Advice for Landlords
The main legislation affecting Landlords in England is the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and you should be familiar with it. By way of further information we have set out below some useful guidance for Landlords and potential Landlords. Please note that this is a summary and we therefore recommend checking the appropriate authorities’ websites for the full, up to date information.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme came into force on the 6th April 2007. If you are not protecting a tenant’s deposit you can be ordered to repay three times the amount to the tenant. When a landlord or letting agent takes a deposit from a tenant, the deposit must be protected in a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme. We use the Deposit Protection Service.
It is illegal to discriminate against a tenant because of their sex, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation. We have attached a few links to websites that you may find helpful (and which your tenants may already have visited…)
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
Any Landlord, who lets residential accommodation, is required by law to make sure the electrical system in the building (e.g. NICEIC certification) and all portable electrical equipment (PAT testing) they supply as part of the tenancy are safe and tested. We recommend that electrical installations are tested every 5 years and all portable appliances should be tested annually.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Since October 2009 EPCs have been required for all properties being offered for rent or on a change of tenancy. A penalty of up to £200 can be imposed for not having one. We can help you get one at a reasonable price. EPCs are valid for 10 years if no work has been carried out which may mean that they are incorrect. There is a government register of all current EPCs
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
All furniture and furnishings in rented properties must pass the ‘match and cigarette’ test. All upholstered furniture e.g. mattresses, sofas must have a permanent label sewn in which confirms that it satisfies the regulations.
Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 2009
All Landlords must make sure that the gas supply and all appliances they provide to their tenants are safe. Every property that has a gas appliance (e.g. boiler, cooker, gas fire) must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate (CP12).
These checks must be carried out by an engineer who is on the Gas Safety Register, which has replaced the previous CORGI system. All checks must be carried out annually. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the check is performed. Again this is something we can arrange at a reasonable price.
HMOs and Licensing
From April 2006 legislation was introduced to govern houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs). Certain larger HMOs are subject to Mandatory Licensing. Local Authorities also have power to impose Selective Licensing in areas of low housing demand and or anti social behaviour.
In an area designated for Selective licensing it applies to all types of residential properties that are rented out, except licensable HMO’s which, of course, have to be licensed anyway. We understand that like many other councils Middlesbrough Council are considering Selective Licensing for a number of areas as a way to improving the standards of properties for rent in those areas.
We have a deal of experience on this subject having arranged some of the first HMO licences in Middlesbrough for some of our landlords. For more advice on this subject contact David or Judith Collier.
This is the landlord’s responsibility and we require evidence of this from you. If you require help in obtaining Landlord’s property insurance we can help arrange this via our insurance broker contacts.
Landlords are responsible for keeping the accommodation that they let in good order. Tenants should therefore be supplied with the landlord’s or managing agent’s phone number and address. Collier Property Management LLP has arrangements with a number of local contractors who are available to do day to day maintenance of varying sorts. However if a property requires significant work we also have a list of contractors who can give competitive quotes for a full service. Again please contact David or Judith Collier.
Landlords have an obligation to ensure that there are satisfactory arrangements in place for the removal of waste.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm
From 1st October 2015 landlords are required to:
Fit smoke alarms on each floor.
Fit a carbon Monoxide alarm in rooms containing solid fuel appliances (wood burning stoves and coal fires).
Check all alarms are working at the start of each new tenancy.
Many insurers consider that student occupation is a ‘material change of circumstances’ and require notification if a property is to be occupied by students. We can help and advise you if you wish to let your property to students.
Landlords have an obligation to ensure that all installations for the supply of water, electricity and gas are kept in good working order.
Disclaimer: Our website can only give general guidance and landlords should get specific advice.