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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.
The Regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 and apply in England to all new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. Landlords should be aware that this means that tenancies signed on or after 1 June 2020, which start on or after 1 July 2020 should have an EICR. Landlords must ensure:
• Electrical safety standards are met when the property is occupied during a tenancy.
• Every fixed electrical installation at the property is inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified person.
Where electrical appliances are left in the property, it is a legal requirement that you ensure these items are fit and safe to use and arrange a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) once per year to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.
Legionnaires’ is a pneumonia-like disease commonly caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water.
Landlords must assess and control the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, and can arrange for a competent person to carry out the assessment if they wish.
Records of any assessments should be kept and follow up checks need to be carried out periodically, such as when undertaking the annual gas safety check or routine maintenance visits.
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.