Landlords are required to provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate, known as an EPC, at the beginning of a tenancy. Each time the property is subsequently let, landlords must provide new tenants with an EPC, which is used to detail its energy efficiency.
As of April 2016, if a rental property doesn't have an energy performance rating of band E- or higher, tenants have been able to request that their landlord improve its energy efficiency. What's more, from April 2018, it will be illegal for landlords to let properties which have an energy performance rating lower than band E-.
All landlords are required by law to make sure the gas appliances they provide for tenants are safe to use under The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. When a new gas appliance is installed, it's mandatory for landlords to organise that an annual gas safety check is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Records of gas safety checks must be kept for two years and copies must be issued to new and existing tenants.
As of February 2016, it's been a legal requirement for landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. This initiative is known as 'Right to Rent' and requires landlords – or their letting agents – to check if tenants have the legal right to live in the UK. Landlords will need to check and keep copies of a range of documents, including passports, birth certificates or biometric residence permits. If a landlord is found to be letting a property to someone who doesn't have the right to live in the UK, they could be fined up to £3,000.
Since October 2015, it has been a legal requirement for landlords to make sure that all rented properties have a smoke alarm fitted on any floor that's used fully or partly as living accommodation. On top of this, they must also make sure that a carbon monoxide detector is installed on every floor of a rental property where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance (including open fires and wood burners). These alarms must be in working order at the beginning of each tenancy.
A tenancy agreement is the official document which gives the tenant the right to rent your property. Most agreements are Assured Shorthold Tenancies, for which the document will include the basic information of all parties as well as the proposed dates of the tenancy and the costs involved.
Here at Angels Sales & Lettings our staff receive frequent and ongoing training on the various legal aspects of letting property, including safety regulations, tenancy agreements and clauses and possession. Our agents have a vast practical experience of all these matters and will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding more detailed legal situations.
The relationship between landlords and their tenants can sometimes have its 'ups' and 'downs'. It's during these times that the value of a professional letting agent really shines through. The best agents help to facilitate a smooth and enjoyable property experience for all parties concerned.
And much, much more…
The regulations and legal requirements detailed above are just some of the many measures landlords are now required to comply with. If there is any aspect of letting a property you're not sure about, then please get in touch and our agents will be able to assist you.