Information for Landlords
As a Landlord, you are obliged to make sure your property is safe for any prospective tenant before their occupation. The regulations below outline your responsibilities as a Landlord and must be complied with.
If you need further advice, please contact our lettings department on 0207 435 7775.
The Gas Safety (Installation and use) Regulations 1998:
Any person letting a property must ensure that all gas appliances and installation pipe work in the property are maintained to a safe standard to prevent risk of injury. All such appliances and pipe work must be checked annually by an approved gas SAFE registered contractor and a gas safety certificate must be obtained. The tenant must be given a copy of the certificate within 28 days of the inspection being carried out. The gas safety certificate must be kept for at least 2 years.
If the Landlord fails to provide a tenant with the current gas safety certificate, the agent has the responsibility to arrange a gas safety check before the start of the tenancy and every year thereafter.
If found guilty of non-compliance the Landlord will have a criminal record and will face a fine, imprisonment or both.
It is important that you check your records when receiving a gas safety certificate from a certified gas SAFE engineer to ensure that all gas appliances are listed on the record and that they have been passed as safe.
FURNITURE AND FURNISHING (FIRE) (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1988 AS AMENDED IN 1993:
This covers soft furnishings such as mattresses, padded headboards, bed bases, armchairs, sofas, chairs, cushions etc.
All furniture and furnishings must have a permanent label attached, except mattresses and bed bases.
Filling materials and upholstery composites must meet specified ignition requirements and must be cigarette resistance.
Covers must be match resistant.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015:
A relevant landlord in respect of a specified tenancy must ensure that—
- during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015 when the premises are occupied under the tenancy
- a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation;
- a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance; and
- checks are made by or on behalf of the landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.
Electrical equipment (safety) Regulations 1994:
Any person supplying electrical equipment must ensure that it is safe, will not cause danger and satisfies the requirements of the current NICEIC regulations. This requires electrical equipment to be safe and constructed with good engineering practice. All electrics (wiring, plugs and sockets etc) appliances should be checked before the start of the tenancy and regularly thereafter.
If the property to be let is owned as a leasehold property, it is a Landlord’s responsibility to ensure:-
- any proposed letting is allowed under the terms of the lease
- the proposed letting is for a period finishing before the expiry of your lease
- the written permission of your superior Landlord is obtained where required and a licence to sublet is granted
If the property is subject to a mortgage or loan, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that written permission is obtained from the Mortgage Company and/or lender. Please be aware that if you apply for permission after a tenant has been found it could prejudice the tenancy. Some corporate companies renting for their employees may request a copy of written confirmation that permission to let has been granted.
Change of the address:
The tenant is legally entitled to know the Landlord’s address, wherever it is in the world and an address in England and Wales where the Landlord maybe contacted. Failure to provide such information is an offence and may allow the tenant to withhold rent. The agent must be provided with your address details and any change of address, within 14 days of such a change.
The property (building) and its contents should be comprehensively insured to include third party and occupier’s liability risks. Failure to inform the insurer that the property is let could render the policy void. The Landlord should get detailed advice from the insurer as to the nature and extend of insurance cover required.
All Landlords whether in the UK or Overseas Residents have a legal obligation to:
- Declare their residential rental income arising in the UK
- Notify the Inland Revenue at the commencement of every tenancy
- Notify the Inland Revenue of any changes in their personal circumstances
If your home is outside the UK, we are legally responsible for the payment of any tax liability arising on rental income throughout the term of the tenancy. Landlords can apply to Inland Revenue to obtain approval to be assessed directly and to receive gross rents with no tax deduction. This form can be obtained directly from the Inland Revenue or from your accountant.
If the Inland Revenue has not given us an approval number and you live outside the UK, for more than six months we will be obliged to deduct tax from your rental income, at the basic rate and account to the inspector of taxes on a quarterly basis.
If the property is jointly owned then the relevant tax declaration forms will need to be completed by each owner.
Landlords can offset various costs and expenses against tax. We advise you to obtain the latest and most up to date information regarding your accounts and taxation by appointing a qualified Accountant.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme came into force on the 6th April 2007. As your appointed letting agent, we will insure that the tenant’s deposit is registered with the deposit protection service DPS to abide with the current legislation.
WHY PROTECT THE DEPOSITS?
- Tenants get all or part of their deposit back, when they are entitled to it.
- Any disputes between tenants and Landlords or agents will be easier to resolve.
- Tenants are encouraged to look after the property they are renting.
Within 14 days of taking a deposit from tenants, we will provide your tenants with details of how their deposit is being protected including:
- The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme
- The contact details of the Landlord
- How to apply for the release of their deposit at the end of their tenancy
- Information explaining the purpose of the deposit
- What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit
Under the tenancy agreement, tenants have a responsibility to return the property in the same condition they took it on. In order to enforce this tenants’ obligation, it is customary practice for the Inventory and Schedule and Condition to be prepared by an independent inventory firm and we will arrange for this unless specifically instructed to the contrary. We will not however accept any responsibility or liability in respect of this service.
In the event of a dispute with regards to the refund of the tenants’ deposit, the deposit protection service DPS has clear guidelines about dispute resolution. Further information can be found on www.depositprotection.com.