Legal musts for Landlords & Agents
Where there are any gas appliances in the property provided by the landlord, the landlord must ensure that annual gas safety checks are carried out. These checks must be carried out by a gas fitter/engineer who is registered on the Gas Safety Register (which has replaced Corgi). A copy must be given to the tenant before the tenant moves in and the check must have been carried out within the 12 months before the new tenant takes up occupation. Checks must be done annually at no more than 12 month intervals and copies of all certificates for checks must be handed over to the tenant. If landlords fail to do this they may lose their Section 21 rights in England.
Carbon Monoxide and Alarms in non-HMOs
Landlords in England are required to provide smoke alarms on every floor of their property and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a solid fuel source.
An Electrical Safety Certificate (EICR) is a document issued by an electrician after conducting a safety inspection and test on your property’s electrics. This important now become mandatory.
Landlords must obtain Electrical – EICR Certificates at least every five years. As of 1 April 2021, however, this law has changed to require all private landlords to have a certificate on file at all times.
These checks should be conducted by a certified electrician, or engineer, to guarantee the electrical systems in a home are up-to-date and working correctly. They can identify any issues with the system and offer advice on how best to resolve them.
They will issue an EICR (Electrical Installation Certificate Report), indicating whether the inspection was ‘satisfactory’ or ‘unsatisfactory. If it is determined that any faulty circuits must be repaired and retested within 28 days.
Where a property is provided with electrical appliances it is the landlords responsibility to make sure that they are safe at the outset of letting.
Fire Safety Order
Where a landlord controls flats, bedsits or hostels there must be a risk assessment in place to comply with the Fire Safety Order. It should be in writing. A statutory risk assessment is not required for shared houses or single dwelling lets.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Before a tenant moves in there must be an energy performance certificate in place for most types of property. A copy of the certificate must be given to any tenant who moves in to the property. If not you cannot serve a Section 21 notice for a new tenancy in England after 1st October 2015. An EPC must be available when marketing a property.
If you take a deposit from a tenant under an assured shorthold tenant, the deposit must be protected under one of the three tenancy deposit schemes and the prescribed information regarding the deposit must be given to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
Non-resident landlord Tax
Right To Rent Check
From the 1 February 2016, all lettings agents and landlords must perform document checks to establish that a tenant can legally rent a residential property in the UK inline with the Immigration Act 2014.
Confirming the immigration status of prospective tenants and their right to reside in the UK must be completed within 28 days before the start of a new tenancy.
- Obtain a prospective tenant’s original acceptable document that allows them to live in the UK
- Check the document and its validity with the tenant present
- Maintain an audit trail, making a copy of the document and record the date of the check
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