As a landlord it is important that you meet your legal obligations. From having consent from your mortgage company to changing your building insurance and having gas safety certificates and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Here is a brief guide on the regulations and what you should do:
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
You must have an EPC before marketing or any viewings can take place and to rent your property. We can organise this for you, if you don’t have one.
An EPC rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and is valid for 10 years on rental properties. It must be available for tenants to view and generally we will put it on the property portals with your photographs.
Gas Safety Inspections and Certificates
Landlords have a legal obligation under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) regulations 1998 to have pipe work, appliances and fittings and flues checked and approved in a safe condition. Every gas appliance and flue must be tested for gas safety every 12 months. These documents must be made available to tenants and you need to keep the records (or we do if you are under a managed service). We can arrange for Gas Safe registered engineers to do this for you.
You have to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and in a safe condition. Although it is not a legal requirement, it is strongly recommended that you have the property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every five years and arrange a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) once per year to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.
Furniture and Furnishings
Upholstered furniture and soft furnishings supplied in a rented property must comply with current regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, bed frames, mattresses, pillows, cushions, sofas, seat pads and any garden furniture which is used in the house. Items that comply have a permanent label attached. All non-compliant items must be removed before a tenant moves in.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
New regulations introduced in October 2015 require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their rental property and test them at the start of tenancy, and to install carbon monoxide alarms in high-risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.
Mortgage Consent to Let
If your property is mortgaged (not buy-to-let schemes) you must obtain written consent from your mortgage lender. If it is leasehold you may require written consent from your landlord before you can sub-let.
Landlords are required by law to take out buildings insurance for rental properties. There are specific policies for rented properties and you can consider adding contents cover as well.