In taking the decision to become a landlord, you in turn will have to take on certain legal responsibilities. If you are considering letting a property, you will need to ensure that you and your property comply with the following -
If you own a leasehold property you must check the lease to ensure you are allowed to sub-let your property and obtain the necessary consents, if required. If you own a freehold property, there should be no consents required.
If you have a mortgage you must obtain permission from your mortgage lender to rent out the property.
As a landlord it is essential that you take out Landlord's insurance. You must also ensure your household insurance policy does not include any restrictions to letting the property out.
In accordance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, Landlords must make sure all electrical appliances are safe for use. It is recommended that electrics have been checked by a qualified and registered electrician.
In accordance with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and amendments, it's the Landlord's responsibility to have any gas appliances, including heating and hot water, checked and in good order. You will need to have a Landlord's gas safety inspection undertaken every 12 months by a CORGI registered plumber. Landlords are obliged to give tenants a copy of this certificate within 28 days of it being carried out.
Energy Performance Certificate
From 1 October 2008, EPCs will be required for all new tenants of rental property and also for the non-marketed sales of homes. How do I get an Energy Performance Certificate?
EPCs can only be produced by an accredited energy assessor. They may be employed (for example by an estate agent, an energy company or a HIP provider), or be independent traders. You should always confirm that your assessor belongs to an accreditation scheme, as this ensures your energy assessor is operating to professional standards and that your certificate meets legal requirements. Each EPC has a unique number and will be entered onto a national register by the energy assessor.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) requires any soft furnishings within the property are compliant with the current fire safety regulations - a quick inspection will reveal a swing tag.
With everything else that needs to be carefully considered when letting your property, it can be the little things which are all too easy to overlook -
You should have at least one set of keys cut per tenant, and if you are having the property managed you will need to provide Jago Jones with a set.
Make sure you have settled all household bills, and informed the council and the relevant utility companies of the date of the new tenants arriving, and if possible the names.
Leave instructions and manuals where possible.
Redirect any post you may have had coming to the address. Leave the property clean and tidy and it will more likely be left that way when the tenants leave.
The RICS useful guide to Letting A Property is available here.
For further advice or market appraisals contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 649 728.