It’s important to be a responsible landlord and so naturally, property management regulations and legislation needs to be taken seriously. Not just to protect you as a vendor or landlord, but also your tenants.
Lettings legislation and safety regulations for landlords in the world of property management can get complex. Lucky for you, we consider ourselves the experts. We’ve compiled five important safety regulations and legal requirements that all landlords and vendors should understand before letting out or selling a property.
1. Tenancy Deposit Protection and Schemes
You’ve most probably had personal experiences with a deposit scheme at some point in your life, whether it was during your student days or renting your first home with a partner. But, what does it mean for a landlord? Let us explain for you.
As a landlord, you must register your tenant’s deposit in a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) if the home you are letting is on an assured shorthold tenancy agreement that started after 6th April 2007 in England and Wales (as part of The Housing Act 2004). This protects your tenant’s money and can help resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy, so it really does have benefits for both you as a landlord and your tenants. As we all know, maintaining healthy and honest relationships in any situation is very important.
There are a few deposit schemes that you can use, such as MyDeposits, who provide a simple deposit protection solution for landlords, letting agents and tenants.
For more information on Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes, visit the gov.uk website.
2. Gas Safety Record (GSR)
As a landlord in the property management sphere, there is a legal duty to have annual safety checks carried out on the gas appliances and pipework to ensure everything is in safe working order. These checks must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safety Register engineer and must be done every twelve months.
So, what does a Gas Safety Record look like? At minimum, it must contain:
- A description, location and date of each appliance checked
- A name, registration number and signature of the engineer
- The address of your property
- Your name and address
- Any safety defect identified and any action required or taken to rectify it
- Confirmation that any defect stated has been solved and recorded
Download an example of what a Gas Safety Record looks like.
3. Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
Within property management, there are separate rules for lettings that contain occupants that are not in a family unit. Landlords, therefore, must adhere to certain rules and regulations that are found around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
These rentals are either defined as a standard HMO or a large HMO. The former being at least three tenants live in a property forming more than one household and share communal facilities, whereas the latter being at least five tenants live at a property of a minimum of three storeys.
If you let either one of these out, there are a few additional legal responsibilities that must be adhered to:
- Smoke detectors are installed
- Electrics are checked every five years
- The property is not overcrowded
- There are adequate cooking and washing facilities
- Communal areas are clean and in good condition
- Waste is disposed of safely, with skips or other services.
If you’re not sure if this applies to you, visit Your Move’s website for more information.
4. Energy Performance Certificate (EPCs)
An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of your property. It gives it an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for ten years.
In more detail, the certificate contains information about the energy use and costs, as well as recommendations about how to reduce energy and save you money.
All landlords are legally required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it and it is also a requirement that letting agents display the EPC when marketing the property. If a property does not have an EPC when marketed, you could risk receiving a fine.
Furthermore, in Scotland, you must also display the EPC somewhere in your property, such as next to the boiler or in your meter cupboard.
Again, gov.uk’s website is an excellent way to find out more information and what your next steps would be.
5. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Both smoke and carbon monoxide can be sneaky and deadly. Therefore, it is a legal requirement for landlords with properties in England to have at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their properties, even if that storey only has a bathroom and no other room.
Furthermore, if any room contains a solid fuel burning appliance, such as a wood burning stove, a coal fire, an open fire place or where biomass is used as fuel, a carbon monoxide alarm has to be present.
The alarms must be correctly checked on the first day of any new tenancy, but it is then the responsibility of the tenant to regularly check the alarms are in working order. The Department for Community and Local Government recommend that this is done on a monthly basis and if any alarms aren’t working properly, your tenants must report it immediately.
For more information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, visit the gov.uk website.
Now that we have outlined five key property management regulations and legislation, you are probably feeling a little wiser and wondering what your next step is.
If you’re ready to start letting or selling your home, Affito have made it super easy to request your free valuation. Our consultants will visit your property to provide the most up to date free accurate valuation and advise how we will market your property.
Need more information? Please don’t hesitate on contacting us today and we will be in touch to discuss your enquiry.