LANDLORDS LEGAL OBLIGATIONS
Energy Performance Certificate
Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.
Gas Regs 1998
Landlords are required to have an annual gas safety check carried out on all appliances before a tenant moves in. Checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer and a copy of the certificate must be given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy (www.gassaferegister.co.uk)
The regulations came into force on 1 June 2020, they apply to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. The relevant date for determining when the new requirements apply is the date on which the tenancy is granted. A new tenancy is one that was granted on or after 1 June 2020.
Furnishing Regs 1988,1989, 1993
Landlords must ensure that all upholstery and furniture comply with regulations (www.firesafe.org.uk)
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Regs 2015
At least one smoke alarm should be installed on each floor of the property. A Carbon Monoxide alarm must be fitted in any room that contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. These must be working at the start of the tenancy.
Landlords are required to ensure risk of exposure to Legionella in water systems is controlled. Properties that have been empty for a while and those with open cold-water tanks/swimming pools/hot tubs are particularly at risk
Right to Rent 1st February 2016
Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their tenant and any permitted occupants living at the property have the right to remain in the UK prior to the tenancy commencing.
It is unlawful discrimination to restrict a tenancy length or refuse to grant a tenancy based on the Right to Rent checks, except where the tenants have failed the checks. (www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents)
When a tenant pays a deposit, it must be registered and protected within 30 days of receipt with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Standard homeowner insurance will be invalidated when you let the property. Landlords must obtain the correct insurance to cover a rent property.
Mortgage and Leasehold
Landlords must obtain permission from their mortgage company to let a property out. If the property is leasehold, they may also need permission form the freeholders.
Landlords are required to pay income tax on rental income and have a legal responsibility to notify HM Revenue. If a landlord lives outside of the UK for more than 6 months the agent is obliged to deduct basic rate tax on the net income and make quarterly payments to HM Revenue and Customs on the landlord’s behalf. (www.hmrc.gov.uk)