Due to the ever changing legislation whilst letting a property, a landlord must always be aware of their legal obligations. Please see our summary below of the key legal responsibilities you should strongly consider.
Landlords must comply with the gas safety (installation and use) regulations 1998 and carry out all necessary maintenance to gas appliances and gas pipe work in their property through a gas safety registered engineer. Landlords are legally responsible to arrange an annual gas safety check every 12 months and hold records for a minimum of 2 years.
Visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk for more information.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
All rented properties must be fitted with a working smoke alarm on each storey that has living accommodation. A working carbon monoxide alarm must be placed in any room used which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. The landlord (or representative) must ensure that the alarms are in proper working order on the day the tenancy starts. New homes built since June 1992 are required to have mains operated and interlinked smoke alarms fitted on every floor.
Furniture and furnishings
It is an offence to let a property with any furniture or furnishings that do not comply with safety regulations set out in the furniture and furnishings (fire) (safety) regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) - visit www.firesafe.org.uk for more information.
Landlords need to ensure that all electrical installations and equipment's are safe and will not cause harm (electrical equipment safety regulations 1994) -visit www.niceic.org.uk for more information.
Revised Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) and guidance on the control of legionella bacteria has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive which apply to residential property. Under the ACOP and guidelines, the Landlord must ensure risk from exposure to legionella at the Property is properly controlled.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
All rental properties are required to have an EPC which rates the energy efficiency and environmental impact of your property on a scale from A to G. If you do not have an EPC or it has expired, we would be more than happy to arrange for one to be carried out on your behalf.
The requirement to protect a tenancy deposit taken for an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales was introduced on 6 April 2007, following its inclusion in the Housing Act 2004. This must be done within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
All income generated from letting property in the UK is liable to UK tax, whether the landlord lives in the UK or not. Non-resident landlords will need to apply to HMRC to pay tax on their rental income through Self-Assessment in order to receive UK rental income without deduction of tax. You must pay tax on the profit you make from renting out the property, after deductions for 'allowable expenses'. The tax liabilities associated with letting a property will vary from person to person, we therefore recommend you seek the advice of a property tax specialist in order to minimise your liabilities.
Mortgage and Leasehold
If you have a mortgage you must obtain consent from your mortgage lender to rent your property. If your interest in the property is leasehold your lease may require you to obtain consent from your freeholder prior to subletting.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
Under the Housing Act 2004, certain types of property may require a licence before they can be let. These properties are primarily Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO's) occupied by three or more people who are not related but, in certain areas, licences can be required for non-HMO property. It is your responsibility to determine whether you need a property licence and to obtain that licence.