Landlord Advice

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.

Contact Information
By law tenants must be supplied with an address in the UK. for the landlord. For non-resident landlords this can be the agent’s address

Data Protection
The General Data Protection Regulations apply to landlords

There are strict rules governing the taking and handling of deposits/bonds which must be complied with. CPM presently use the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) rather than an insurance backed scheme

It is illegal to discriminate against a tenant because of their sex, race, religion, disability or sexual orientation

The Right to Rent legislation imposes statutory duties on landlords to check the documents of potential tenants to ensure that they may rent a property in the UK. There are also statutory requirements for how long copies of these must be retained

In addition various documents such as a copy of the EPC, Gas Safety Certificate & Government Guide on How to Rent should be supplied

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1995
These regulations cover all appliances supplied. Appliances must be safe and instruction booklets available. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT testing) is the way to ensure that appliances are safe. There is no statutory testing interval, but it is important that regular checks are carried out and regularly. Further information on this can be found on the HSE website

The penalty for non-compliance can be a fine of up to £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment

Electrical wiring
It recently became law that in 2019 5 yearly periodic inspections of hard wiring and distribution boards (fuse boxes) should take place, but the commencement date and details for this are still awaited

For Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) 5 yearly periodic inspection certificates have always been required on renewal of licences and in some cases of Selective Licensing 5 yearly periodic inspection certificates are required

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
From 1st October 2008 all properties have been required by law to have a valid EPC and since April 2018 a minimum rating of E is required for properties to be rented

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 and Electricity
In certain circumstances Landlords will install gas or electricity prepayment meters. Regulations control the charges that may be raised. We can advise you on these should you have coin or token prepayment meters

Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
All gas installations in rental properties must be checked annually. The check must be performed by a registered Gas Safety Engineer, who will issue a certificate (CP12) when the appliances pass the test. It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the check is performed and to retain all relevant information (including certificates)

The penalty for non-compliance can be a fine of up to £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

A property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) if at least 3 tenants live there forming more than one household and share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities. Large HMOs comprising 5 or more tenants (and presently of 3 or more levels) are required to be licenced. The levels requirement will shortly be removed.Additional regulations (e.g. fire precautions) apply to HMOs

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
This applies to all rented properties and looks at 29 safety areas. Many are common sense, but some require more knowledge to identify. Tenants who consider a property unsatisfactory can either complain to the Local Authority who will check the property against the HHSRS or bring an action themselves in the County Court

Income Tax
Income tax is payable on rental income and must be declared to HMRC. There have been recent changes on the deductibility of mortgage interest.

Landlords are required to carry out a risk assessment. Landlords should however beware of companies who scaremonger and charge large fees for water testing etc

Non Resident landlords (NRLs)
Non resident landlords may be subject to a 20% NRL ‘withholding tax’ which should be deducted by the tenant or letting agent and paid direct to HMRC unless a certificate for gross payment has been obtained by the landlord from HMRC and provided to the tenant or landlord

Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
These regulations require that equipment complies with British Standards, are safe to use and will not cause danger

Redress Schemes
Letting agents have been required to belong to a recognised redress scheme for a number of years. The government’s intention is that landlords should also belong to a redress scheme, but it is unclear at present if this will apply to landlords who use a letting agent which already belongs to one

Landlords are generally responsible for keeping the accommodation that they let in good order. In particular they are responsible for repairs to the exterior and structure (roof, chimney, walls, guttering and drains) and keep the equipment for the supply of water, gas and electricity in safe working order. They are also responsible for ensuring heating and hot water.

Tenants should report and problems or wants of repair and therefore be supplied with the landlord or managing agent’s phone number and address

Landlords have an obligation to ensure that there are satisfactory arrangements in place for the removal of waste

Smoke Alarms
It is a landlord’s responsibility to fit smoke alarms and test them immediately prior to the commencement of a tenancy.

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms may also be required and similar testing rules apply

Student Occupation
Many insurers consider that 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

Tenant Fees
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force on 1st June 2019 and prohibits most fees being charged to tenants other than rent, deposits/bonds, holding deposits and certain default payments e.g. the cost of replacement of lost keys and a low rate of interest on late rent. This is achieved by banning all fees other than ‘permitted payments’. The main consequence of this is that ‘Administration Fees’, ‘Reference Fees’ etc. formerly charged to tenants to cover the set-up costs of a tenancy will in future be payable by landlords

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.