Gas safety inspections are a legal requirement for gas appliances in rented properties. Residential landlords are responsible for ensuring all gas appliances are checked each year to ensure they are safe for use. You must give the tenant a copy of the gas safety certificate if you fail to do so, any section 21 notice served on the tenant may be deemed as invalid by the court.
Fire Safety Order
If your property is an HMO, you need to ensure you comply with your legal obligations. If you have not had a fire risk assessment done, then we recommend you get one done. A qualified fire expert must carry out the assessment. You can source an expert locally by using the web. Where a landlord controls HMO, flats in a block, or bedsits, there must be a fire risk assessment in place to comply with the Fire Safety Order. A statutory risk assessment is not required for shared houses or single dwelling lets. You can obtain guidance notes and templates on the document download page on our website.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 establish a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property in England and Wales. This means that, from April 2018, landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants. These requirements will then apply to all private rented properties in England and Wales – even where there has been no change in tenancy arrangements – from April 1, 2020, for domestic properties and from April 1, 2023, for non-domestic properties. You can order an EPC from our EPC page; this is a discounted service.
In areas where selective licensing applies, landlords must apply for a license if they want to rent out a property. This means the council can check whether they are a “fit or proper person” to be a landlord, as well as making other stipulations concerning the management of the property and appropriate safety measures. License fees vary council to council, and you can contact your council to see if you are required to apply for a license.
Data protection GDPR
Landlords must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office under the Data Protection Act. Individuals and organisations that process personal information will need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) unless they are exempt. You can speak to the ICO for advice if you are in doubt. You can download relevant landlord GDPR documents from our document section (Service tab).
If your property is a house in multiple occupation of any kind, then you must have a five-yearly electrical safety check carried out by a competent electrician even if you do not need a licence. This will cover shared houses, flats in multiple occupation, bedsits, hostels, and certain converted blocks of flats. These are blocks of flats which are not converted in compliance with 1991 (or later) building regulations and less two/thirds of the flats in the block are owned.
Electrical appliances and electrical safety
Where the landlord has provided the tenant with electrical appliances, it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that all the appliances supplied are safe before the property is let. It is essential to perform regular tests of portable appliances to ensure they are safe. It is recommended you should carry out an electrical check on the property every five years.
Fire alarm systems and fire precautions in HMO’s
The legislation introduced in October 2015 has helped to standardise and clarify the responsibilities of landlords when it comes to installing smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to protect their residents. Existing rules meant that owners of property built prior to June 1992 were not legally obliged to have smoke alarms installed. The updated legislation ensures that ALL rental properties and their residents are adequately protected against fire and carbon monoxide, and our guide is intended to help you interpret these rules. It would help if you also made sure that the means of escape from the property (usually the stairs and landings of the hall) are unobstructed. Houses in multiple occupation include shared houses, flats in multiple occupation, bedsits, and certain types of converted flats. Download HMO documents.
Carbon Monoxide and alarms in non-HMO’s
Landlords in England are required to provide smoke alarms on every floor of their property, and the alarms are required to be interlinked if there is more than one smoke alarm. Carbon monoxide alarm is required by law in every room with a solid fuel source.
If you took a deposit from a tenant, then you are required to protect the deposit within 30 days of receiving it. You must protect the deposit in one of the three government-backed schemes. You can go to our deposit page for more information.
How to rent guide
As of October 1 2015, upon granting a tenancy, landlords are required to provide an up to date copy of “How to rent”: the checklist for renting in England. If you have failed to provide this, you will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice in England. Visit our document page and “How to rent guide”.
Tenant Fee Ban
Tenant fees were banned on tenancies that were made from June 1, 2019, under the Tenant Fees Act which became law last year and there was initially a transition period for any pre-existing tenancies. The tenant fee ban is applicable to all tenancies from June 1 2020
Landlords and agents should inform tenants that there may be payments mentioned in their agreements that can no longer be charged under tenant fee ban.
Landlords are required to perform a risk assessment for Legionnaires Disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella. All human-made hot and cold-water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow. Where conditions are favourable (i.e. suitable growth temperature range; water droplets (aerosols) produced and dispersed; water stored and/or recirculated; some ‘food’ for the organism to grow such as rust, sludge, scale, biofilm etc) then the bacteria may multiply thus increasing the risk of exposure. Read our guide on Legionella along with the templates.Checklist Before Letting 12 Important things for Landlords Click To Tweet
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4th of June 2020