responsibilities of a landlord
Being a landlord comes with responsibility but please do not be concerned about any of the below, it is a lot of information to take in and some may not be relevant to your personal circumstance. As your agent, if any of it is relevant, we can organise it all on your behalf.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs)
An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. Any property let, must meet a minimum standard of ‘E’ unless you are in the exempt category i.e. listed or protected and the improvements would unacceptably alter it. If you do record an ‘E’ you maybe entitled to file for an exemption. All landlords are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it. It is also a requirement that letting agents display the EPC when marketing the property. If a property does not have an EPC when marketed, the landlord and the agent risk a fine.
To see if you have an EPC check: https://www.epcregister.com/
A Gas Safety certificate is required to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. It must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer, and checked every 12 months.
A copy of this must be provided to the tenant on the day of the tenancy start date or before.
You are required to ensure the electrical system is safe (for example, sockets and light fittings) and any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) so you can be sure they are safe and legal.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms (England only)
Regulation has been introduced which requires all landlords with properties in England to have at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their property. If any room contains a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a wood burning stove, a coal fire, an open fire place or where biomass is used as fuel, a carbon monoxide alarm also has to be present.
The alarms must be correctly checked on the first day of any new tenancy, thereafter it is the responsibility of the tenant to regularly check the alarms are in working order. The Department for Community and Local Government recommend once a month and, if they are not working, to report it as a maintenance issue.
Furniture and furnishing regulations
If you are renting your property furnished, you must ensure that all furniture complies with relevant regulations. We can give advice on which items need to be compliant, and all compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position.
Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
Landlords and letting agents are required to register a tenant’s deposit with an approved tenancy deposit scheme. A deposit scheme protects the tenant’s money and can help to resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy.
Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
Introduced as part of the Housing Act 2004, the HHSRS allows local authorities to assess the condition of the property and any potential hazards. The aim is to maintain good standards in the private rented sector.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
When you let to sharing occupants, who are not a family group you will need to comply with rules around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). You may require a selective, discretionary or mandatory licence.
All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website: www.hmrc.gov.uk There are different tax rules for overseas landlords.
The How to Rent Guide – the checklist for renting in England (England only)
A new tenant should always receive a Department of Local Government and Communities How to Rent Guide at the start of their tenancy from their lettings agent which gives practical advice about what to do before and during a let. The tenant must confirm they have seen this guide at the start of a new tenancy. Download the guide at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent
Right to Rent checks
The Right to Rent scheme, which helps to make sure that people renting property in the UK have a legal right to be here, was rolled out across England in February 2016. Find out more https://www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents