Sales & Lettings in Dartford          01322 413 501

Landlord Responsibilities

Regulations seem to exist around every corner when you become a Landlord and it can be hard to stay in line. We have been helping landlords and tenants for many years, so feel free to ask us at any time if you need help.

As a landlord of residential property, you have a duty of care to your tenant and a legal obligation to comply with relevant Health and Safety legislation. Failure to meet these obligations may lead to criminal and civil proceedings.

You must be aware of the current safety regulations before you sign the Terms of Business thereby creating a contract with us. We require all properties to meet relevant legal safety standards before the tenant moves in, safeguarding you from any potential legal action. Please find below a simple check list of your legal responsibilities:

Right to Rent:

It is a legal requirement to thoroughly check a tenant's right to rent a property in the UK. All prospective tenants over 18 years of age must be legally checked.

We have technology that enables us to quickly check a tenant's eligibility but it is also important that either you or your agent meets the tenant in person.

Anti-Money Laundering:

Standard checks performed to confirm the identity and authenticity of any funds involved in a transaction.

AML is a legal requirement for all estate agents. With HMRC are targeting any criminal activity in the property sector. Every time you market a property with an estate agent you will need to provide a valid photo ID and a recent utility bill.

We will perform these same checks on your prospective tenants.

Structure of the property:

You must keep the exterior and structure of the property in good repair. This includes heating, drains, gutters, external pipes, and installations for gas, electricity, water and sanitation.

Gas Safety Certificates:

A compulsory test proving that gas appliances and supply points in the property are safe.

GSCs must be renewed every 12 months by a registered engineer who will check the flue and appliance. Even if we do not manage your rental portfolio, we can assist you with arranging these checks. Please ask us for further details.

Also, remember to give your tenants a copy of the new GSC within 28 days of the check.

EPC:

An EPC is a compulsory review of how energy efficient a property is.

The EPC lasts for 10 years, but new legislation states that properties can now only be let on a new term or renew on a fixed term if the property's EPC rating is E or better. From April 2020, landlords will not be allowed properties rated at F or G. Listed buildings are exempt.

Contact us for advice on renewing or improving your EPC rating.

The Portable Appliance Test (PAT):

All electrical appliances in your property are tested and approved as safe to use.The Electrical Installation Condition report (EICR) assesses the internal electrics in your property. This must be completed every five years and ensures that all fixed electrical equipment is in safe working order. This is currently mandatory for all HMOs and is soon to be made mandatory for all lettings.

To find a qualified electrician please contact Land Estates.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms:

All rental properties must have a smoke alarm fitted on each floor. We also advise fitting a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a boiler, even though this is not a legal requirement unless there is a solid fuel-burning appliance in the room.

When new tenants move into your property you should document that alarms have batteries fitted and are in good working order. Fire safety regulations are being tightened regularly as the government pushes for higher standards across the rental sector.

Legionnaires' Disease:

A form of pneumonia that is caused by inhalation of droplets of water containing the Legionella bacteria. While uncommon, it is the responsibility of all landlords to assess their properties for risk.

A very simple initial assessment will show if water systems in your properties are at risk. Most normal domestic systems are considered low-risk due to the regular usage and flow of water, limiting standing water.

Contact us for advice on minimising risks and how to arrange an assessment.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO):

The purpose of licensing, especially for HMOs, is to ensure that residential accommodation within the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is safe, well managed and of good quality with a particular focus on safety.

If the tenancy created results in the property becoming a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) as defined by the Housing Act 2004, (The Act) the Landlord warrants that:

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is any residential property occupied by three or more people sharing facilities like a bathroom and/or kitchen who form two or more 'households'.

A ‘household' is either a single person or members of the same family who live together. A family includes people who are:

  • Married couples or couples living together as married (including people in same-sex relationships)
  • Relatives or half-relatives e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, nieces, cousins
  • Step-parents and step-children and half-relatives
  • Foster parents and foster children

Some domestic staff would be included in the household if they are living in the house because of the terms of their contract e.g. an adult carer and up to three people receiving care are a single household.

There are three types of property licensing:

  • Mandatory licensing of large HMOs
  • Additional licensing
  • Selective licensing

Before granting a licence, the local authority must be satisfied that the owner and any managing agent of the property is fit and proper to hold a licence and that the property meets required physical standards.

If you are unsure whether your property requires a licence, please contact the local Borough Council directly to obtain clarification.

Clean and Check-in:

Rental properties must be clean when a tenant moves in, and a check-in records the state of the property at the time.

This makes both the move-in and move-out process run smoothly and minimises disagreements and delays when claiming for cleaning or damages at the end of a tenancy.

We advise a professional clean before the move-in date and an inventory at check-in to record the exact condition of all spaces inside and outside the property.

For any further queries, please contact Land Estates on 01322 413 501

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