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)

Freehold & Leasehold: What do they mean?

Considering selling your home and relocating? Then be prepared to hear the terms freehold and leasehold a lot. Understanding what they mean is important as it could make the difference between owning a home and the land it’s on completely or having a landlord. Here, quick sale property experts, We Buy Any House explore what the two mean and how owning one over the other can differ. What do freehold and leasehold mean and what’s the difference? Freehold: If you are the freeholder it means that you own both the building and the land that it’s found on. If you were to search the property in the Land Registry you would find it under your name as the ‘freeholder’ and owner of the title completely. This is the preferred purchase option in pretty much every instance and comes with many advantages. Chief of which is the fact that you don’t...
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Should landlords be concerned about the new Homes (Fitness) Act?

The simple answer is, no. Landlords who are abiding by the current regulations, administered by local authorities, have nothing to be concerned about. The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act (2018) is in many ways a transfer of rights from local authorities to tenants. However, it makes sense to understand the new legislation and the additional protection given to tenants. Why was the Homes (Fitness) Act introduced? The reason this legislation has been brought in is to ensure that private rental properties are fit for purpose and human habitation. It would appear that local authorities up and down the country are struggling to carry out their current responsibilities regarding the repair of substandard rental properties. Therefore, the UK government has decided to back a Private Members Bill to refresh tenant protections and shift the emphasis on pursuing repairs. In simple terms tenants will now be able to sue their landlord...
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Lease extensions – don’t get caught out!

The subject of lease extensions can be complicated although as a leasehold approaches a minimum of 80 years to expiry it is something you will need to address. Traditionally leasehold properties are associated with flats although recently we have seen the introduction of more houses sold on a leasehold basis. In this instance we will look at the situation surrounding flats. To put things into perspective, there are freehold and leasehold arrangements:- The freeholder owns the property and the land on which the property is built The leaseholder rents the property from the freeholder with a lease agreement which can be decades or even centuries long 80 YEARS! If your lease is nearing 80 years, then alarm bells should be ringing! The general “tipping point” with regards to the lease holder property is 80 years at which point the sale value will start to decrease and mortgage funding may not...
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Do you understand the gas safety regulations?

Over the last 20 years we have seen a significant tightening of regulations in relation to all types of rental accommodation. These regulations relate to not only private rental properties but also social housing in its many forms. One area which has become extremely prominent in recent times is that of gas safety checks and the legal obligation on landlords to ensure they are carried out on an annual basis. Areas of responsibility To ensure that everything is above board and all parties are aware of their legal obligations the authorities have clarified three areas of responsibility for landlords: Maintenance of gas appliances Annual gas safety checks Maintaining safety records These legal obligations are set out under the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 Act and failure to abide by the regulations can lead to a fine of up to £5000 or six months imprisonment. Gas safety checks All gas checks must...
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Landlords Insurance - Are you covered?

Landlords, you will know that owning a buy to let isn’t as simple as just letting your property to a third party.  There are contracts, referencing, liabilities and maintenance but most of all the uncertainty of having somebody you do not know live in your property.  This is why you need to be fully protected in all areas of your investment. You wouldn’t insure half of your car so why insure your property without protecting it as best you can, leaving the premises and yourself vulnerable to large non-recoverable costs. Properties can be let in various ways to various tenants.  All insurance companies have their preferred and excluded types, however choosing the correct insurer, who provides necessary and proper cover, can prove tricky. The rise of rent-to-rent, serviced accommodation and the HMO boom are regular declines from insurers so it wise to speak to an expert.  Here at Insurance-Desk we...
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