Preparing your property to let – the legal essentials
Our experienced lettings team will provide the latest information and guidance to ensure you meet all your legal obligations as a landlord
Energy Performance Certificate:
Unless Grade listed all properties for rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before any marketing or viewings can take place. An EPC rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and is valid for 10 years for rental properties. A copy of the EPC must be made available to the tenants before entering into a tenancy agreement. If you do not have an EPC for your property, Williams Estates can arrange for one to be carried out, the current cost of which is £60 including VAT.
Under the Gas Safety (installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords have a legal obligation to make sure all gas pipework, appliances, fittings and flues are safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. Every gas appliance and flue must be tested for gas safety every 12 months. A gas safety record must be provided to existing tenants within 28 days of the annual safety check, or to new tenants before they move in, and you must keep copies yourself for two years. All installation, maintenance and safety checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. We can arrange this for you at very competitive rates.
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2010:
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, headboards, sofabeds, pillows, cushions, seat pads and any garden furniture that maybe used indoors. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. All noncompliant items must be removed before a tenant moves in. Bedding, carpets, curtains and any furniture made before 1950 are exempt.
Landlords are required to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition. Although not a legal requirement, it’s strongly recommended that you have the property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every five years and arrange Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) once a year to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
It is now a requirement to install smoke alarms on every floor of the rental property and have them tested at the start of every tenancy. In addition, carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
If you own a property and rent it out, your local council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection. Inspections look at 29 health and safety areas.
Consent to Let:
If your property is mortgaged, you must obtain written consent to let from your mortgage lender. If is leasehold, your lease may require written consent from your landlord before you can sub-let.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
If your property is let to at least three tenants who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities but are not from one household of family – sometimes called a ‘house share’ – it is a House in Multiple Occupation (HNO). Depending on the size of the property, the number of tenants and the area, you are likely to need an HNO licence from your local council plus an HHSRS inspection. We can advise you on this.
Landlords are required by law to take out buildings insurance for rental properties. We advise our clients to also consider contents insurance and policies to cover rent guarantee and legal expenses.
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