Helpful Tips & Landlord Obligations

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This information sheet outlines landlord responsibilities which, when observed, ensure that both the landlord and tenant enjoy a smooth rental experience.

Before renting your property you should consider the following useful info…

Is your property mortgaged? Or have you any outstanding loans secured on it? Written authorisation from your Mortgage Lender is usually required prior to the beginning of a Tenancy.

Have you notified your Buildings and Contents Insurers of your intention to let out your property? If you do not ask the insurance company for their permission, insurers may declare your policy void.

Is your Property a Leasehold Property? If your property is leasehold you may need to receive written authorisation from the freeholder or the head leaseholder.

Do you live overseas? Or are you going to be moving overseas? If so you will need to apply to the Charity, Assets and Residence – Residency Department for consent that the rental income can be paid over to you on a monthly basis Gross of Income Tax. The form that must be completed will depend upon the circumstances of the landlord:

Form NRL1 – For individual landlords

Form NRL2 – Where the landlord is an offshore company

Form NRL3 – Where the landlord is an off-shore trust. Professional advice from an accountant must be sought if you have a complicated tax liability.

The Landlord has a variety of mandatory and legal obligations summarised below…

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – An EPC is required for all residential properties when let. The EPC provides details on the energy performance of the property and what you can do to improve it. Provision of an EPC can be arranged with our own Energy Assessor.

Gas Safety Regulations – All gas appliances within the property have to be tested and approved by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, following the inspection the engineer will issue a Gas Safety Certificate. This certificate is a legal requirement and must be updated every 12 months or on change of occupancy. Failure to comply with this legislation is a criminal offence and will result in prosecution. We can arrange the gas safety check for you.

Heating and Hot Water installations – Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenanct Act 1985, Landlords are legally responsible for ensuring the safety, working and servicing of all heating and hot water installations. Although the wording can seem ambiguous, this also refers to and is not limited to open fires, Rayburns, Agas, coal and wood burning stoves. This responsibility includes all flues and ventilation, therefore under this Act, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to have all chimneys swept annually in a rental property. We know many Landlords who believe that if the tenant uses the fire, they should be liable but unfortunately the landlord cannot contract out of this responsibility. Even if a tenancy agreement were reworded to state that a tenant is responsible, this would not stand up in the courts. Given that a chimney fire could potentially cause considerable damage to a property, it should give Landlord’s peace of mind to know that a chimney is being regularly cleaned and inspected. We can arrange this for you.

Smoke and CO2 Alarms – From 1st October 2015, each floor of a rental property must have a working smoke alarm and living spaces with solid fuel appliances must have carbon monoxide alarms. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms should be tested and working on the first day of the tenancy.

Electrical Equipment Regulations – We advise that electrical wiring and portable appliances (items with a plug) should be checked by a NICEIC Part P Registered Domestic Electrical Contractor. Although this isn’t law, it is still the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the electrics in the property are safe at the start of the tenancy. We can take care of this for you.

Furnished or unfurnished? The amount of rental income between furnished or unfurnished property is generally minimal. It is generally accepted that carpets and light fittings are always included in a let. Any upholstered furniture left in the property during the tenancy must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) regulations 1993. All upholstered furniture must carry the correct labels to comply with the regulations.

Simply call Sutherland Reay’s experienced Lettings Team who can take away the hassle and guide you through the process.