As a landlord, it is important to stay informed about changes in legislation and ensure you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. Non-compliance can lead to legal consequences, fines, and potential difficulties in evicting tenants, so it is vital that you’re up to speed with landlord compliance in your area.
Unsure what your compliance duties are as a landlord? Fear not – Centrick has you covered with our handy list of things to check before you let out a property. We’ve even featured a downloadable checklist at the end of the blog to make landlord compliance as simple as possible!
It is vital that you present an in-date EICR to your letting agent – or directly to your tenant if letting without an agent – to display that all of your electrical appliances have been deemed safe for use. The same goes for gas appliances, which will require a separate Gas Safety Certificate that states they have been checked by a professional. Whereas EICR’s must be completed every five years, Gas Safety Certificates must be obtained on an annual basis from a gas engineer. If you are listing your property with an agent, they should be able to recommend reputable local tradespeople to complete these safety checks.
Fire safety checks will ensure that your property has all of the appropriate fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and that they all function optimally. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed in any room where a fuel-burning appliance is present, and a smoke alarm must be fitted on every floor of the property. This differs slightly for HMO’s, which require fire doors and escape routes, as well as visible signage signalling to tenants how to evacuate the premises in the event of a fire. HMO landlords must also ensure that all kitchens have a fire blanket, and that all furnishings adhere to fire resistance regulations.
Energy Performance Certificates must be renewed every ten years, and you must demonstrate that your property has a minimum EPC rating of E to rent it out. Any property that has been rented out since 2008 has required a valid EPC – if a landlord fails to comply with this requirement, local authorities are able to step in. Your local authority will charge you a fixed penalty of 12.5% of the unit’s rateable value if you fail to comply.
It is also important to note that changes to minimum EPC standards are due to come in by 2025, meaning that new tenancies will need to have a minimum rating of C rather than E. This forms part of the government’s move towards Net Carbon Zero by demanding that landlords take energy efficiency seriously.
There are a number of government approved schemes designed to keep your tenant’s deposit safe until it is due to be returned to them. The three approved schemes are:
Landlords or letting agents must transfer the deposit funds into one of the above schemes within 30 days. Failure to utilise one of these schemes gives your tenants the right to appeal to the county court at any point during their tenancy, citing improper use of their funds. This could result in a court judgement stating that your tenants do not have to vacate the property when their tenancy ends.
Estate agencies should carry out CDD checks – otherwise known as Customer Due Diligence Checks – to rule out money laundering practices. These checks will be carried out against both tenants and landlords, as per government guidance.
Selective licensing schemes are becoming commonplace across the country, and failure to obtain a license when you need one can have dire consequences. You could be issued with a £30,000 fine, a rent repayment order, or stopped from renting out properties. These licenses are important for keeping landlords in check, ensuring that they are providing tenants with appropriate and safe accommodation. You must check with your local authority whether you require a license and, if so, you will have to obtain a separate license for every property you own within that area.
For more information on selective licensing, be sure to check out our dedicated blog here.
All potential tenants must undergo Right To Rent checks to make sure they can legally rent your property. You must check whether your prospective tenants are British Citizens, or have leave to remain in the country under a settlement scheme, refugee status, or VISA. Any person who does not pass these checks is unable to legally rent your property, and both landlord and tenant will be breaching Section 33A of the 2014 Immigration Act if the tenancy goes ahead.
It is important to keep your tenants informed, and ensure that they are aware of their rights and responsibilities when renting a property from you. This is why it is vital that you or your letting agent provide a How To Rent Guide to your tenants at the beginning of their tenancy. Failure to provide this documentation will make it impossible for landlords to issue a Section 21 eviction notice, as tenants have not been provided with the relevant documentation that explains their rights and responsibilities when renting.
We’ve designed a handy checklist that outlines all of your landlord compliance responsibilities in one place. Simply enter your details to download the checklist below. You’ll never be caught out by compliance complications again!
Looking for more in-depth advice and guidance from the Centrick team? Visit our Landlord Resources hub for further information on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord.
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