This document outlines general responsibilities of the Landlord before or during the period of tenancy. This document has information about legislation and regulations that are applicable for you when you are letting your property.
Gas Safety Regulations 1994
It is a requirement that the Landlord ensures all gas appliances are inspected and maintained in accordance with the Gas Safety Regulations 1994 on an annual basis. A Gas Safety Certificate must be in place prior to a Tenant moving in. Please note, LPROPS may not be able to move a Tenant into a property without this certificate (at the very least we need this confirmation in writing from your site, that you have a valid gas safety certificate). If however you do not have one and need us to obtain one, we can arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry this out. It is also a legal requirement to fit a carbon monoxide detector, if there are gas appliances at the property. These must be placed near to or adjacent to gas alliance. Carbon monoxide detectors will be fitted in all properties where gas servicing is undertaken by our recommended gas operatives. Where the Landlord organizes servicing we will encourage the Landlord to fit these detectors. Please be aware that since 1st January 2013 all gas installations, where a flue is concealed behind a wall or within a ceiling void, must have inspection hatches so that a visual inspection of the complete flue can be carried out. We also recommend that appliances, particularly central boilers are serviced once a year. The Landlord is responsible for all costs.
Fire and Safety
To ensure compliance with Furniture and Furnishings (Fire and Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 and 1996) Landlords are required to ensure minimum fire resistance standards of specified items supplied during period of letting of the property. It is an offence to “supply” as a matter of business any furniture, which does not comply with the regulations. This may include supplying furniture as part of a let residential property. We understand that it does not strictly apply to a Landlord letting his own home for a “temporary period” and not during a business although the regulations do not specifically clarify this point. It may apply to Landlords letting a “second property” or any other letting as an investment. The regulations apply to: sofas, beds, bed heads, children’s furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture and other similar items. The regulations do not apply to: curtains, carpets, bed clothes (incl. duvets) and mattress covers. In signing our terms of business, the Landlord warrants that all contents and furnishings left at the property comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) regulations 1993.
From the 1st June 1992 regulations states that properties built from that date must be fitted with a ‘mains’ operated fire detector. From 1st October 2015, it is a legal requirement that every property which is let is fitted with at least one smoke detector. Maintenance thereafter is the responsibility of the Tenant. The Smoke detector must be checked on the start day of tenancy.
Carbon Monoxide for Solid Fuel
As of 1st October 2015, it is a legal requirement to provide a carbon monoxide monitor for any apparatus which uses solid fuel.
Ensure compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and other relevant legislation about condition and safety of electrical equipment and appliances in tenanted premises. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all electrical installations and appliances are safe and maintained in a safe condition. We therefore strongly recommend that a NICEIC contractor be instructed to conduct an electrical installation condition report (EICR) This is valid for five years and will highlight any serious defects that should be rectified immediately. We can arrange for a contractor to inspect the property, if required. Safety is paramount in all aspects of letting property. Electrical wiring checks are required prior to letting a property and we can arrange for the necessary Landlord Electrical Safety Checks to be undertaken. A Visual Inspection Report should be carried out at every change of tenant. If a certificate is not supplied, the Landlord agrees to take full responsibility for any faults that may occur whilst the property is occupied. In the event of injury or death, if found negligent a landlord could incur fines up to £5000 or even imprisonment!
Defective Premises Act 1972.
The Landlord is liable for any occurrence originating from defect or lack of repair that the Landlord knows of or should have been aware of. If a Tenant suffers loss due to a defect The Landlord will be liable to compensate The Tenant. The Landlord agrees to inform The Agent of any on-going maintenance problems, prior to the start of a Tenancy.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
All properties that are let to tenant, by law, is required an Energy Performance Certificate. An EPC must be commissioned before a property can be marketed. It also clarifies that the EPC must be issued within 7 days of marketing. The first page of the EPC is an essential part of any written, when a property is marketed. From 1st April 2018, any properties below the lowest banding E will no longer be allowed to be rented. If your property falls into this banding it is now a good time to undertake improvements in order to comply with the new law. The Green Deal is available for some landlords with help for funding any improvements.
Decoration, Fixtures & Fittings
For the items that can be classified as those belonging to fixed to structures it the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all these items in a property are maintained in working order and must be paid for by the landlord. All equipment’s that has plumbing or lightbulbs for example, are automatically included, including Gas or electric Hobs. We strongly advise landlords to have a service maintenance contract and or insurance for attached equipment’s. Landlords may also be responsible for repair / replacement or disposal of those items that are for internal decorations but not fixed to structure.
Terrorism Act 2000
The landlord and the agent have obligations under this act to ensure that they do not harbor or give any assistance to likely terrorists. Whilst this act does not directly apply to rental properties, recently known terrorist have been renting properties in the UK.
Defective Premises Act 1972.
The Landlord is liable for any occurrence originating from defect or lack of repair that the Landlord knows of or should have been aware of. If a Tenant suffers loss due to a defect The Landlord will be liable to compensate The Tenant. The Landlord agrees to inform us of any on-going maintenance problems, prior to the start of a Tenancy. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System, this part of the housing act is to help local authorities assess housing conditions in England and Wales. It replaces the fitness standard, which dates back to 1919. Local authorities now have a duty to keep the housing conditions in their area under review. Their powers are quite strong. They can insist upon inspecting the rental property and if they think they have reason to believe a health and safety hazard exists there, they can take enforcement action.
It is strongly recommended that landlords make regular inspections of their property. The first visit should be done within the first six months of the tenancy and periodically thereafter. Should the Landlord wish to inspect the property periodically, this can be arranged through calling or emailing to the tenants in advance.
Properties with ponds
In respect of garden ponds, it is advisable that they are drained as a precaution, particularly if you are letting to a family with children.
If the property is subject to a mortgage/loan, the Landlord is responsible to obtain permission from their mortgage lender to let the property if required. In signing this agreement, the Landlord confirms that he has obtained all necessary consents. Written consent of your mortgagor must be obtained before you enter into a letting agreement with a mortgaged property. Mortgagors frequently require us to supply copies of the Tenancy Agreement and Inventory and in some cases, to pay a registration fee before a letting can commence.
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that letting the property is permitted under the terms of the lease. We will require a copy of the main front door key to the communal parts if any exist, to serve any notices on behalf of the Landlord against the tenant
Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
We are obliged to include your full name and address on any notices and Tenancy Agreements inside England and Wales. If this information changes during the Tenancy we must be informed immediately.
Service of Notice
The address for service for The Landlord will be the contact address specified in this Agreement, unless the address is outside England and Wales in which case an additional address within England and Wales must be provided to us prior to the commencement of a Tenancy.
Adequate levels of insurance cover on the buildings and contents of the property being let should be maintained throughout the term of the Tenancy. You should inform your current insurers that you are letting the property. Not all insurers provide insurance for letting purposes. We also recommend that the landlord takes out content’s insurance for items of furniture or valuable fixtures and fittings. You should make certain that the property to be let is insured, to its full reinstatement value, against fire and all usual risks with a reputable insurance company.
If your usual place of residence is not in the United Kingdom, you will need to apply for approval to receive rents with no tax deducted from H M Revenue and Customs to avoid us deducting tax from the rent. Further information regarding the, Non-Resident Landlords Scheme can be obtained from www.HMRC.gov.uk. If a property is owned jointly, both owners will need to obtain exemption certificates. Please inform us immediately if you intend to reside abroad at any time.
HM Revenue and Customs
Income tax is payable on the net income of your property and it is your responsibility to inform HM Revenue and Customs of your letting income irrespective of whether you are a resident or non-resident Landlord. Tax is calculated against the gross income of the property less expenses. These expenses may include the loan interest on the mortgage, legal and agency fees, insurance, building management fees, ground rent, repairs needed to the property including redecoration of the property. An additional allowance of 10% of the annual rent can also be allocated for wear and tear of fixtures and fittings (including furniture).
Landlords Living in the UK
We do not deduct any tax from your rental income for the Inland Revenue ( as we do not collect rent on behalf of any clients ).
Landlords Who Live Abroad
Rental income for Landlords living abroad (Non-Resident Landlords) is subject to UK income tax at the appropriate rate. With effect from 6th April 1996 tax laws have been implemented which apply to ALL Non-Resident Landlords, except those serving with the British Armed Forces, serving members of the Diplomatic Service and other Crown servants, Non UK resident trust and overseas companies. The Landlord is responsible for notifying Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) about the Tenancy. We are liable to account to HMRC, if we collect the rent for income tax thereon at the basic rate on any rent we receive on the basis. If we are collecting rent, until an exemption certificate is received by LPROPS Limited we are legally obliged to withhold tax from the gross rental income. The sums deducted will be paid directly to HMRC to avoid any late payment penalty charges being applied to the Landlord. If you are not accepted for the Non Resident Landlord Scheme and we have to make tax payments to HMRC.
Allowances that can be set against Rental Income are: –
- 10% of gross rent as depreciation where the property is furnished.
- All agents’ fees and charges including VAT.
- All maintenance and servicing costs carried out whilst the property is let.
- House and Contents Insurance.
- The cost of telephone calls and correspondence to the agents.
- The cost of visiting your property, on necessary occasions, e.g. preparing and serving Notices to Quit can be claimed for, providing they represent sensible costs.
We strongly recommend that Landlords redirect the mail and inform all the relevant parties of their new address. We will not accept any responsibility for failure either by us or the tenant for failing to forward mail to a Landlord’s new address.
Houses of Multiple Occupation
Properties which house more than a certain number of people may require licensing. The penalties for not licensing the property are far reaching and will cause problems obtaining the rent and possession from the tenants. Not all HMO’s will require licensing. The act also includes the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, this part of the housing act is to help local authorities assess housing conditions in England and Wales. It replaces the fitness standard, which dates back to 1919. Local authorities now have a duty to keep the housing conditions in their area under review. Their powers are quite strong. They can insist upon inspecting the rental property and if they think they have reason to believe a health and safety hazard exists there, they can take enforcement action. Not all HMO’s will require licensing. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the correct property license is in place or has been applied for, to let the property out. LPROPS Limited will not accept any responsibility for any action by the local authority for the landlord not obtaining a license or having the correct license in place or any breach of the license already in place. Landlords must sign our declaration at the end of this agreement stating that they accept all responsibility.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System
This part of the housing act is to help local authorities assess housing conditions in England and Wales. It replaces the fitness standard, which dates back to 1919! Local authorities now have a duty to keep the housing conditions in their area under review. Their powers are quite strong. They can insist upon inspecting the rental property and if they think they have reason to believe a health and safety hazard exists there, they can take enforcement action. For clarification on this very important housing reform please ask a member of staff.
Rent Increases Housing Act 1988
With Assured Shorthold Tenancies, it is left to the landlord and the tenant to agree on a rent, which may be a market rent. Rent Officers have the power to regulate rents under an assured let within the first 6 months of a new tenancy they may have to consider whether a rent under an assured tenancy is a genuine market rent if a tenant makes application for Housing Benefit. Without a Rent Review Clause, a landlord may serve a notice of increase on the tenant, but the tenant may refer to a Rent Assessment Committee. The committee can only alter the rent if it considers that it is excessive having regard to market rents for similarly assured lets. Some of our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements include a clause whereby the Landlord can review the rent annually. Obviously, the rent for each new tenancy agreement will be aimed to provide a ‘fair market rent’ to the benefit of our client/landlord.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ANY OF THESE REGULATIONS MAY JEOPARDISE THE LIFE OF YOUR TENANT AND LEAD TO A PROSECUTION WITH PENALTIES OF IMPRISONMENT OR FINES.
Conditions for Managed Properties
Some of these responsibilities can be taken shared by LPROPS under our “Fully Managed” package or can be bought as single service products or services. Please note when a service is included in LPROPS Package, such as regular inspection, you will be responsible to pay us in advance, any money that would be required to be carry out repairs or replace an item or obtain / renew a certificate. The actual building related services, such as plumbing, gas certification, rectification of fault in electric wire can be done (optional) by LPROPS “outsourced third party” partner or it can be arranged by the Landlords.
When we arrange services using “outsourced third party” we cannot provide guarantee the works unless we have agreed in writing to the contrary and LPROPS provides the invoice. When Landlords arrange for the repairs/ replacement, LPROPS responsibility will end upon informing the Landlords.
While care has been taken to explain appropriate legislation / regulation, relating to Landlord responsibilities, this document is provided for guidance only. LPROPS does not guarantee accuracies of the information; we expressly disclaim any liability due to Landlords actions based on this document. Further LPROPS cannot guarantee that this document covers all regulations/ legislation that may be application for specific case. Landlords should contact a solicitor or confirm from other sources and satisfy themselves about their responsibilities.