Guide for Landlords
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly and that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Preparing the Property
We have found that a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers, this relationship is our job. It is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their home and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.
Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the Landlord’s expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part- furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what standard.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish-free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants’ responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing, we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
Other Considerations Consent to Let
If your property is mortgaged or if you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms and obtain written consent to let.
Should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies.
When resident in the UK, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to inform Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. Where we are managing the property we will provide advice and assistance on applying for such exemption. Health and Safety, and other Legal Requirements
The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility, therefore, we will ensure compliance.
Any costs of which will be the responsibility of the Landlord.
Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a Gas Safe registered gas installer). A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new Tenant before their tenancy commences.
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect Landlords and their Agents in that they are ‘supplying in the course of business’. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – ‘Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMO’s), it is highly recommended.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed covers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
Smoke Alarms/ C02 Alarms
By law from 1 October 2015 landlords are required to ensure alarms are installed in their properties, The regulations stipulate that smoke alarms are to be installed on every level of the property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.
Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
Your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more Tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family), it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more Tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules apply. Learn more here: https://www.gov.uk/house-in-multiple-occupation-licence
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme
From the 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by Landlords and Letting Agents under Assured Short-hold Tenancies (AST’s) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and Letting Agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme will be supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). All of our deposits are protected with the Deposit Protection Service. Learn more here: http://www.depositprotection.com/ We hope that you will find the above information useful. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the Letting and Management of your property.