With over 150 pieces of lettings legislation to be aware of, protecting your property and your own interests can be a minefield, below are just some of the acts and legalities you need to have covered and at what point. Of course, Cameron King will be able assist all management clients before, during and after each tenancy.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the EPC is available to prospective tenants (unless the property is exempt). An EPC is valid for ten years from date of issue.
Private landlords will be required to ensure that the Electrical Safety Standards are met during any period that the residential property is occupied under a specified tenancy. A report will be produced following the electrical inspection and test carried out by a ‘qualified person’ before the grant of the tenancy.
Inspections need to be carried out prior to the commence of the tenancy and the completed certificate provided to the agent. Any remedial works recommended need to be completed within 28 days.
Your attention is drawn to these Regulations which impose obligations on any person who owns a gas appliance, pipework or installation in a property let by them
The tenancy cannot be permitted to commence without the appropriate Gas Safety Record.
The landlord must provide the tenant with a valid certificate annually (within 28 days of having this done) and keep a record of this. The landlord must also ensure annual servicing is carried out, in addition to the annual Gas Safety Record. These regulations carry a criminal sanction for non-compliance.
It is the responsibility of the landlord to find out if it is necessary to obtain any licences before the start of the tenancy. Slough County Council operate selective licensing and these need to be acquired prior to the start of the tenancy. For more information on these please got to their website (link http://www.slough.gov.uk/business/licences-and-permits/property-licensing.aspx)
It Is a legal requirement under the above regulations for all rented properties to have smoke alarms installed on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in every room where there is a solid fuel based appliance. Battery operated alarms are acceptable. The landlord must ensure that the alarms are in working order on day one of the Tenancy and make a record of this.
Whilst marketing the property, Cameron King is legally obliged to ensure that all information is accurate, not misleading and does not omit material information. Actions: Landlords need to make their agent aware of any matter which may be material to a tenant, which we will have a duty to pass on.
The above Regulations impose a statutory obligation on the landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances in the property are safe, which includes that they should carry a CE marking and have written instructions for operation.
We strongly recommend an annual portable appliance test is carried out prior to the start date of a tenancy and on every renewal.
From 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for all rented properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). From 1st April 2016 the Regulations state that a tenant will have the right to ask for energy efficiency improvements in privately rented properties, which cannot be unreasonably refused by the landlord. This is subject to any amendments that may be made before the Regulations are enforced.
Under this Act an obligation is placed on the landlord to provide the tenant’s contact details to the relevant water company at the end of the tenancy or they will become jointly and severally liable for any unpaid water charges during the tenancy.
These Regulations apply to all rented property. It is a criminal offence to supply upholstered furniture containing foams that cannot be proven to comply with the above Regulations. The Regulations require that specified items must be match resistant, cigarette resistant and carry a permanent label. New furniture manufactured since 1 March 1989 and sold by a retailer after 1 March 1990 are required to comply and carry labels to this effect.
Where there are no labels, the landlord will need to contact the manufacturer or retailer for confirmation. If there is any doubt the items should be replaced. Furniture purchased outside of the UK will not comply.
A property that is let to at least three unrelated sharers who share a kitchen or a bathroom is an HMO. If there are less than five sharers, the property is not subject to mandatory licensing, but the landlord must check with the relevant Local Authority as they may require the property to be licensed. Failure to obtain a licence from the relevant Local Authority will attract a fine of up to £20,000. A tenancy cannot be allowed to commence until a licence has been obtained. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 must be adhered too for all HMOs. This includes having mains operated inter-linked smoke detectors in common parts and fire blankets and fire extinguishers in the kitchen.
It is a legal requirement under the above Act for landlords to meet and check necessary documents for all adult occupants residing at the property to ensure they have the Right to Rent in the United Kingdom. The landlord must meet each person with their original documents and keep a record of this. Follow up checks may also be required if the person has a time-limited right to stay in the UK.
Section 11 of the landlord and Tenant Act 1985 as amended by Section 116 of the Housing Act 1988 places an obligation on landlords to keep in repair and proper working order the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences and the installations of space heating and heating of water.
In order to comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s Code of Practice, landlords are strongly advised to carry out a risk assessment at their premises prior to letting, especially if there are open water tanks, cooling systems or a swimming pool.
Cameron King is obliged to comply with all legislation in relation to money laundering. We have controls in place which require us to verify the identity and address of all clients before accepting their instructions.
Under the Deregulation Act 2015, measures were bought in to stop landlords evicting tenants who reported issues with the property, rather than fixing them. Under an AST, if poor state of repair is reported to a landlord and a reasonable outcome isn’t established within 14 days, the tenant may inform the council who could then stop the landlord serving a Section 21 notice (to end the tenancy) for six months, as well as issuing an improvement notice.
It is a legal requirement that all blinds and curtains which include a cord or chain must comply with current safety standards. Legally all new blinds and curtains must have built in safety systems. Blinds and curtains that are already fitted to a property must be made safe or replaced. Further information can be found at www.bbsa.org.uk
In accordance with the Finance Act 1995, the Inland Revenue introduced a system of self-assessment and all overseas landlords may apply to HMRC for a Certificate of Self-Assessment in order for rents to be paid over gross. We would strongly recommend that all overseas landlords apply for self- assessment. For those who have not, we are required by law to deduct the tax for all overseas landlords at the basic rate from the net rental income and pay this on a quarterly basis to HMRC and charge a fee. As we are not qualified tax accountants, we would therefore recommend that you take professional advice regarding these Regulations.
This list is not exhaustive, please contact the office if you have any questions with regards to any of the legislation above on 01628 667442.