Compliance can feel like a bit of a minefield, even for the most experienced Landlords. Figures published in 2017 state that there are over two million landlords in the UK – with over 5 million properties.
With so many people renting in the UK, Tenant wellbeing is at the forefront of many policy changes – which can often be result in fairly dramatic changes and can be difficult to keep up with. As a result, one of the main concerns of many Landlords’ is “How can I rent out my property and keep up to date with the change laws?”
In this article, we’re taking a look at some of the main responsibilities that a Landlord’s required to comply with by law. If you’re thinking about letting your first property and it all feels a bit overwhelming, don’t worry – our experienced Lettings team understand the intricacies of Lettings Compliance and are on hand to offer their assistance and manage the process for you.
A compulsory test proving that gas appliances and supply points in the property are safe. Gas Safety Certificates must be renewed every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer who will check the flue and appliance.
Gas and Electric
The Electrical Installation Condition report (EICR) assesses the internal electrics in your property. This must be completed every five years and ensures that all fixed electrical equipment is in safe working order. All appliances and equipment provided should comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994.
A smoke alarm is a legal requirement and should be fitted on every floor where there is a room used wholey or partly as living accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm where solid fuel is burnt e.g. wood, coal or biomass.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms
Checks must be made by the Landlord or Letting agent to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the first day of the tenancy.
Legionnaires is a form of pneumonia that is caused by the inhalation of droplets of water containing the legionella bacteria.
Landlords are responsible for flushing out the water system before letting their property. Ensure cold water tanks have a tight lid to stop debris getting into the system and set control parameters to ensure water is stored at the correct temperature. Also remove any unused pipework.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)An EPC is a compulsory review of how energy efficient a property is.
The EPC lasts for 10 years, but new legislation states that properties can now only be let on a new term or renew on a fixed term if the property's EPC rating is E or better. From April 2020, landlords will not be allowed properties rated at F or G. Listed buildings are exempt.
Anti-Money Laundering (AML)Standard checks are performed to confirm the identity and authenticity of any funds involved in a transaction.
AML is a legal requirement for all estate agents, with HMRC targeting any criminal activity in the property sector. Every time you market a property with an estate agent you’ll need to provide a valid photo ID and a recent utility bill.
FurnitureAll Furniture and furnishings supplied by the Landlord must comply with fire safety requirements. This applies to both new and second hand furniture. The Safety Regulations Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 states that upholstered seating (including chairs, settees, sofa beds and head boards), children’s furniture, mattresses and padded bed bases, scatter cushions and pillows all must be labelled.
From 1st April 2019, all letting agents must be a member of a government-approved client money protection scheme. Failure to do so can incur penalties of up to £30,000.
New Rules on Client Money Protection
Imminent Ban on all Tenant FeesPerhaps the most controversial piece of legislation in recent years will be the tenant fee ban from the 1st June. Application fees have ensured that every tenant has been referenced prior to the start of their tenancy. We are committed to continuing with this to try and place only the best tenants in your property.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018As of 20th March, 2019 tenants will be able to prosecute landlords for breach of contract if they fail to maintain rental homes to a good standard. This will initially apply to all new tenancies, tenancy renewals and fixed term tenancies which become periodic from this date. Current periodic tenancies will fall into the legislation as from 20th March, 2020.
Changes to Section 21 Notices (Deregulation Act 2015 – October 2018) – notice to Tenant to vacate your propertyIn October 2018 the government amended the guidelines on how a Section 21 notice must be served for it to be valid. Strict guidelines must be adhered to, to seek possession of your property.
Right to RentThe Landlord is legally responsible for ensuring that all adult occupants of the property have valid leave to remain in the UK.