Being a landlord is a big responsibility, but with the right agent and guidance it can prove to be a sound business decision. Keyring Lettings offer a range of services to new landlords to help make the transition a much safer one for all concerned.
Here are our top tips of things to consider if you are thinking of letting your first property:
A minimum of one smoke alarm should be fitted on each floor of the property, more if the property is large or could be considered to have zones. These alarms need to be regularly tested by the landlord (or agent) throughout the tenancy, it is the tenant’s responsibility to agree that all alarms are in working order on the day that they sign the tenancy agreement. This can be done by Keyring Lettings as part of the moving in checks.
Carbon Monoxide alarms should also be fitted if the property has any solid fuel burners such as wood or coal open fires or a gas. The alarm(s) should be fitted in every room where one of these appliances is located.
Electrical and Gas safety certificates
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the gas and electrical systems and appliances at the property are maintained in a safe condition and serviced by a qualified contractor.
A gas safety check must be carried out to ensure that all gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition and a safety record issued prior to the tenant moving into a property. This must be undertaken by a qualified, Gas Safe registered engineer, prior to the tenant moving in and then completed every 12 months at a minimum. Failure to comply with the regulations could result in fines of up to £5,000 for each offence.
In addition, you, the landlord, are responsible for ensuring that all electrical appliances that are within the property at the time of letting are safe and regularly checked for defects. This does not include any appliances your tenants bring with them to the property and that all wiring and fixtures and fittings comply to Legislation.
In order to comply with these safety requirements, landlords must have both Portable Appliance Test (PAT) and a periodic inspection carried out prior to any new tenant checking into a rental property. The Electrician must be NICEIC regulated and you must provide your tenants with a record of any electrical inspections. The full inspection should be carried out every five years or at a change of every tenant
Energy Performance Certificate
The Regulations mean that, since 1 April 2020, private landlords may not let domestic properties to new or existing tenants if the Energy Efficiency Certificate (EPC) rating is F or G (unless an exemption applies) On 1 April 2020 the regulations were extended to also cover existing tenancies. This means that, under the new legislation, properties with an energy performancecertificate (EPC) rating of F or G will be classed as unrentable from that date on .
Landlords must provide an up to date and valid EPC to their tenant and (if applicable) the agent. The EPC shows both the Energy Performance Rating (effectively the running costs associated with the energy consumption) and the Environmental Impact Rating (carbon dioxide emissions) of the property. The certificate is valid for up to 10 years, unless there have been significant modifications made to the property, although you may be asked to provide a more recent one if your tenant or agent feels it is appropriate.
- Contracts and Agreements
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document, between landlord and a tenant, that is drawn up to agree on the terms of a tenancy when a property is rented. It is an essential document and you should never move into a property (tenants) or let someone move into your property (landlords) without one. In general, the document details the particulars of the tenancy such as the monthly property rental and payment date, the date the tenancy will begin, whether pets are permitted to be kept at the property and general ‘housekeeping’ type terms such as expectations and requirement for both landlord and tenant.
A landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the guide “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as a printed copy or via email as a PDF attachment. You should keep a record of when and how you provided this document, as in the event of a dispute you may need to refer to it.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) states that if a tenant has provided a deposit, the landlord must protect it in a government approved scheme, such as The Deposit Protection Service (DPS).
At Keyring Lettings, we normally collect a security deposit from the tenant and if the property is managed by KeyRing Lettings it will be registered by us with The Deposit Protection Service on your behalf. At the end of the letting, this is returned to the tenant, unless any deductions are agreed to cover breaches of the agreement.
Download our Compliance Checklist and it will help you keep compliant.
KeyRing Lettings offer a free, no-obligation, rental appraisal and property advice session, which provides an opportunity to discuss the basic requirements of letting your property and also any pitfalls that may be encountered. Contact us today to find out more about our service to landlords.