Legal

As a landlord it is your sole responsibility to ensure that you meet all legal requirements.  You can’t blame lack of awareness or your letting agent.  It is down to you - if you don’t meet these requirements you could face prosecution.  

It’s a scary thought; so knowledge is the key.  Even if you have a letting agent managing your property, make sure that you are familiar with your legal responsibilities and you’ll be covered.

We have produced a legal checklist for you to go through to make sure you're covered.   Please note that HMO properties have their own legal requirements.

You can request a copy of the legal checklist by entering your details in the sign up box on the left.

 

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

 energy performance certificate

 

Energy Performance Certificates are issued once a full energy assessment of your rental property has been completed by a qualified Energy Assessor.

Energy Performance Certificates are a legal requirement when letting a property to a tenant in England, Scotland or Wales and landlords have a duty to provide the tenant with a copy of the EPC or it will invalidate a Section 21 Notice (England).

You can search the EPC register here: https://www.epcregister.com/

Gas Safety Certificate (CP12)

gas safe certificate

Landlord Gas Safety Certificates (CP12) and inspections for rental properties are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Landlords are required to hold a valid Gas Safety Certificate where a rental property has a gas supply to an appliance or the central heating is fired by gas.  Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that the Gas Safety Certificate is to be renewed every 12 months.

 

Fixed Wiring Test (EICR)

Fixed Wiring Test

Periodic electrical safety inspection testing of rental properties fixed wiring circuits conducted by our nationwide network of electrical engineers.

Landlords letting property in the UK have a legal obligation to ensure that the property being let is safe to occupy.  As such, ensuring the electrics in the property are not damaged or worn out, through wear and tear, is an important check to make every 5 years.

 

Portable Appliance Test (PAT)

Portable Appliance Testing

Portable appliance testing (PAT test) carried out by an electrical engineers to ensure that a property's electrical items are safe to use.

If you are letting a property in the UK, one of the most important legal obligations of a landlord is to ensure that the property being let is safe to occupy. As a result, Health and Safety regulations require that electrical appliances are safe and would not cause harm to any tenant using them.

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Protect yourself from Property Fraud

Property fraud is where fraudsters try to “steal” your property, most commonly by pretending to be you and selling or mortgaging your property without your knowledge. Sign up to Property Alert with the Land Registry, this is a free service and you can choose up to 10 properties to monitor. It will notify you if anyone attempts to change the legal title or other activities. 

Sign up to Property Alert here

Watch the 3 minute video below to find out more about how to protect your property from fraudsters.

Read more in our 'Protecting yourself from property fraud article'

 

Subcategories from this category:

Insurance, Conveyancing, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Lease extensions – don’t get caught out!

The subject of lease extensions can be complicated although as a leasehold approaches a minimum of 80 years to expiry it is something you will need to address. Traditionally leasehold properties are associated with flats although recently we have seen the introduction of more houses sold on a leasehold basis. In this instance we will look at the situation surrounding flats. To put things into perspective, there are freehold and leasehold arrangements:- The freeholder owns the property and the land on which the property is built The leaseholder rents the property from the freeholder with a lease agreement which can be decades or even centuries long 80 YEARS! If your lease is nearing 80 years, then alarm bells should be ringing! The general “tipping point” with regards to the lease holder property is 80 years at which point the sale value will start to decrease and mortgage funding may not...
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Do you understand the gas safety regulations?

Over the last 20 years we have seen a significant tightening of regulations in relation to all types of rental accommodation. These regulations relate to not only private rental properties but also social housing in its many forms. One area which has become extremely prominent in recent times is that of gas safety checks and the legal obligation on landlords to ensure they are carried out on an annual basis. Areas of responsibility To ensure that everything is above board and all parties are aware of their legal obligations the authorities have clarified three areas of responsibility for landlords: Maintenance of gas appliances Annual gas safety checks Maintaining safety records These legal obligations are set out under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 Act and failure to abide by the regulations can lead to a fine of up to £5000 or six months imprisonment. Gas safety checks All gas checks must...
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Landlords Insurance - Are you covered?

Landlords, you will know that owning a buy to let isn’t as simple as just letting your property to a third party.  There are contracts, referencing, liabilities and maintenance but most of all the uncertainty of having somebody you do not know live in your property.  This is why you need to be fully protected in all areas of your investment. You wouldn’t insure half of your car so why insure your property without protecting it as best you can, leaving the premises and yourself vulnerable to large non-recoverable costs. Properties can be let in various ways to various tenants.  All insurance companies have their preferred and excluded types, however choosing the correct insurer, who provides necessary and proper cover, can prove tricky. The rise of rent-to-rent, serviced accommodation and the HMO boom are regular declines from insurers so it wise to speak to an expert.  Here at Insurance-Desk we...
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Why should I rent guarantee?

We recently chatted to our expert insurance panelist, John Cox from Insurance Desk about reasons why we should protect our rental properties with a rent guarantee.  John owns Insurance-Desk Services which is an independent, friendly broker. They've been working with clients for over 14 years and consistently provides competitive quotes year on year on landlords, tenants, portfolio and commercial insurance policies as well as many other types of insurance. John founded Insurance-Desk Services to aid many landlords who at the time were finding it increasingly difficult to insure properties that have tenants who were on benefits. We asked John why he thought that using a Rent Guarantee was a good idea. Protecting your rental income should be a must if you want continuous rental profits and/or need to keep up with a mortgage. Rent Guarantee cover ensures rental income is not compromised even if your tenants fall into arrears The provider that...
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Richard Hamilton – Head of the Property team at Davis Blank Furniss – on the MEES Regulations and domestic property.

What are the MEES regulations? The Energy Efficiency Regulations are designed to tackle the least energy-efficient properties in England and Wales – being those rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The MEES regulations restrict landlords of domestic property from granting tenancies for properties which fall below the minimum energy efficiency standard. Landlords will also be prohibited from continuing pre-existing tenancies, after 1st April 2020 if the property falls below this standard. How will tenants benefit from the Regulations? An energy efficient home will reduce the cost of energy bills for tenants; and in particular the elderly and vulnerable during the winter months. Properties falling below the energy-efficiency standard contribute to avoidable greenhouse gas emissions, therefore increasing the energy efficiency of properties would go some way in counteracting this problem. What are the benefits for landlords? Energy efficient residential properties can reduce the long term maintenance costs...
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