Consent to let
If your property is subject to a mortgage you will need to seek the consent of your lender prior to letting, in addition your insurance company will also need to be notified.
It should be noted a landlord has the same rights of possession whether the property is let in a furnished or unfurnished state. It is a requirement however that any furniture that is included with the let meets with the requirements of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993.
Gas Safety Regulations
As a landlord you are required to ensure that all gas appliances and installations are annually safety checked by a Gas Safety Registered engineer. The records of these inspections must be available to the tenant. By signing this document you are confirming that you are aware of this requirement and will ensure that these annual checks are carried out with any recommendations undertaken.
Non gas heating/hot water systems
As a landlord you have an obligation to ensure that all heating/hot water systems are subject to a regular service program. In the event of oil heating it is recommended that a check/service is carried out on an annual basis.
Electric Safety Regulations
You have a duty to ensure that all electrical appliances and installations are safe failure to do so could mean a landlord is exposing themselves to significant financial risks be it from fires and/or invalidated insurance. As a consequence of this best practice advice would be to have an electrical test/inspection carried out on appliances and installations once every five years or more frequently if there are any significant alterations or changes.
Smoke alarms and carbon dioxide detectors
Legislation states that landlords are legally required to have working smoke alarms on each level of their properties and test them at the commencement of a tenancy, the responsibility for testing the alarms and replacement of batteries will remain the tenants during the period of their occupation. Legislation also states that Carbon monoxide detectors have to be installed in high risk areas such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed, although it is best practice to also install at the point of any gas appliance.
Legionnaires Diseases is pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria that can be found within water systems where temperatures provide the ideal background for its growth. People contract the disease by heating in tiny droplets of water suspended in the air containing the bacteria. It is our best advice that in order to protect themselves, landlords should employ a ‘competent person’ to carry out a ‘Legionnaires Disease’ Risk Assessment to ascertain if indeed works need to be carried to render a property safe.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s)
All properties being marketed for residential let are required to have had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) carried out on them. These certificates last for a 10 year period and the seeking of possession without a valid EPC can, in certain circumstances, be jeopardized. The EPC is not a full survey but is compiled during an inspection of the property by a suitably qualified person when details are collated regarding the overall energy efficiency of the property taking in to account its construction such as light bulbs and double glazing etc. The final certificate will give your property a rating between A to G for its energy efficiency (A being the highest level) and a separate rating for its environment impact, also A to G. Trading Standards can impose fines of up to £200 per day for not having a valid EPC available.
We can not over stress the importance of having a professional inventory/schedule of condition prepared prior to letting your property even if it is to be let in an unfurnished state. Without written documentary evidence of the premises condition the proving of dilapidations at the end of the tenancy is extremely difficult. The fee for preparing an inventory will vary depending upon the size and state of the property concerned although a figure will be confirmed with you prior to it preparation.
Overseas landlords/going abroad
If you reside abroad or are going away for longer than six months your agents, or in some instances the tenant, become liable for the tax that the Inland Revenue consider is due on your rental income. As a result and unless we receive instructions to the contrary from the Inland Revenue we will be required to deduct basic rate tax from the gross rents received and amount this to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis. In the majority of cases however a letter can be obtained confirming that we need not make such deductions. Please ask for further information on how to obtain this letter.
Leasehold properties/Restrictive covenants
If your property is subject to a lease please advise us of any restrictive covenants that apply to it/its occupation. A copy of the lease should be available for the tenants to have sight of upon request.
All fees quoted include VAT at the prevailing rate.