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Calling all landlords: top tips for the New Year

Author: Craig Bees Published: 8th January 2019 09:13

More of us than ever before are becoming landlords and there are around 150 laws around property letting.More of us than ever before are becoming landlords and there are around 150 laws around property letting.
More of us than ever before are becoming landlords and there are around 150 laws around property letting.

Here CRAIG BEES, Bartram & Co MD, highlights some of the key areas.

Ensure the property stays in good condition
As the owner of the property, you are required to ensure the property stays in sound condition and take care of any building works that are required. This includes, but is not limited to, fixing any structural damage, roof repairs and maintaining any exterior paintwork.

Gas safety
Landlords are legally responsible for the gas safety of their properties. They must make sure gas equipment is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must also have a registered engineer, do an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue (boiler or gas fire). A copy of the Gas Safety Record must be given to each of the ingoing tenants before they move in and, for any subsequent renewals, within 28 days of certification. You should also keep records of the checks for a minimum of two years.

Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms
Since 1 October 2015, landlords must ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of the property on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt (eg wood, coal or biomass). Checks must be made by the landlord (or letting agent) to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the first day of the tenancy. We recommend recording the alarm check in the inventory check-in report.

Right to Rent
Under the Immigration Act you are required to ensure that your tenant has a right to rent in the UK. To establish this, you will need to see a copy of their original ID (and visa if they need one to be in the UK) within 28 days of granting a tenancy. There are also ongoing checks that you will need to complete, either annually or on the expiration of the visa, whichever is longer.

How to Rent Booklet
For all tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, all landlords in England must give their tenants the current version of the “How to Rent” booklet.

Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that their rental property, and any electrical equipment provided, is safe before a tenancy begins and throughout its duration. They must ensure the electrical system (sockets, switches and light fittings) is safe and all appliances they supply are safe (eg cookers and kettles). Landlords should provide tenants with a record of any electrical inspections. Landlords are responsible for communal areas of a house, block of flats, or estate that residents use in common with other tenants such as landings and kitchens.

Houses in Multiple Occupation
HMOs are usually properties in which unrelated people share facilities such as the kitchen or bathroom. Large HMOs (of at least three floors and housing five or more people living as more than one household) need to be licensed. The landlord will need to contact their local council to apply. Licenses are generally valid for five years and landlords need a separate licence for each HMO they run.

Things to keep an eye on
In October, the UK Government published proposals to extend mandatory licensing of HMOs in England, removing the current three storey rule. The proposals also include a minimum room size and a requirement for landlords of shared homes to provide decent storage and rubbish disposal facilities. The person threshold of five people in two households will remain unchanged. The consultation ran until 13 December 2016.

Local Authorities are also able to apply Additional and Selective licensing schemes for other property sizes and types and each borough will have their own policy. It is important therefore to check if you will need a licence before starting a tenancy.

If you have any queries about landlord legislation contact Bartram & Co on (01327) 359164.

Monthly draw: your chance to win a case of Italian wines (red/whites/mixed) or one month’s membership to Whittlebury Hall Leisure Club.

How To Enter: Every valuation and instruction for sale or rental between now and Wednesday January 30 2019 will be entered into the draw, the winners being notified by e-mail.

If you’re thinking of selling or letting your property and want to win one of these great prizes on offer call (01327) 359164 and speak to our sales or lettings team.

Until next time.

Craig Bees, MD Bartram & Co

E-mail me at craigbees@bartramandco.co.uk

Visit our website www.bartramandco.co.uk and follow us on Twitter@bartramandcotow

Tel: (01327) 359164

Fax: (01327) 359166

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