Below is a comprehensive list of Landlord’s responsibilities to consider when letting your property.
Before we can advertise your property we must have the following;
1. Signed copy of our contract
3. EPC / Gas Safe certificate / Buildings Insurance certificate
4. Property checklist
5. Landlord identification
New Money Laundering legislation states, that when agents are acting on behalf of a client in the sale or let of a property, we must hold the following two pieces of identification;
1. Photographic ID either Passport or Driving License
2. Proof of address, such as a utility or council tax bill
These must also be the same as the address used for correspondence.
Energy Performance Certificates Any property rented out after October 1st 2008 must have an Energy Performance Certificate in place before we can advertise your property. EPC are valid for 10 years and must be E rated or above. Landlords with older inefficient properties are advised to start to take any economical measures that they can to maximise their efficiency rating. EPC Requirements Can be provided quickly & efficiently for £55.
All rented properties with fitted or supplied gas appliances must have a current gas safety certificate. There should be a copy on file with the agent and a copy left at the property and upon renewal given to the tenant within 30 days. This must be kept up to date annually by a GAS SAFE registered engineer.
For further Information, you can download the HSE A Landlords Guide to Gas Safety
Homematch can provide Gas Safe Certification: see bespoke services (link)
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires the landlord to ensure the electrical installation is safe when the tenancy begins and that it is maintained in a safe condition throughout that tenancy. One way of ensuring safety is to undertake a regular formal inspection of the installation, looking for any obvious signs of damage such as damaged cables, sockets showing scorch marks, etc. In addition, the Institution of Electrical Engineers recommend combined inspection and testing at least once every ten years. We can provide you with a professional (NICEIC qualified) electrician.
All properties built after June 1992 should have hard-wired smoke detectors on each floor. We recommend this type of smoke alarm is fitted to all properties, as this stops tenants taking the batteries out and then forgetting to replace them.
As per BS5823 (which enables compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (2005)), optical mains powered smoke alarms with battery backup and wireless interconnection are now fitted on each habitable floor of this property in circulation areas (halls/landings). It now has a Cat LD3 system which is the minimum legal protection for privately rented properties.
Previously there was a ionisation mains powered smoke alarm on each floor and they were found to not be interconnected upon functional testing. Inspection of the wiring showed no interconnect wire. Ionisation alarms are not suitable for circulation areas.
Fire safety and furnishings
All soft furnishings must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations 1988 and be fire safety compliant. Look for the fire safety label on all furnishings. Further information Fire Safety
Upholstered furniture includes:
- sofas and armchairs
- beds, headboards and mattresses
- sofa beds and futons
- nursery and children’s furniture
- loose and stretch covers for furniture
- cushions and seat pads
- furniture in new caravans
- garden furniture that’s used indoors. There should be a symbol on your furniture to state that it is fire resistant.Quotes can be obtained to fit mains alarms.
Maintenance & Repairs
Click Here for A Guide to Repairs
Fair Wear and Tear
The natural route of any deposit is back to the tenant. In completing a moving out report/inventory, account must be taken of “Fair Wear & Tear”. Natural dilapidation is counted as fair wear and tear and is the landlords responsibility to maintain.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to report any damage or problems to us that occur at the property. If any of these problems are emergencies (i.e. no electricity, leakages, no use of toilet, etc), we will arrange for a maintenance person to attend. Should it be more involved/costly than first expected, it is their responsibility to advise us so we can pass this information on to you, the landlord. We have a comprehensive trade directory of contractors for all manner of property repair and maintenance work.
As a landlord, you’ll have to declare your income and costs – whether you make a profit or not – and keep all records, invoices, receipts and statements for up to six years. Request and complete the Land & Property Supplementary pages for your tax return and the easy to follow notes from. Where you make a loss on your buy-to-let property, you can carry forward and set it off against rental profits in future tax years (but you cannot set it off against other income). If you aren’t resident in the UK and use a letting agent for management you can get an exemption from HMRC so that the rent can be paid over to you gross. When you come to sell, there are a number of reliefs available that reduce the capitals tax liability on the property, including Letting Relief and your Capital Gains Tax Allowance. This can be a bit more complex so if you need to know more, you are advised to contact the Inland Revenue.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Since April 2007 all Tenancy Deposits must be held in one of three Government approved schemes. Homematch are members of The Deposit Protection Scheme.
Many of our Landlords live overseas, normally due to work commitments. Working away does not necessary mean sell your property. Why not rent it out whilst you are away? We manage many properties for overseas Landlords and are experienced in dealing with day-to-day management and maintenance issues. If you are going away you will need to register yourself for tax and complete an annual return. Any income you receive over and above your monthly mortgage interest & expenses needs to be taxed.
Gas, water and electricity charges. Prior to and between any tenancies these services are the landlord’s responsibility. As soon as we let your property the utility suppliers are informed and the tenants resume responsibility.
For managed lettings we inform the council and the liability to pay ongoing charges falls on the tenant. If a property remains empty and unfurnished it is allowed to remain so for six months between tenants before the landlord will incur charges. If a property remains empty and furnished there will always be ongoing charges to the landlord. We are bound to inform the authorities of all changes in circumstances.
Your mortgage lender needs to be aware you are letting your property. It is your responsibility to approach your bank, building society or mortgage lender to ask permission to let out the property. Homematch can offer A comprehensive quote via a 3rd party for new Buy-to-let mortgages or Re-financing (link)
You will need to ensure your insurance company are aware that you are letting. Some insurers will require additional premiums or limit their risk especially restrictions regarding tenants personal circumstances. If you do not do so and need to make a claim you may find you are not covered.
Going to live abroad?
You will then be classed as a non-resident landlord. Please ensure you ask for the relevant form. Failure to do so will mean that we will have you deduct tax at source.
House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)
There are special obligations under the mandatory licencing rules of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) 2006 that you need to be aware of. We can provide you with general advice but we advise making yourself fully aware of your duties in this regard. http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/rentingandletting/privaterenting/housesmultiple/