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Legal requirements for letting a property

04 Dec 2020

The lettings industry is heavily regulated with new laws and legislations being constantly introduced. As a letting agent, we have a duty of care to ensure landlords comply with these standards. It can be tricky for landlords to keep track, but that’s why we’re here. 

Failure to abide by the legislation is not only dangerous and unethical, but it can leave landlords with hefty fines. In extreme circumstances landlords who refuse to comply can be banned from being a landlord or even face imprisonment. 

Landlords, if you’d like to keep out of bother then using an accredited letting agent who knows their stuff is the way to go. We belong to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), so you can always rely on us to make the appropriate checks ensure your properties meet all the legal standards. 

Here are just a few of the many legal requirements that landlords need to comply with:

Electricity

From the 1st July 2020 it became necessary for all new tenancies to have a valid Electrical Safety Certificate. The government also laid down the law, stating that all existing tenancies must require an Electrical Safety Certificate by April 2021. An Electrical Safety Certificate is a safety report supplied by your electrician following inspection of your property. Not complying to this certificate can land landlords a huge fine of up to £30,000.

Smoke detectors

The importance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are often overlooked, however, it is a legal requirement that all rental properties in England follow Smoke and Carbon Monoxide regulations. These regulations require you to install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the property where a room is used as living accommodation. Carbon Monoxide alarms must also be installed in any room containing a solid fuel-burning appliance such as a wood burner, coal fire or biomass. Before renting out a property, we test to ensure that all alarms are in working order.

Right-to-rent

Under the Immigration Act, all landlords must ensure the person they want to rent their property to has the right to reside in the UK. If you rent to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in England then you can find yourself with an unlimited fine, or even a prison sentence. 

Energy performance

Landlords must supply tenants with an EPC. An energy performance certificate includes information about the property's energy use and typical energy costs. This must be shown to tenants before any agreement has been signed.

Mould and damp

Some landlords will turn a blind eye when it comes to damp / mould but it is their legal obligation to treat it. This one comes under The Homes Fitness For Human Habitation Act. Damp and mould can directly affect a person’s health, causing them to have respiratory problems and if you don’t treat the problem, the tenant has the right to take you to court.

Gas safety certificates

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of tenants in relation to gas. Supplying an annual Gas Safety Certificate is essential and not upholding gas use standards is a serious offence which can result in a substantial fine and or even imprisonment.

If you’re looking for a reputable, experienced letting agent to manage your property portfolio and take care of the legal requirements then you’ve come to the right place. Our team are more than happy to help with all enquiries, give us a call today: 01482 562562.

Posted By

Spencer Wood


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