These video guides and the information on this page are intended to help guide our landlords through the lettings process. Some areas are very important such as advice around safety for your tenants and not following regulations would have serious consequences. Other areas are more for guidance and information sharing. We will try to keep them up to date, but things will change, and it is worth checking with us if anything is of particular importance to you.
If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, or you’re already letting a property and want to explore your options Collinson Hall can help.
There are hundreds of pieces of legislation to consider and many regulations & processes to follow to ensure your property interests are protected. As well as having the best, properly qualified and insured contractors to speak to, we can take over many of these tasks on your behalf - depending on your chosen service level.
This is just one of the many areas where we provide a real and cost-effective benefit to our clients. We would be pleased to discuss how and why we believe we can help you.
These are some of the most critical areas that must be addressed when letting your property.
When letting your property you must ensure that it complies with certain regulations such as Gas safety, Electrical safety, Furniture & furnishings fire safety
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all gas appliances are maintained in good order. Gas appliances must be checked for safety on an annual basis by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
To work legally on gas appliances and installations contractors must be on the Gas Safe register. As leading letting agents in St Albans, Collinson Hall thoroughly vets all contractors and any contractor instructed by Collinson Hall to carry out work on gas appliances and installations has supplied Collinson Hall with their up to date licence card.
Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
(EICR) Electrical installation condition reports are now a key part of electrical safety, Landlords have the responsibility to ensure that a tenanted property has an electrical installation that is safe to use by its tenants. On the 1st of July 2020, the Law around the Electrical Safety Standards in rental properties changed and there is now a legal onus on all landlords to have an electrical installation condition report in place. A landlord will have to be able to provide this to the tenant, managing agent or local authority within 30 days should they ask. The government has also laid down the law that all existing tenancies will require an EICR report by April 2021.
Electrical equipment should be kept safe, this includes all portable appliances. also known as non-white goods. The best thing for this is a portable appliance test (PAT). Most electricians can carry this out. For information purposes, white Goods include Washing Machine, Cooker, Oven, Hob, Toaster, Kettle and Fridge.
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all upholstered furniture, soft furnishings, beds, mattresses, pillows, cushions, headboards etc supplied to the property as part of the let comply with these regulations.
Exempted items are bedclothes, curtains, carpets and antique furniture manufactured prior to 1950.
Smoke Detectors Act 1991
The Department of the Environment introduced new regulations which require any new building (built after June 1992) to have smoke detectors installed. If your property was built after this date mains operated smoke detectors must be fitted on each floor. Collinson Hall recommends that Landlords provide good quality smoke detectors fitted to each floor regardless of the age of the property.
Housing Act 2004 Implementation – Houses in - Properties with multiple occupants (three or more) may be subject to HMO licensing. It is the Landlord’s responsibility to apply for registration by the Council or licensing of their property if necessary.
The Housing Act 2004 introduced a new definition of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) from 6th April 2006 in England and 30th June 2006 in Wales. If you renting out a property which is one of the following types it is an HMO:
· An entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
· A house which has been converted entirely into bed-sits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
· A converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained (i.e. the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households.
· A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.
· In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges.
Energy Performance Certification
Since 1st October 2008, it is compulsory that every rented property must have an Energy Performance Certificate. This must be issued by a qualified and accredited assessor in an independent manner. Once produced an EPC is valid for ten years. The certificate is accompanied by recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency. These do not have to be implemented. This has been implemented into law in England and Wales by the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations (2007/991).
Tenancy Deposit Protection
From 6th April 2007 legislation came into effect requiring the landlord or the landlord’s agent to safeguard the tenants security deposit in an approved tenancy deposit scheme. Collinson Hall, letting agents in St Albans are a members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which is administered by The Dispute Service Ltd. For all Assured Shorthold Tenancies where we hold the deposit, it will be protected by this scheme. For more information about The Dispute Service please visit www.thedisputeservice.co.uk
* The above summary is not exhaustive and you are strongly recommended to read the detail of all Regulations yourself and take professional advice if in doubt.
* Whilst the above information is provided in good faith, Collinson Hall cannot guarantee its total accuracy and if you have any doubts you must rely only upon independent legal advice.