A guide for landlords to lettings rules and regulations

A guide for landlords to lettings rules and regulations

One thing that you will quickly realise when you first become a landlord is that there are a number of rules and regulations that you need to keep in mind. They are important and not only ensure that you are protected, but also that your tenants are too.

However, much like many rules and regulations, things can be a little confusing. With this in mind, and to help ensure that you understand everything that you need to know as a landlord, we have put together a quick guide to lettings rules and regulations.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

When a tenant moves into your property they will pay a deposit. This deposit must be placed in a government backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days. Not doing this is a criminal offence and a landlord can be fined in court as much as 3 times the initial sum of the deposit. Not only this, but failure to look after a deposit could also effect your reputation as a landlord for any future properties too.

Poor housing conditions

If your property has excessive mould, no running water, faulty electrics or anything else that could be considered to be poor housing conditions, then you could be reported. It is the legal duty of the landlord, as per the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 that the landlord of a property has to ensure that the property is kept in good working order, unless of course the damage has been caused by the tenant. Any work needs to be carried out within a reasonable time frame from it being reported, else the tenant could withhold rent until the work is completed.

Tax- registering for it and declaring it

If you earn money from a rental property, then you must treat this as a business and it must be declared as part of a tax return. You must also register yourself with the HMRC in order for them to know that you are now a landlord. If you are found to be evading your tax obligations then you will find  yourself facing a fine from HM Revenue and Customs, and these fines can be quite large.

Installing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

As of October 2015 any property that is privately rented out must adhere to The Deregulation Act of 2015. Part of this act is that working smoke alarms are to be fitted within the property. Not only this but any areas within the property that could be deemed as high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, should also have a detected installed too.

As you can see, there is plenty to get to grips with when you are a landlord. Why not take the time to read through these pointers and make sure that you are not only a good landlord, but that you are one that is fully compliant with all the related rules and regulations too?

Gas & Electrical safety

All gas apparatus needs an annual certificate, all electrical items and wiring needs to be checked that they are all safe.

Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Efficiency for UK Let Property.  It is a legal requirement that any property marketed either for sale or to rent has an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate and that this is made available to any prospective tenant. Energy Efficiency takes into account factors such as insulation, heating and hot water systems, ventilation and fuels used. All new lets have to be now at least an E with an EPC of less than 10 years old.

How to improve your property energy rating

Just some of the things you could do to improve the EPC rating above E could be:

Make sure any cavity walls are filled with insulation materials, such as foam or beads.

Replace an old boiler for a newer, more efficient model.

Ensure the loft insulation is at least 270mm deep to keep heat inside the property.

What will happen if the energy rating is below E?

Your local authority will be responsible for ensuring that your property has a minimum energy rating of E. If they discover that your property performs below this standard, they may issue a fine up to £5,000 and stop you from renting the property.

It's also important to note that from April 2020, landlords will not be allowed to rent their property at all if the energy rating is F or G, even if there are tenants inside the property and in their contract.

Furniture & Regulations

The Fire and Safety Regulations (soft furnishings) states that all furnishings (beds, sofas, chairs and the like) comply with the latest fire regulations. Ensure that you do not have any non-compliant furnishings in a rental property.

They are a multitude of hoops to jump through to protect you and your tenant, Cooper Adams letting team will help with any concerns you have.

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