There have been a raft of new regulations hitting Landlords and Letting Agents in the past few years, and it can be difficult to keep up to scratch with all the changes.
As a Landlord you are responsible for ensuring that your properties meet the current standards as defined in The Housing Act. If you engage the services of a Letting Agent to manage your property, you need to be sure that they know what they are doing, that they are keeping abreast of any new regulations, and are ensuring that you are fully aware of any upgrades that might be needed. (100)
You might be shocked by the number of agents that are either ignorant of, or choose to ignore, even the most basic of measures that are required to keep your tenants safe in their homes. (35)
So, let's start with some basics, some of the things you will (hopefully!) already know about:
1) You are legally bound to have an annual gas safety check done by a Gas Safe engineer who will issue a Gas Safety Certificate. Items that will be checked include any gas boiler or water heater, gas cookers/hobs, and gas fires. A copy of the certificate should be given to the tenant prior to them moving in.
2) You must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for each property that you let. These are valid for 10 years. From 1st April 2018 all rental properties must have a minimum performance rating of 'E'. A copy of the EPC must be supplied to a prospective tenant free of charge.
3) If you take a deposit from a tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy, the deposit must be protected under one of the three tenancy deposit schemes and the prescribed information regarding the deposit must be given to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
4) Landlords in England are required to provide smoke alarms on every floor of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a solid fuel source. (200)
5) As from the 1st October 2015 landlords are required to provide tenants with the most up to date copy of How to rent: the checklist for renting in England If they haven't they will not be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice in England.
More on compliance and regulations in the next blog post.
Malcolm Loveday / Freedays Property 14.06.2016