By choosing Masons Fully Managed Lettings Service you are sure to Be Legal and Stay Legal. We have you covered by keeping up to date with the latest legislation for landlords. Stay informed and updated on the property you’re letting. Make sure you’re legally compliant and ensure you stay that way with our quick guide to letting property in Lincolnshire.
Gas Safety Certificate
All gas appliances must pass an annual safety check, carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You need to give your tenant a copy of the check when they move in or within 28 days of any check.
Failure to provide a gas safety record is a criminal offence and landlords can be liable for unlimited fines and/or 6 months of imprisonment. Landlords can also be subject to enforcement actions, as failure to have a gas safety certificate is classed as a hazardous situation. In some cases emergency remedial action may be taken by the local authority.
Energy Performance Certificate
Your property must have a valid EPC from an accredited assessor. The minimum is Band E (unless you have an exemption certificate). Give a copy to the tenant. In Scotland, the EPC must be displayed in the property.
If a local authority believes a landlord may be in breach, they may serve a compliance notice requesting information to help them decide whether a breach has occurred. This can happen up to 12 months after a suspected breach occurred so compliance is key.
The maximum penalties apply per property and per breach of the regulations as detailed here, with the maximum fine per property of £5000:
- up to £2,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for less than 3 months
- up to £4,000 and/or publication penalty for renting out a non-compliant property for 3 months or more
- up to £1,000 and/or publication for providing false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register
- up to £2,000 and/or publication for failure to comply with a compliance notice
If your property is a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) you will need a licence from your local authority. Some councils also use selective licensing in some areas. Check to see if you’re affected.
If you are processing personal data you will need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as you are responsible for ensuring your tenants information is used and stored in line with GDPR.
If you are unsure on whether or not you need to register with the ICO, please see their self-assessment tool for guidance.
All landlords must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) check done (at least every 5 years) on the electrical installations in their properties by a person who is qualified and competent. A copy must be given to your tenants and to their local authority if requested.
If the EICR shows that remedial work or further investigation is required then landlords must complete the work as necessary within 28 days or any shorter period if specified in the report. Landlords must then provide confirmation in writing that the remedial work has been carried out and report this to their tenant and the local authority within 28 days.
If there are reasonable grounds for the local authority to believe that the landlord is in breach of one or more of the duties in the regulations they must serve a remedial notice on the landlord requiring remedial action.
If the landlord fails to comply with the notice, the local authority may arrange for the remedial ation to be taken themselves and then recover the costs from the landlord.
A financial penalty of up to £30,000 may be imposed by the local authority on landlords in breach of their duties.
PAT testing should be carried out on any appliances.
Fire Safety including Alarms
- Provide a smoke alarm on each storey
- Provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance(for example a coal fire or wood burning stove)
- Check tenants have access to escape routes at all times
- Make sure the furniture and furnishings supplied are fire safe
- Provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large house in multiple occupation (HMO)
- Fire risk assessment
- Fire doors
- Electrical safety inspection
- Portable appliance testing (PAT)
- Gas safety check
- Banning smoking indoors
Further responsibilities when it comes to reducing the risks of fire include demonstrating that alarms are working at the start of a tenancy and:
Right to Rent
Landlords must carry out Right to Rent checks on the potential tenant and any adult over 18 who will be living with them and intend to use your property as their main home.Landlords could face 5 years in prison or get an unlimited fine for renting property in England to someone who you knew or had 'reasonable cause to believe' did not have the right to rent in the UK.
Anti-Money Laundering Checks
Be aware that all lettings agents need to carry out due diligence (CDD) checks on any new tenant and landlords. It is your agent’s responsibility to ensure that they ‘know their customer’. CDD must be carried out on both the tenant and landlord for any agency agreement with a monthly rent of £8,800pcm (or equivalent amount) or more.
You must put any deposit into a government approved scheme to protect it and provide the tenant with the details. You are also legally obliged to provide your tenants with the Prescribed Information within 30 days of receiving the deposit.Your tenants can apply to a county court if you do not use a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. They can do this at any time during the tenancy. If the court finds you have not protected the deposit, it can order you to either:
- Repay it to your tenants
- Pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days
- The court may also order you to repay your tenants up to 3 times their original deposit within 14 days of making the order.
How to Rent Guide
You must give the tenant an up-to-date copy of the Government's How to Rent guide. This covers details on Assured Shorthold Tenancies, how to rent, things to check including paperwork and what to do when you’ve found somewhere. It also covers obligations for tenants and landlords, what happens at the end of a fixed period and what to do if tenant or landlord want to end the tenancy.Failure to do so means the landlord is in breach of the rules governing Section 21 Notice, so would be unable to issue a Section 21 Notice to reclaim possession of their property.
Meet all HHSRS Standards
The property must be free from serious hazards and meet with guidance for landlords and property related professionals to meet the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Repair structural defects. Ensure sanitary fittings and drains are working. Check heating and hot water systems, chimneys and ventilation.Typically, the first step taken is serving an improvement notice. This instructs the landlord or property owner to carry out any remedial work needed. The local authorities can also:
- Make a prohibition order (either closing the whole or part of a building or restricting the number of permitted occupants)
- Take emergency action
- Serve a hazard awareness notice
- Make a demolition order
- Declare a clearance area
If you are processing personal data you will need to register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) as you are responsible for ensuring your tenants information is used and stored in line with GDPR. If you are unsure on whether or not you need to register with the ICO, please see their self-assessment tool for guidance
While not yet part of the current property letting legislation, at Masons Lettings, we firmly believe in including these vital aspects in your professional rental process.
- ✔ Written Tenancy Agreement
- ✔ Detailed Inventory
- ✔ Rent Protection Insurance
To find out how Masons Letting Team can support you as a landlord to manage compliance issues please get in touch today for a free consultation. We are always happy to offer a free appraisal of your property.
“Excellent service from start to finish letting my property. Jess and Wendy always went the extra mile and were lovely to deal with whilst being extremely professional.”
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