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)

Right to Rent Checks Law by February 2016

Heres a great video from Sally Lawson of Concentric Lettings about the responsibilities of a landlord to check the immigration status of any tenant. Click here to view the video   From February 2016 all landlords will need to check that their tenant have the right to be in the country and has the right to rent in the UK.  They will need to check that the prospective tenant has a valid UK or EU passport. There will be an ability to check the status of the tenant online via the immigration website. But as you can imagine this website might get a bit busy when February 2016 comes around. There will be penalties of up to £3,000 for repeat offenders. More information can be found on the government website.  Have a look at this informative 4 minute video to gain more information.    
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Deregulation Act October 1 2015

Under the Deregulation Act 1st October 2015 landlords will be unable to end a tenancy with a Section 21 if they do not address a repairs complaint.   Many landlords are unaware of this fact. This will affect any ASTs (Assured Shorthold tenancies) starting on or after 1st October 2015.  All remaining ASTs in England will be included on the 1st of October 2018. So whats changing? A Section 21 can not be validly served in the first four months of tenancy. For a Section 21 to be validly served a landlord must have given them the following documents: - A valid EPC - A CP12 - A copy of the governments "How to rent guide" Expiry: If proceedings are not issued within 6 months of the service of a Section 21 Notice, then the notice will be invalid. Download the new Section 21 notice.  The Section 21 notice will...
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Essential services landlords should provide

  There's more to being a landlord than just letting somebody live in a house or a flat in return for money. Landlords do have certain obligations to their tenants, both legally and morally, but unfortunately not all landlords meet these obligations all of the time. They can get away with it because often their tenants wont want to make a fuss. There are several reasons why this could be the case. The tenant may not realise that the landlord is breaking the law. Alternatively, the landlord may not technically be breaking the law, but is still failing to provide the level of service a tenant should expect. In both cases, a tenant might not complain for fear of a rent increase that they cant afford, or worse, eviction. Property management Many landlords choose to work with a property management company. Reputable managers like Hamilton King will provide a full service...
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Legionella Testing - Question and Answer

  As you may know, it is now law for all residential properties to have a risk assessment in place for Legionella. Similar to the legal requirement of a CP12 and EPC certifications, landlords are now required to have a risk assessment carried out of every properties water system. The aim of a risk assessment is to assess the water system in place to ensure no high risks are present that could possibly be fatal. There is useful information on the Health and Safety Executive website.  Please follow the link to their website that outlines your duty and the enforcement around this; http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/what-you-must-do.htm Also, heres a short video from RICS - Property Standards Director, Peter Bolton King FRICS puts members legionnella testing questions their UK Residential Director, Andrew Bulmer FRICS.    
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13 Great Tips and Hints for Controlled Conveyancing

Conveyancing quotes come in all forms and give various bits of information. Check thoroughly, especially if your quote appears cheaper than most as those firms are likely to apply charges later which are hidden now and in the end you could pay more than a reasonable quote.
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