Today’s landlord not only has to keep track of all the changes to prevailing local and national legislation, which range from tenants’ rights to health and safety, but also demonstrate they fully comply them. Even for experienced landlords, it can be a tortuous process.
The laws governing rented properties are complex, involve numerous bodies and are continually changing, compliance inspection is a must.
Your obligations as a landlord
There are a lot of rules and regulations to sift through and not all apply to every rented property, but many do. As most of the legislation concerns the health and safety of your tenants, local authorities and courts can be unforgiving on those who fail to comply, imposing heavy fines and even imprisonment.
Often there is no grace period and ignorance is not permitted as a form of defence: if you rent out property, you must do your homework before you admit any tenants and ensure you fulfil all legal obligations expected of you as a landlord. These include:
- Gas Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Fire Safety
- Energy Performance
- Protecting Deposits
- Property Condition & Repairs
- Paperwork & Admin
- The ‘How to Rent’ Guide
We offer a wide range of support services to ensure landlords remain on top of all their legal obligations:
- Gas safety checks and certification for all gas-powered appliances, carried out by a gas fitter/engineer who is registered on the Gas Safety Register.
- A fire risk assessment and a Fire Safety Order – the latter is a statutory requirement where flats, hostels and bedsits are involved.
- Monthly smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tests, in line with 2015 Regulations and best practice.
- Electrical safety inspections and certification by a competent electrician, which also includes checking all electrical appliances provided to the tenant by the landlord.
- Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), which must be issued at the start of every new tenancy.
- Lodging deposits received from Assured Shorthold Tenants with an approved tenancy deposit scheme and sending them written confirmation within 30 days of receipt of their deposit.
- Issuing new tenants or those with a replacement tenancy agreement with a handbook: ‘How To Rent: A Checklist For Renting In England’. This requirement came in on 1st October 2015 for all landlords with properties in England, and it has already been updated.
- Legionella assessment as part of Health and Safety legislation. We carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria, which cause Legionnaires’ Disease, and where required introduce control measures to minimise risk.
- Any other inspections required in line with conditions set by your HMO license
- Building regulations inspections after works have been carried out. This advisory inspection will pick up any issues before a Local Council Building Regulations .Department inspector carries out an official on-site inspection.
- Liaising with the Local Authority following an inspections they conduct
- Assisting the tax man who may be investigating your finances as a landlord.
- Accompanying a representative of your insurance company to view your rented property in the event of a claim, to ensure full assessment of your loss.
See here for more about HMO management and landlord licensing.