If you are thinking of becoming a landlord the sheet quantity of rules and regulations can almost put you off at the first hurdle, but don’t despair! Investing in property really is rewarding both personally and financially and it is worth making the effort to get things done well and properly from the outset to ensure the success of your business. Take a look at our simple guide to make sure you have all the basics covered:
Right to Rent
As of the 1st February 2016 it is a legal requirement that a landlord checks all prospective tenants ‘right to rent’ in the UK. This means you must procure documentation from every adult living in the property showing they have the right to reside in the UK. Landlords face penalties of up to £3000 per adult tenant should they fail to comply with this regulation.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Landlords must protect tenants’ deposits in a deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it, failure to do so is a criminal offence and will invalidate any eviction notice a landlord may wish to serve to the tenants. Landlords must provide tenants with written proof that their deposit has been protected.
Smoke alarms need to be installed in the property and regularly tested and carbon monoxide detectors need to be installed in rooms with solid fuel burning appliances or rooms classed as ‘high risk’. The boiler must be serviced annually and a Gas Safety Certificate issued. Any furniture in the property must meet fire regulation standards. You must commission a risk assessment to determine the risk of Legionnaires’ disease at any residential property you rent out, then implement a suitable control scheme.
The landlord has a legal obligation to ensure the property is kept in a good state of repair and working order. Tenants have a right to report dangerous conditions to their local authority. At the same time, tenants are expected to maintain the property at a basic level keeping it in a ‘tenant like manner’. Landlords are not expected to repair things broken or damaged through tenant negligence, however any other repairs should be conduct in a timely fashion. The Deregulation Act means that if a landlord does not carry out within a reasonable or a given time frame, in certain cases the tenant has the right to withhold the rent until repairs have been completed and the landlord forfeits their right to evict the tenants.
Landlords earning an income from their property must complete a tax return, you will be fined for evading tax. You should also be aware that for those earning income from renting rooms in their house, the tax threshold is rising, from £4,250 a year to £7,500.
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