legal

Posted by Admin - 21/09/2016

 

When letting your property out there are some major legal requirements that must be adhered to.

Deposits

There are three different government approved tenancy deposit schemes and these are TDS (tenancy deposit scheme), DPS (deposit protection service) and MyDeposits.  When you take the deposit from a tenant in an assured shorthold tenancy then you are legally required to register the deposit under one of these three schemes.

EPCs

An energy performance certificate must be in place for the majority of properties and therefore a copy of this certificate will need to be provided to the tenant.

Gas Safety Certificate

Landlords are legally obligated to have any gas appliances in their rental property tested every year in order to ensure they are working safely and efficiently.  Gas Safety Certificates must be completed by Gas Safe Registered (previously Corgi) engineers.  Copies of the certificates will need to be provided to the tenant and if the landlord fails to get these checks done they can face a fine or prosecution.

Rental Payments and Miscellaneous Fees

You will need to ensure that you clearly validate to the tenants which payments are being taking for advance rental payments or administration/miscellaneous fees.  If this is not explained to the tenants then they may be under the impression these payments are towards a deposit and therefore they may be under the illusion the money is in a deposit protection scheme.

Fire Safety Order

Risk assessments compliant with the Fire Safety Order are paramount where are landlord is in control of flats however they are not mandatory for single dwelling lets or shared houses.

Electrical Appliances

It is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that any electrical appliances provided are working safely and efficiently prior to the tenant moving in.

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms

Since 1 October 2015 landlords have been legally obligated to install carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms with a solid fuel appliance and there must be a smoke alarm on each storey of the premises (where there is a room used as living accommodation).

Legionella Assessment

Landlords are legally required to implement a risk assessment for this disease.  The way in which the risk assessment is carried out is dependent on the type of property and can involve large-scale water sampling.  Failure to complete this risk assessment can result in the landlord being awarded a hefty fine.

Prescribed Information

From the 1 October 2015 it became a legal requirement for landlords to provide their tenants with a copy of the How To Rent checklist when starting a new or replacement tenancy.  This guide was updated in February 2016.   You can find a copy of this here.

 Illegal Evictions

Landlords must use the proper channels to gain possession of their property i.e. go to court and gain a possession order.  It is against the law to evict a tenant because they are in arrears or not adhering to the terms of their tenancy you must get a court order.