Pre-Tenancy Check List For Landlords

How To Rent Booklet

It is now law that Landlords must now print off a copy of this booklet, and give it to their new tenants at the start of each new tenancy.

 

Energy Performance Certificate

New Landlords

It is a legal requirement that property offered for rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate in place, they can be ordered online , they are relatively inexpensive, and once obtained last for 10 years.

Order here https://www.epcregister.com/ Remember ask for a PDF Document to be emailed to you.

  It is required by law that a copy of this certificate be given to your new tenant/s.

Existing Landlords - Important Job to Do

It is now a legal requirement for landlords to obtain and display an E.P.C. on their rental property advertising:

By law you must now display the whole front page of the EPC document on your property adverts and written property details.

Landlords must obtain a copy of their E.P.C.'s in a file format that can be uploaded to internet adverts, called a PDF File.

Your EPC is already held on a National Register

Get a PDF copy of your EPC

 

Tenant Deposit Scheme

It is law that all that all monies taken by a landlord from a tenant as a deposit against breakages or losses must be held in one of the authorized and government approved Tenant Deposit Schemes and landlords must make sure that the Prescribed Information required by the TDS is sent to each new tenant within a 30 day deadline from the tenancy start date.

Set up your own Official Deposit Account FREE SERVICE http://www.depositprotection.com/

It only takes a few minutes, and costs absolutely nothing to use this government authorized service.

 

Immigration Act

Before releasing keys to a new tenant , landlords now have a duty to both see the actual documentation, and to take copies for their records of the following documents as appropriate:

U.K. or E.U. Resident

1. Driving licence or passport.

<4>Non EU OR UK National

1. Passport that does not expire prior to the tenancy end date.
2. Valid Visa for a time period greater than the tenancy term.
3. Work Permit 'Right to Work' document.

Students From Outside EU & UK

Passport that does not expire prior to the tenancy end date.
2. Valid student Visa for a time period greater than the tenancy term.

  1. 3. CAS - Certificate of Acceptance of Study from a University Sponsor

The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1993

States that the cover fabric and filling material of upholstered furniture be made of fire resistant material and be able to pass the 'smoldering cigarette', and 'match flame' resistance test and carry a label confirming this.

Generally items manufactured in the U.K. after 1990 by a reputable supplier are likely to meet the required standards and display the appropriate permanent label confirming compliance.

Items For You To Check Prior To Letting Your Property (you are not liable to check furniture provided by tenants, only the furniture you provide as a landlord):

Items That are exempt From The Regulations and so do not need checking:

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994

If your property has any gas appliance, whether fed from a mains supply or liquid gas such as Calor or Propane then the gas appliance or equipment including flues and fittings must be checked prior to your property being let and then inspected on an annual basis by a registered engineer qualified to work on the particular type of appliances or system.

There is a specific Landlord Gas Safety Certificate, which must be obtained for full compliance, and

By law it is required that the landlord must give a copy of this landlord gas safety certificate to your tenant/s.

http://www.homeserve.com/insurance/landlords-insurance-comparison

The Electrical Installation Condition Report ( 5 Year Periodic Certificate)

Landlords should obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report for their rented property/ ies every 5 years 

*(However Landlords offering a property to three or more tenants all living within the property at the same time, should refer to their Local Authority Environmental Health Officer, who will advise them of the more stringent electrical and fire safety regulation required).

 

It is also recommended that all portable electrical appliances be tested prior to each tenancy. This called a P.A.T. test and can quickly be carried out.

 

Legionella

Legionella are bacteria commonly found in natural water systems (e.g. rivers and lakes) and artificial water systems (e.g. storage tanks, pipe work, taps and showers). The bacteria is usually associated with large water systems such as those found in leisure facilities, hotels and hospitals and regular and stringent checks are carried out to monitor these types of water systems. In 2013, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), revised it's Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) regarding the control of legionnaires' disease. This revision has removed the previous 300 litre water system limit, meaning that the legislation now applies to all premises with a water system and therefore residential property is included.

 

Under the new revision, as a landlord you need to take suitable precautions to prevent and control the risk of exposure to legionella. To identify the risks in your water system you, or a competent person who understands your water systems and any associated equipment, should establish possible exposure to legionella risks. When assessing the risk consider the following:
1. Are there possible areas where stagnant water could be present, e.g. pipes to a washing machine no longer used?
If yes, what should I do about it?
Remove the redundant pipe work
2. Is there any debris in the water system such as rust or sludge (typically a problem with old metal cisterns)?
If yes, what should I do about it?
Make sure water cisterns are covered, insulated, clean and free of debris.
3. Are there infrequently used outlets, e.g. showers or taps in 2nd bathrooms?
If yes, what can I do about it?
Periodically run taps and showers. Your tenant/s should regularly be running taps and showers and keeping them free from lime scale.
It is important keep a record of the findings of any assessment and any associated works. It is also important to review the assessment periodically in case anything changes in your system. If you are unsure of the risks or cannot be sure that your water system is not contaminated with Legionella, you should seek advice from a professional.
More information can be found in the following HSE publications
Legionnaires disease - The control of legionella bacteria in water systems -www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l8.pdf
Legionnaires disease - A brief guide for dutyholders - www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg458.pdf

 

Smoke Detectors

from 1 October 2015, to have:
By law at least one smoke alarm must be installed on every storey of a rental property which is used as living accommodation, can be battery only or interlinked wired with battery back up. So in a 2 storey house a landlord may fit one smoke alarm in the hall and a second smoke alarm on the first floor landing.

The smoke detectors should be cleaned and tested before every new tenancy with batteries being replaced as required , if a tenancy is longer than one year then the smoke detectors should be checked annually.*

 *Landlords offering a property to three or more persons who are not all immediate family members should seek advice from their Local Authority Environmental Health Department who will advise of the more stringent fire safety equipment required in these cases.

 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors


By law a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used.

After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Who is responsible for checking the required alarms are in working order?
The regulations, will require landlords to ensure alarms are installed in their properties with effect from 1 October 2015. After that the landlord (or someone acting on behalf of the landlord) must ensure all alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.


After the landlord’s test on the first day of the tenancy, tenants should take responsibility for their own safety and test all alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. Testing monthly is generally considered an appropriate frequency for smoke alarms.
If tenants find that their alarm(s) are not in working order during the tenancy, they are advised to arrange the replacement of the batteries or the alarm itself with the relevant landlord.

Notify Your Mortgage Lender

If the property you wish to let has previously been your own home then it is likely it will be subject to a 'domestic mortgage'. If this is the case then you should be aware that most lenders will state that permission must be obtained before a domestic mortgaged property can be let. Many lenders will charge an administration fee or increase the mortgage interest rate as they see let property as an investment or as commercial lending rather than a domestic mortgage for your own home.

If you are relocating and intend to sell the property once you have relocated, you may in some cases negotiate a 'holiday period' with your lender, this is where they allow you to remain with your domestic mortgage rate whilst the property is let but only for a certain period of time before levying any extra interest rate charges. The mortgage market is highly competitive and it is always worth discussing your situation with your lender.

Many Landlords purchase investment property for their future pension requirements. The buy to let mortgage industry has become very competitive and specialist lenders can offer low rates of interest. If your current lender is not geared up to offer you a buy to let mortgage then shop around.

Some landlords especially those with larger portfolios opt for Interest Only mortgages, which significantly reduces the monthly payments required. They intend to retain their property investments for some years and rely on the property increasing in capital value over time, whilst reducing their monthly repayment costs.

Buildings & Contents Insurance

Landlords will need to obtain specific Landlord Buildings Insurance for their rental property.

Coversure being one of the largest nationwide brokers in the UK can offer competitive landlord building insurance. They can also arrange for commercial insurance , holiday let insurance, and a whole range of packages to cover kitchen appliances, heating or repair cover.

Read more at http://www.landlorddirect.com/landlord-insurance.aspx

Leasehold Property

Whether a leaseholder or Commonholder, you should check with your block managers to see if you have any obligations to notify them that you intend to let your apartment.

You should have a copy of your lease or commonhold agreement, and it is worth checking to see if there are any obligations or restrictions that you need to comply with. You can also check to see if you are obliged to pay an administration fee to your block manager.

Compulsory Private Landlord Licensing / Registration

In Wales:

Every Landlord with rental properties located in Wales must now be Licensed with a new body called Rent Smart Wales read more.

In England :

Landlords should check with their Local Authority to see if there are any Licensing Obligations operating in their Local Borough or city / town. 

H.M.O. ( Houses in Multiple Occupation )

Any rental property let to 3 or more unrelated tenants are likely to need Registration or an H.M.O.  Licence  with the Local Authority, please check with your local council.

Tax Self - Assessment

All tax that is due from rental income must be declared to the Inland Revenue no matter if the landlord is resident in the U.K. or overseas.

Indemnity: Landlords must comply with the legislation set out above prior to letting a property, Landlord Direct are not held liable for any acts or omissions that are the legal responsibility of the landlord.

No Fault Possession Notice 

Landlords cannot serve notice to end a fixed term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement until at least the first 4 months of the tenancy has expired and landlords have to use a prescribed form to serve notice to end the tenancy