The Gas Safety Regulations 1998
These regulations were introduced in 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition to avoid the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of Landlords to ensure that all gas appliances in the property (including any associated gas pipe work leading to the appliances and any flue leading from the appliance) are checked for safety at least once a year by a member of Gas Safe.
In addition accurate records of the safety inspections and any work carried out must be kept. The Regulations require that the current safety certificate must always be available for any tenant prior to them taking occupation of a property.
Faulty equipment can lead to death and a conviction of unlawful killing on a Landlord. Under the regulations any appliance that does not conform can be disconnected.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
With effect from 1st April 2021 it became mandatory for ALL tenancies to have satisfactory electrical safety certificates. New regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.
Landlords have a duty to insure the safety of their tenants and could be held liable for any injury or death to a tenant caused by an electrical defect.
Energy Performance Certificates
Legislation was introduced in October 2008 stating that when buildings are to be rented out, the landlord is responsible for ensuring a valid Energy Performance Certificate is made available to all prospective tenants.
From 1st April 2020 it was introduced that all private properties for rent are generally required to have a minimum of an E on the EPC rating scale and it will make breaches of this rule (renting properties with F or G ratings) unlawful.
The EPC and recommendation report must be made available free of charge by a Landlord to a prospective tenant at the earliest opportunity and no later than:
1. When any written information about the building is provided in response to a request for information received from the prospective tenant; or
2. When a viewing is conducted; or
3. If neither of those occur, before entering into a contract to sell or let
An Energy Performance Certificate is valid for a period of 10 years assuming no changes are made to the property which may affect the rating.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Alarms
New legislation came into force on the 1st October 2015 for Private Landlords in England regarding smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms.
Landlords must fit a smoke alarm on every storey.
Landlords must fit a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm in every room with a solid fuel burning appliance.
Alarms must be tested and working on the start of each tenancy.
Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires' Disease. Health and safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires' Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced. The guidance specifies annual risk assessments and insists that landlords and agents keep records of these for at least five years.
The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
The above regulations were amended in 1993 and set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is an offence to ‘supply’ in the course of business any furniture which does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a residential property to be let.
The regulations apply to; (broadly anything which is upholstered or has filling material) beds, headboards, mattresses, sofa beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture which is suitable for use in dwelling, scatter cushions, seat pads, pillows, loose and stretch covers for furniture.
Any furniture manufactured after 1st March 1989 or sold by a retailer after 1st March 1990 is likely to be to the specified standards and will be labelled accordingly. These labels will be supplied on purchase, and permanent labels are also normally attached to the furniture itself. There are two types of labels: DISPLAY LABELS – furniture will carry the appropriate display label at point of sale & PERMANENT LABELS – all new furniture (except mattresses and bed-bases) and covers for furniture must carry a permanent and non-detachable label.
Appliance Instruction Manuals
Where the safe use of the equipment relies upon the user being aware of any particular characteristic, suitable information or instruction booklets should be provided.
The landlord will generally be responsible for insurance of the property being let and is advised to check that appropriate buildings insurance has been obtained. It is also prudent to check the policy provides cover when the property is let since many policies specifically exclude cover in this situation.
As a landlord, it is wise to ensure that the insurance includes protection for public liability. There is a small risk that a defect in the property could cause injury to a third party for which a landlord could become liable. Most policies drawn up specifically for rented property will contain such cover.
The landlord should also consider taking cover for any contents provided in the property (especially for furnished accommodation) either as an extension of the buildings insurance or as a separate policy.
Consent To Let
Where the property is subject to a mortgage, it will normally be a condition of the mortgage that the property owner or mortgagor cannot let the property without prior permission of the mortgage company or lender. Permissions should be checked prior to letting.
Income Tax - UK Residents & Non-Resident Landlords
Income tax is payable on rental income irrespective of where you live. Landlords must declare this income on a Self-Assessment Tax Return and if one is not issued automatically he or she has a legal responsibility to notify the Inland Revenue of any liability. As the Inland Revenue assesses your income individually, properties that are jointly owned require returns to be completed by each legal owner. There is a requirement under Self-Assessment to keep adequate records to ensure that the calculations included in the return are accurate.
Non Resident Landlords (Landlords whose usual place of abode is outside the UK)
The legislation regulating Non-Resident Landlords and their agents differ significantly from Landlords residing in the UK. Stevens’ Letting Agents, as the rent receiving agent, has a statutory obligation to deduct basic rate tax on the net income and make payments to the Inland Revenue quarterly. However, you can apply to the Inland Revenue to “self assess” your own tax. To take advantage of this we can provide an application form, which upon approval from the Revenue will authorise us to pay the rent without deducting tax at source.
Read What Our
Having gone through Stevens estate agents for renting out a property and also selling a property I cannot recommend them enough. They are very efficient at answering questions and they ensured the sale of my property proceeded as quickly as possible making sure I was always kept up to date.
The landlord service is fantastic too and they maintained the rented out property so I didn’t need to get involved even when problems did arise .
A fantastic , professional team who are always so helpful.
The team were really responsive to queries that we had regarding our purchase. Having dealt with a number of Estate Agents in the past I would rate Stevens as one of the best that we've worked with. Hannah was excellent at keeping us informed throughout.
Very thorough service, all queries promptly followed up and some additional small requests for instance dealing with house clearance and cleaning (because the sellers were not local) undertaken without additional charge.
A trouble free transaction, much appreciated.
Went the extra mile to aid our recent home purchase.
Always helpful person on the end of telephone.
Attention to personal detail, which does make you feel that you are important
I am extremely pleased with the service and care taken with Stevens Estate agents. They handled everything from valuation to completion which helped with the painful process of selling our mums house. Thanks to all the staff.