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Becoming A Landlord – What Are Your Legal Responsibilities?

Renting out a property is one of the best ways to make a profitable passive income. If done well, you can expect a healthy return on investment from a regular income source that can see you through to retirement.
 
However, it’s not just a case of sticking your property on the books of a letting agency. Then waiting for your tenants to walk through the door. You may have just invested in a buy-to-let, or you’re planning to rent out a property you already own. Either way there are some important legal responsibilities you need to be aware of.
 
Here’s a look at the legal regulations you’ll need to comply with when you become a landlord.
 

Safety Regulations

 
As a landlord, you need to ensure your property is safe to rent. Check for any signs of damp and mould and general wear and tear damage. Then carry out any necessary repairs before the tenants move in. You’ll also need:
 
  • A gas safety certificate; all gas appliances must by checked by a registered Gas Safety engineer. This is to ensure they are properly installed and running safely. Carry out inspections yearly on the gas appliances. You must provide the tenants with a copy of the certificate. Read our article for more information on recent changes to gas safety certificates.
 
  • An electrical safety check; carry these out before the tenancy begins. This is to ensure that all electrical appliances, lights, sockets and wiring is safe and comply with the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations.
 
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of the property. And a CO2 alarm in any room that has a solid fuel burner. If the property is an HMO, fire alarms and fire extinguishers are also required.
 
  • If renting out a furnished property, all soft furnishings must adhere to the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. This includes items such as beds, sofas, mattresses, and even cushions. Also, each item must have a “Carelessness Causes Fire” label attached.
 

Energy Performance Certificate

 
Before you rent out your property you are now required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum rating of E. This contains information on typical energy costs, and recommendations on reducing energy consumption. An accredited assessor must carry these out, they are valid for 10 years.
 

Tenancy Deposit Protection

 
All deposit payments must be paid into a Government backed, Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme (TDP). This applies to all shorthold tenancies in the UK.
 

Landlords Insurance

 
Although not technically a legal requirement, landlords insurance will cover you for extras such as fire, flood, and malicious damage. Normal home insurance won’t. It can also protect you from rental payment defaults and tenant liability claims if they injure themselves while living in your property.
 
Also bear in mind, your mortgage company will insist that you have dedicated Landlords Insurance in place on a buy-to-let property.
 
For more information and advice on landlords insurance, request a call back for one of the team to call you back.

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