Legal

As a landlord it is your sole responsibility to ensure that you meet all legal requirements.  You can’t blame lack of awareness or your letting agent.  It is down to you - if you don’t meet these requirements you could face prosecution.  

It’s a scary thought; so knowledge is the key.  Even if you have a letting agent managing your property, make sure that you are familiar with your legal responsibilities and you’ll be covered.

We have produced a legal checklist for you to go through to make sure you're covered.   Please note that HMO properties have their own legal requirements.

You can request a copy of the legal checklist by entering your details in the sign up box on the left.

 

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

 energy performance certificate

 

Energy Performance Certificates are issued once a full energy assessment of your rental property has been completed by a qualified Energy Assessor.

Energy Performance Certificates are a legal requirement when letting a property to a tenant in England, Scotland or Wales and landlords have a duty to provide the tenant with a copy of the EPC or it will invalidate a Section 21 Notice (England).

You can search the EPC register here: https://www.epcregister.com/

Gas Safety Certificate (CP12)

gas safe certificate

Landlord Gas Safety Certificates (CP12) and inspections for rental properties are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Landlords are required to hold a valid Gas Safety Certificate where a rental property has a gas supply to an appliance or the central heating is fired by gas.  Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that the Gas Safety Certificate is to be renewed every 12 months.

 

Fixed Wiring Test (EICR)

Fixed Wiring Test

Periodic electrical safety inspection testing of rental properties fixed wiring circuits conducted by our nationwide network of electrical engineers.

Landlords letting property in the UK have a legal obligation to ensure that the property being let is safe to occupy.  As such, ensuring the electrics in the property are not damaged or worn out, through wear and tear, is an important check to make every 5 years.

 

Portable Appliance Test (PAT)

Portable Appliance Testing

Portable appliance testing (PAT test) carried out by an electrical engineers to ensure that a property's electrical items are safe to use.

If you are letting a property in the UK, one of the most important legal obligations of a landlord is to ensure that the property being let is safe to occupy. As a result, Health and Safety regulations require that electrical appliances are safe and would not cause harm to any tenant using them.

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Protect yourself from Property Fraud

Property fraud is where fraudsters try to “steal” your property, most commonly by pretending to be you and selling or mortgaging your property without your knowledge. Sign up to Property Alert with the Land Registry, this is a free service and you can choose up to 10 properties to monitor. It will notify you if anyone attempts to change the legal title or other activities. 

Sign up to Property Alert here

Watch the 3 minute video below to find out more about how to protect your property from fraudsters.

Read more in our 'Protecting yourself from property fraud article'

 

Subcategories from this category:

Insurance, Conveyancing, Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Why should I rent guarantee?

We recently chatted to our expert insurance panelist, John Cox from Insurance Desk about reasons why we should protect our rental properties with a rent guarantee.  John owns Insurance-Desk Services which is an independent, friendly broker. They've been working with clients for over 14 years and consistently provides competitive quotes year on year on landlords, tenants, portfolio and commercial insurance policies as well as many other types of insurance. John founded Insurance-Desk Services to aid many landlords who at the time were finding it increasingly difficult to insure properties that have tenants who were on benefits. We asked John why he thought that using a Rent Guarantee was a good idea. Protecting your rental income should be a must if you want continuous rental profits and/or need to keep up with a mortgage. Rent Guarantee cover ensures rental income is not compromised even if your tenants fall into arrears The provider that...
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Richard Hamilton – Head of the Property team at Davis Blank Furniss – on the MEES Regulations and domestic property.

What are the MEES regulations? The Energy Efficiency Regulations are designed to tackle the least energy-efficient properties in England and Wales – being those rated F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The MEES regulations restrict landlords of domestic property from granting tenancies for properties which fall below the minimum energy efficiency standard. Landlords will also be prohibited from continuing pre-existing tenancies, after 1st April 2020 if the property falls below this standard. How will tenants benefit from the Regulations? An energy efficient home will reduce the cost of energy bills for tenants; and in particular the elderly and vulnerable during the winter months. Properties falling below the energy-efficiency standard contribute to avoidable greenhouse gas emissions, therefore increasing the energy efficiency of properties would go some way in counteracting this problem. What are the benefits for landlords? Energy efficient residential properties can reduce the long term maintenance costs...
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Legal Q&A - Can I sell my ex tenant's belongings?

Richard Hamilton – Head of Property at Davis Blank Furniss – answers this interesting query. Question: I am the freehold owner of a building that is used as a workshop. Until recently, the building was occupied by an individual under a tenancy at will. Suddenly, and without warning, the tenant vacated the building but left behind various tools. He did not give any notice to me and has not left any forwarding address. Rent was paid in cash and I have no official record or other means to trace the tenant.  I would like to try and recover the small amount of rent due and I want to get on with reletting the building. What should I do about the tools? They are bulky and I do not want the cost or responsibility of storing them. I would prefer to sell them and keep the money as compensation for the...
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Gas safety certificates & Section 21 – be compliant or you may pay the price

by Paul Shamplina, Landlord Action Landlords, did you know that if you did not provide a gas safety certificate at the start of a tenancy (be it a first agreement or written renewal after 1st October 2015), before the tenant moved in, you may find that any Section 21 notice served during the term is invalid? This is not a well-known issue, but one that is starting to gain traction following the Caridon Property Ltd v Monty Shooltz case back in February 2018. At the Central London County Court, landlord Caridon Property failed to obtain a possession order, based on their Section 21 notice, because they failed to serve a copy of a current gas safety certificate BEFORE the tenant moved in on the 13th April 2017; it was served on the 26th April 2017, after the tenant moved in. This contravened regulation 36 (6) Gas Safety Regulations 1998, which states:...
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What can Property Investors expect in the new financial year?

Richard Hamilton – Head of Property at Davis Blank Furniss – talks about what property investors can expect in the new financial year: Richard, how are things looking in the marketplace right now? Well, the new financial year has just begun so time will tell if doom and gloom or concern will return to the property sector thanks to Brexit and the much talked about interest rate rises or if the market remains positive with returns to be made. I feel pretty confident though! What’s your view on prices? Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the economic effect it will have, property prices have remained resilient. 2017 was a year of growth in property values. Looking at various mortgage lender’s statistics, in 2017 a typical home grew by an average of just over £7,000, based on an average price of £220,000. The common belief for 2018 is that growth nationally...
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