Keeping Up with Landlord Regulations

keeping-up-with-landlord-regulations
Added on November 5th 2018

If you’re a landlord then it’s vital that you stay abreast of current legal requirements so that you’re renting out your property legally. A failure to adhere to regulations can lead to big fines, so here are the main current requirements for you.

Your Energy Performance Certificate

It’s been a legal requirement since 2007 for all properties to have an EPC so they can enter the rental market. Your EPC is valid for 10 years and you can get or renew it through your letting agent (for a small fee). This certificate shows how energy-efficient your property is, from A (the highest) to G (the lowest).

Older or period properties have a lower rating because they tend to have open fireplaces, single-glazed windows and uninsulated lofts. You can raise your EPC if you need to, and this could be vital as all rental properties now have to be rated E or higher.

Your Portable Appliance Testing

This isn’t a legal requirement, but as a landlord you’re legally responsible for making sure that all the electrical appliances you supply in your tenancy are well-maintained and safe. These appliances may include toasters, kettles, microwaves, portable heaters and so on. Your letting agent can arrange your PAT, which must be done before each tenancy starts.

Your Gas Safety Certificate

If there’s a gas supply to your property you must provide an annual Gas Safety Certificate. This certificate must be in-date and valid at the start of a tenancy and you must also have your flues and gas appliances checked each year by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. This check can be done alongside your Gas Safety Certificate.

Your alarms

All rental properties must have functioning smoke alarms, as well as carbon monoxide (CO) alarms if there’s any gas appliances. Each floor needs a smoke alarm and any room featuring a fuel-burning appliance needs a CO alarm.

Your Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

All deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) since 2007 have to be registered with a Tenancy Deposit Protection TDP). Landlords can no longer hold deposits; if you’re renting through an agent, then the agent will usually place the deposit in a TDP for you.

Houses of Multiple Occupancy

There are changes to the definition of a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) this year. From now on an HMO is any property that’s occupied by five or more people which forms two or more separate households. If your rental property fits this definition then you need to apply to your local council for a licence to rent.

Your tax

You need to declare income you receive from your property to HMRC and pay any income tax due on all of it.

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