Advice on Letting


HMO

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property with three or more unrelated adults who share facilities such as a bathroom or a kitchen. If an HMO has three or more storeys, is rented to five or more people who form more than one household and the tenants share bathroom, kitchen or toilet then you will need a licence. If the HMO is in an Article 4 area the rules may be stricter. All HMO's must comply with regulation 2006 No 372. 

Right to Rent

Commencing on 1st February 2016 The Immigration Act 2014 places an obligation on the landlord and his agent to check that every time a new lease or a renewal is entered into, that all adults that will occupy the property have The Right To Rent. The landlord has to check that all adult occupants have the right to reside in the UK. The landlord should note the date that the right to reside expires for reference if the tenancy is renewed.

A right to rent check is valid for 12 months. If a prospect only has 3 months before their right to reside expires the landlord can still offer a 12 month lease. This is expected to change when The Immigration Act 2015 becomes Law. The Right to Rent check is only valid if it is carried out within a four weeks period prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

Persons who have a permanent right to reside in the UK are: British citizens, European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, Swiss nationals and anyone who has been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Children under the age of 18 are excluded from this legislation, but landlords should keep a note of the child's birth dates so they can be checked when they become adults.

When a tenants right to reside in the UK expires the landlord does not have to evict them when they lose The Right to Rent. The landlord must make a written report to the Home Office who will take appropriate action.

Consent to let

If you have a mortgage on the property you must obtain consent to let from your mortgage provider. If you fail to get their written agreement then this will be a breach of your mortgage conditions and you could face repossession. It is important to get the consent in writing before anyone moves in. It is common practice for a mortgage provider to charge additional interest if the property is rented.

Inform your insurance company

Insurance companies need to be advised that the property will be tenanted and policies altered accordingly. Any Insurance that you have will be invalidated if you do not have Consent to Let and this could have serious repercussions in the event of a disaster.

Gas Safety Certificate

The Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1994 requires that all gas installations in the property must have a Gas Safety Certificate. The landlord is responsible for making sure all appliances are maintained in good order and the certificate is renewed annually by a Gas Engineers who is on the Gas Safe Register. The Landlord faces a substantial fine for not having a certificate and if a death occurs due to an uncertificated appliance the landlord will face a manslaughter charge. 

Preventative Maintenance

It is recommended that boiler, heating systems and other appliances are serviced regularly. In order to ensure everything is in good working order and to maintain tenant satisfaction. If the heating system is gas it makes sense to have it serviced when the annual safety check is carried out.

Energy Performance Certificate

The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007 requires all landlords to provide a valid EPC to potential tenants each time a property is offered for rent . An EPC is valid for ten years and do not need to be renewed each time there is a change of tenancy.

Smoke alarms

Commencing October 2015 The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires every floor in a one and two story building to have a long-life Smoke Alarm. Long-life is defined as either mains powered or powered by a lithium battery that lasts the full 10 year life of the alarm which must have tamper free design and no necessity to change the battery.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Commencing October 2015 The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires any room in rented accommodation with a Solid Fuel Burning Device to have a Carbon Monoxide detector.

PAT testing – A Portable Appliance Test

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 requires that all electrical appliances that plug into a mains supply must be safe. These appliances include washing machines, toasters and kettles, new or second-hand. Failure to comply with the electrical regulations is a criminal offence under the Consumers Protection Act 1987, which carries a maximum penalty on summary conviction of a £5,000 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment. In addition you can be sued in Civil Law under the duty of care for failure to ensure the tenants safety and face punitive damages

Furniture & Fire regulations

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 requires that soft furnishings left in the rented premises comply with these regulations.

Quiet Enjoyment

Deriving from English common law this has nothing to do with noise. It is an obligation placed on the Landlord, his employees and his agent to allow the tenant to have possession and lawful use of the property without interference. This basic right is given to a tenant even if there is no clause in the tenancy agreement granting it.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Rochester Williams will prepare a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement with a fixed period of six months for each let. The AST offers the Landlord the best protection available and allows the landlord to regain possession of the property with two months’ notice at the end of the fixed period. Addition protection is given to Landlord by clauses in the Rochester Williams Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement governing the tenants behaviour with regard to:- Pets, decoration, cleaning, damage, noise, gardens, locks and keys, use of premises, subletting and access.

Tenant Deposits

The Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007 requires all Tenant Deposits to be registered with a government approved scheme. Rochester Williams Residential Lettings are members of the Deposit Protection Service. We register all deposits with the DPS and comply with the Prescribed Information section of the legislation.

Money Laundering

The Government Money Laundering Regulations compel us to ask you to provide two forms of identification, one of which needs to be a new style driving licence or passport showing your photograph and the other an official document showing your address.

Taxation

More general information on taxation can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/paying-tax 

Non Resident Landlords can find further information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-resident-landlord-application-to-receive-uk-rental-income-without-deduction-of-uk-tax-individuals-nrl1i

Disputes

By law a letting agent has to be a member of a government approved dispute service. Rochester Williams Residential Lettings are members of the Property Ombudsman Services.

Further Information

More detailed advice for Landlords is available at:

http://www.gov.uk Enter Landlord into the search box.