At Coalters we do what we can to protect both our landlords and tenants. With this in mind we’ve put together a simple guide to help you understand the legislation and safety requirements that you really need to know before letting a property.
1). Electrical Regulations
It’s your responsibility to check that any electrical appliances within the property are safe and in good working condition. Although it’s not mandatory, the best way to ensure this is with a PAT test or EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report).
2). Gas Safety
It’s essential that a Gas Safety Record is in place. This must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Registered Engineer, who will check all gas appliances, pipes, and flues. If you’re on a managed service with Coalters we will keep tabs of when you are due for renewal and send reminders. Either way we are more than happy to arrange a Gas Safety Engineer to come out to your property and get the job done to give you some peace of mind.
3). Furniture and Furnishing Regulations
You may not wish to provide furniture or furnishings when letting your property, however, if you do, they must follow the Fire Safety Regulations Act, which includes carrying an appropriate Fire Safety label from the point of sale.
4). Tenancy Deposit Scheme
It’s a requirement that both landlords and letting agents must use an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme – at Coalters we use UK Tenant Data. This not only protects the tenants’ money, but also helps to resolve any issues that may occur regarding deposit disputes. Don’t worry, at Coalters we take care of all of this for you.
5). Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The EPC outlines how energy efficient a property is, ranging from A (great) to G (poor). There is a legal requirement for the Landlord to have the EPC before they let the property and also for the letting agents to ensure the EPC is visible when marketing a property. We offer a two-in-one visit: when our photographer Dave comes to do the marketing photography for your property, he’s also qualified to carry out the testing for an Energy Performance Certificate, if required.
6). Houses in Multiple Occupation
If the occupiers of your property are not just one family group, there are a few other rules that you will need to comply with. Check out our article on HMOs for further information.
7). HHSRS – Housing, Health and Safety Rating System
The local authorities have the right to enter and assess the condition of the property you are letting and also identify any possible hazards. The HHSRS is part of the Housing Act (2004) and is essentially in place to protect good standards of the private rented sector.
8). Income Tax
The Inland Revenue will be able to provide further information on whether you may be liable to pay tax on the income you receive from your rental property. Head to their website to find the most up to date information.
9). Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Currently only applicable in England, this regulation ensures that landlords provide at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their property. If the property is home to a wood burning stove or coal fire etc. it must have a Carbon Monoxide alarm in the same room.
At the start of the tenancy it’s essential that alarms are checked and are correctly working. The responsibility is then passed on to the tenant to check the working order of the alarms (we recommend once a month). If a tenant was to find that an alarm was not working, it must be reported as a maintenance issue to the letting agent or landlord.
10). Right to Rent Check
At Coalters we can take care of this. The scheme was established in England in February 2016 and is there purely to ensure that tenants can legally rent a property within the UK. This check must be carried out for all potential tenants, and it is against the law to only check those whom you suspect aren’t British Citizens.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to establish that the water supply is working correctly and protected from Legionella. For up to date information, use this link.
12). How to Rent Guide
The Department of Local Government and Communities ‘How to Rent’ Guide should be provided to all tenants by their letting agent and is also available here. This provides tenants with practical information surrounding what to do prior to letting and whilst the tenancy is in place. Tenants must confirm that they have seen this document.
If you need any advice on any of the topics mentioned or would like Coalters to take some of the stress off your hands, just give us a call on 01904 655222.