As a landlord it is vital that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations. The law protects the landlords but only if you comply with your legal obligations.
It is important that landlords fully understand their obligations. The Disability Discrimination Act, Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act also apply to anyone letting, selling or managing premises. If you are in doubt about anything seek legal advice.
What is the Landlord Responsible For?
- Repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations.
- The safety of gas and electrical appliances.
- The fire safety of furniture and furnishings provided under the tenancy.
- Ensuring that the property is fit for habitation.
- Repairing and keeping in working order the room and water heating equipment.
- The common areas in multi-occupancy dwellings.
- Providing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to new tenants.
As a landlord it is vital that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations.
The law protects the landlords but only if you comply with your legal obligations. It is important that landlords fully understand their obligations. The Disability Discrimination Act, Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act also apply to anyone letting, selling or managing premises. If you are in doubt about anything seek legal advice.
Energy Performance Certificates
As part of the ‘Green Movement’ the government is attempting to raise awareness on your carbon foot print by making EPC’s mandatory for all property, bought, sold or rented. This means landlords must have a valid energy performance certificate. EPC’s give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Download Energy Performance Help Guide
Gas Saftey Regulation
Every year about 14 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues which have not been properly installed or maintained. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 specifically deal with the installation, maintenance and use of gas appliances, fittings and flues in domestic and certain commercial premises. It is required that the landlord have their property checked for gas safety on an annual basis (within every 12 months) carried out a by registered “GAS SAFE” engineer. Without a valid gas safety certificate Concept Spaces cannot allow for the tenancy to commence. For more information please download Download Gas Safe Help Guide .
Electrical Safety & Fire Saftey
Over 30 deaths and nearly 4000 injuries from electrical accidents and the 8000 fires occur in the home each year. Most of the accidents in the home involve faults in, or misuse of, domestic appliances, flexes, plugs or connectors. You must comply with the requirements of the Housing Act 2004, including identifying areas where work is required and carrying out any related remedial actions/work, before the local authority carries out an inspection.
Should a health and safety problem be identified, the inspecting officer can take enforcement action against you. If a landlord provides any electrical appliances as part of a tenancy, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations require him or her to ensure that the appliances are safe when first supplied. Although there is no specific requirement for portable appliance testing to be carried out in rented accommodation, the landlord is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that appliances such as electric kettles, fridges and washing machines provided as part of the tenancy agreement are safe.
To reduce the risk of fire causing harm or even death to your tenant(s) you will need to ensure that there is a fire alarm system and emergency lighting system (where required) installed and that they are the correct type for the property. You will also need to ensure they are regularly tested and maintained. For more information Download Electrical Saftey Help Guide
Non UK Resident Landlord
It is a basic requirement that all landlords not living in the UK and renting out property in the UK register with HMRC. The Non-resident Landlords Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of non-resident landlords.
The scheme requires UK letting agents or tenants to deduct 20% Basic Rate tax from any rent they collect for non-resident landlords. If non-resident landlords don't have UK letting agents acting for them, and the rent is more than £100 a week, their tenants must deduct the tax. When working out the amount to tax the letting agent/tenant can take off deductible expenses.
Letting agents and/or tenants don't have to deduct tax if HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tells them not to HMRC will tell an agent/tenant not to deduct tax if non-resident landlords have successfully applied for approval to receive rents with no tax deducted. But even though the rent may be paid with no tax deducted, it remains liable to UK tax. So non-resident landlords must include it in any tax return HMRC sends them.
For more information please visit HMRC Landlords Section
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme brought about by the 2004 Housing Act introduced from the 6th April 2007 a mandatory system for all assured shorthold tenancy deposits.
Currently, all deposits under the assured shorthold tenancy rules if the annual rent they charge is under £100k have to be registered with one of three schemes; Custodial scheme or Insurance scheme (there are two)
The Dispute Service
The Deposit Protection Service
All deposits at concept spaces are registered with the deposit protection service (DPS).
Failure to register a tenant's deposit with a scheme can mean a landlord is unable to recover possession of the let property, and may have to pay a fine of up to three times the deposit. The new rules are supposed to apply retrospectively, so existing tenancies are subject to them, as well as new tenancies entered into after 1 October 2010. However, it is unclear how this will be achieved as, currently, the deadline for registering with a scheme is 14 days from receipt of the deposit.
Inventories & Meter Reads
Time and again we find that landlords try save money and do not get inventories done. And time and again we find that not getting an inventory done ends up costing substantially more than the landlord bargained for. A “GOOD COMPREHENSIVE THIRD PARTY” inventory outlines what’s in the property and what condition it’s in.
All inventories should be prepared by an inventory clerk. Inventory clerks are the independent persons who will go through your property with a fine tooth comb and note everything. Even for a 1 bed flat, the inventory can still run into many pages. If you prepare an inventory yourself and the tenant disagrees with the inventory he /she may refuse to sign it. You need a signature on the inventory to prove that it is valid. A tenant is unlikely to disagree with an inventory clerk though, because they are dealing with a professional person who is qualified in that particular field.
Inventories for unfurnished properties are as important as furnished, because the inventory will also point out the condition of the walls, curtains, carpets, bathroom, kitchen appliances, garden and the property as it stands.
All deposit where rental income is below £100K per year have to be registered with a deposit protection scheme within 14 days. All deposit schemes favour tenants and not the landlords. It is the landlord's obligation to provide proof of any damage to their property. Therefore, if you do not have an inventory made by an independent clerk the tenants could destroy your property without you being able to make a claim against them.
What if my property is unfurnished?
Many landlords believe that if their property is unfurnished, then they need not worry about an inventory. After all what can the tenants steal or destroy when the property is unfurnished? What about the walls, doors, floors, and curtains? The tenants move out and you discover they have painted one of the bedrooms pink and another purple. You have nothing against the colors but realize it’s not everyone's cup of tea, and you want the property put back to its original state with neutral colors. More commonly we find that the tenants have put in half a dozen hooks in the wall for pictures etc. Remove the hooks and you are left with a wall looking worse than the craters in the moon.
You deduct monies from the tenants' deposit and the tenant sues you for the money. Now you tried to prove to a judge that you had an inventory prepared by an independent third party and that the state of the property had been noted prior to the tenant inhabiting the property. You can't, the judge sides with the tenant and you not only have to give the money back, but also have to pay legal costs as well. And you still have to pay for the redecoration of the property!
Always have an inventory made and checked by an inventory clerk. If you cannot get one yourself, we can help give you details of a good inventory company that you can use. Although another expense, it could actually save you money in the long run.
Housing and Disrepair Guideline
The Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (now Communities and Local Government) commissioned a review of the current legal environment and current local authority practice on housing disrepair, with the aim of preparing good practice guidance. This summary report sets out the key points of the guidance. Download Housing and Disrepair Help Guideline