As a Landlord there are many legal requirements that you must meet before renting out your property. At CBC Lettings, we are always on hand to offer advice and assistance to ensure that you are meeting your legal responsibilities.
Gas Safety and Electrical Testing checks
You must provide a gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy if there is gas instillation at the property. You are also responsible for ensuring that annual gas safety check is carried out to the property.
An electrical check must be carried out every 5 years to ensure that all electrical installations and fixed appliances are safe.
It is recommended that a portable appliance testing (PAT) is carried out regularly on any electrical appliances that you provide and supply the tenant with a copy of the report or certificate.
You should ensure that all Gas and Electric checks are carried out by a qualified and reputable tradesman.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
A smoke alarm must be installed on every level of the property. Carbon monoxide alarms are only required in rooms containing a solid fuel burning appliance (ie rooms containing an open fire, log burning stove, etc.).
However, as gas appliances can emit carbon monoxide, we would expect and encourage reputable landlords to ensure that working carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with these.
Landlords or agents will need to ensure that the alarms are all in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
Energy Performance Certificate
At the start of a tenancy you must provide the tenant(s) with a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. From April 2018, private rented properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E for new lets and renewals of tenancies (by April 2020 for existing tenancies).
There are some properties that are exempt but these properties must be registered on the National PRS exemption register. Failure to do so could result in a £5,000 for breaches. Tenants can request to carry out work to improve the energy performance as you cannot unreasonably refuse consent.
If you are renting out your property fully or part furnished you must ensure that any furniture supplied has the required labels and fireproofing. All regulations and guidance is covered in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire safety) Regulations 1988/1989, 1993 and 2010.
Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. You must carry out a risk assessment to assess the risk from exposure to Legionella to ensure the safety of your tenants. Must landlords are able to assess the risks themselves and do not require to be professionally trained.
Right to Rent
The law introduced a requirement from 1 February 2016 for all landlords of private rental accommodation in England to carry out Right to Rent checks for new tenancy agreements to determine whether occupiers aged 18 and over have the right to live in the UK legally.
- Check which adults will use your property as their main home (your ‘tenants’).
- Ask them for original documents that prove they can live in the UK.
- Check their documents to see if they have the right to rent your property.
- Check that each tenant’s documents are genuine and belong to them, with the tenant present.
- Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.
If you are unsure if your tenant can legally rent in England you can check with the Home Office.
If you let your property on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6th April 2007, you must put the deposit into a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.
In England, deposits can be registered with these government-backed schemes:
- Deposit Protection Service (custodial and insured)
- My deposits (including deposits that were held by Capita)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
You must protect the deposit in one of the schemes within 30 calendars days from the day the deposit is received and you must provide your tenant with details of how their deposit has been protected within the same 30 day period.
Tenant Fees Act
From June 1, 2019, the only payments that landlords or letting agents can charge to tenants for new contracts are:
- a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 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 1 week’s rent
- 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
- a default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement
The government guidance on the Act for tenants, landlords and letting agents helps explain how this legislation affects them. You might also find the ‘How to Rent’ and ‘How to Let’ guides useful.
How to Rent Guide
You must provide your tenant with the latest version of the How to Rent Guide at the start of the tenancy, either as a hard copy or, if agreed with the tenant, via e-mail as a PDF attachment.
How to Let Guide
You may find The How to Let Guide useful as it provides information and a checklist to ensure that you understand what responsibilities you have as a Landlord.
Last updated: Tue 15th October, 2019 @ 12:50