers of scams. This year's campaign took place over two weeks, from the 10 to the 23 June 2019. The first week looked at the group who have been identified as having the highest detriment from scams (Older people), whilst the second week looked at those who are now targeted by scams in volume (Life established).
To see a photograph of the event held in Newcastle on the 11 June 2019 with Councillor Nick Kemp, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change, together with Nicola Diston and Neil Duffy from Newcastle CAB go to photo (pdf 301 kb). More information on the national campaign go to Scams
The service aims to publish a newsletter on a bi-annual basis. To see the latest edition go to newsletter (pdf 1.9 mb)
Trading Standards service, Directorate of Operations and Regulatory Services, Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8QH. Email: email@example.com