To be a landlord, you need to understand tenant rights and your rights as a UK landlord. All staff at Simon Clarke have an extensive understanding on these laws and are up to date with any changes to landlord and tenant law via the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). There are many legal aspects of letting and property management but below we have highlighted the key points you must follow:
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) –
EPC’s are needed whenever a property is rented. As a landlord you must order an EPC for potential tenants before you market your property to rent.
An EPC contains:
• Information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs.
• Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.
• An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
You’ll need to find an accredited assessor if you’re renting out your home. They’ll assess your property and produce the certificate. You can be fined if you don’t get an EPC when you need one.
Protection of deposit –
You must put any deposit paid by the tenant in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme if you have an assured shorthold tenancy.
The schemes are
• Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured)
• Tenancy Deposit Scheme
You must put your deposit in any of the above schemes within 30 days of the deposit being paid.
Simon Clarke are members of the TDS and can offer deposit protection. Please talk to a member of staff for further information.
Gas Safety Regulations –
The law (Gas Safety (Installation and use) regulations 1998) states that a current gas safety record must be produced and given to a tenant before they move in.
The regulations state that the property owner, or person responsible for the property, must keep a record of;
• The property’s address
• The gas appliances in the property and where they are
• The date of inspection
• Any defects identified
• Any remedial action taken
• The contractor’s name and the Gas Safe register’s registration number
The following items must be safe
• Gas appliances
• Pipework leading to appliances
• Flues from the appliances
The following checks must also be done
• A mandatory yearly check to assess whether or not the system and appliances are safe and meet current standards
• A check on the meter to make sure there is no escape of gas
Furniture & furnishings fire safety Regulations –
The regulations state that the soft furnishings made or re-upholstered must meet safety standards and be labelled as such. The regulations cover the following items, if they contain upholstery (soft coverings)
• Beds, headboards, mattresses and bed-bases
• Sofa beds and futons
• Sofas, armchairs and footstools
• Garden furniture suitable for indoors
• Scatter cushions and seat pads
• Padded seats
• Loose and stretch furnishings
Under these regulations, any upholstered furniture must be properly labelled with set information and a fire safety warning.
Electrical Equipment and Safety Regulations -
The Electrical Equipment and Safety Regulations say you must ensure that the electrics are safe, with operating instructions and safety notices supplied before a letting commences. Get your electrics regularly checked by a qualified electrician.
• The electrical system is safe, eg sockets and light fittings
• All appliances they supply are safe, eg cookers and kettles
Portable appliance testing (PAT) –
Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. The law simply requires a landlord to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. In relation to portable electrical appliances, there is no legal obligation in the case of rented residential accommodation to carry out a portable appliance test. The Government have recently confirmed that this is the case. It is left to landlord's discretion. However, the Electrical Safety Council’s Guidance recommends portable appliance testing to satisfy the obligation to ensure that any portable electrical appliances which the landlord provides under the tenancy are safe at the point of letting, and at periodic intervals after that. The Guidance recommends that when providing portable appliances for tenants, the landlord should check that every appliance has a CE mark. It also recommends that you should only provide appliances with additional safety marks e.g. the British Standard Guidance mark or the BEAB approved mark.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (2015) –
From the 1 October 2015 landlords will have to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. Landlords will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG.
Landlords or agents will then have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy. For example by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds.
The Regulations effect England only and come into force on 1st October 2015.
The law will apply to landlords renting residential accommodation to one or more tenants occupying all or part the property as their only or main place to live. The law will not apply to social landlords.