Legal & Legislation information for Landlords
In preparation for letting there are a number of legal and good practice requirements that all Landlords must adhere to for compliance and peace of mind which is summarised below. Where we manage we will keep our Clients advised of ongoing changes and updates that apply to their letting and carry out required updates. Where a Landlord manages their own letting they are duty bound to stay informed and do likewise and implement as necessary themselves.
Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
All let properties that have a gas supply or bottled gas are required under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 to have an annual Gas Safety Certificate issued by a registered Gas Safe engineer. This must be obtained prior to the tenants occupation and annually thereafter. We can arrange for this to be carried out on your behalf. If you choose to arrange this yourself a copy must be left in the property for the tenant and a copy given to www.reigatelettings.com or www.dorkinglettings.com
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
Landlords have a duty of care under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 to ensure that the electrical installations and appliances are safe. We strongly recommend you have an electrical safety check of the fixed installations carried out by a qualified engineer every ten years and an annual test of all portable appliances. From 1st January 1997, all new electrical appliances must carry a ‘CE’ mark and instruction booklet or clear working instructions must be provided. Costs for electrical / portable appliance tests can vary but we would be happy to obtain a quote for you.
Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as Amended 1993
Any furnishings left in a tenanted property must meet The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as Amended 1993. This means only items with a permanent Fire Safety label can be left in the property, the garage, loft or any part of the property even if access is not granted to the tenant.
Energy Performance Certificate
As a Landlord you must make an EPC available to prospective Tenants free of charge the first time that they enquire about the property. For compliance we include the key EPC information on our marketing details. An EPC is only required if the property is self-contained and is valid for 10 years.
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 establish a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property in England and Wales. This means that, from April 2018, landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants. These requirements will then apply to all private rented properties in England and Wales – even where there has been no change in tenancy arrangements – from 1 April 2020 for domestic properties,
The EPC is prepared in order to give Tenants information on the energy efficiency of the property that they are considering renting and enables them to compare the energy efficiency of different properties. It gives the building a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’ where ‘A’ is the most efficient and the current average to date being ‘D’. Part of the EPC report will list the potential rating that the property could achieve if recommended changes are made such as fitting loft insulation but as a Landlord you are not duty bound to act on the recommendations although doing so is likely to improve the appeal of the property to applicants.
An Inventory will need to be drawn up prior to the tenancy commencing. We use independent inventory specialists who will compile the Inventory and meet the tenant at the property on the Tenancy start date to "check them in" to the property before handing over the keys (subject to signed Agreement and initial monies received). We strongly recommend this is carried out as the document will be used at the end of the tenancy as the point of reference when checking the tenant out of the property and compiling the check-out report. This will avoid any potential disputes with regards to deposit returns. Landlords are required to pay for the inventory compilation and check-in, Tenants are required to pay for the check-out. Costs will vary on the size of the property and whether it is being let furnished or unfurnished. We would be happy to provide a quote for this should you so require.
All floors, carpets, curtains, windows (inside and out), kitchen appliances, furnishings and paintwork should be thoroughly and professionally cleaned before a tenant moves in. This will be recorded on the inventory and therefore the tenant is required to return the property in the condition it was at the commencement of the tenancy. We would be happy to arrange this for you, approximate costs for this is £20 per hour (two people at £10 per hour each). Carpet and oven cleaning can be arranged at additional costs and we would be happy to arrange quotes for you.
The front and rear gardens (if applicable) should be left neat and tidy. It is a requirement of our Tenancy Agreement that the tenant must keep the grass cut and borders and paths weed free. Sufficient gardening equipment should be left for the Tenant to maintain the garden. Should you require certain plants or trees to be cared for in a specific manner, we would recommend you employ a specialist gardener.
Tenants should be provided with two full sets of keys to include window and meter keys. If www.reigatelettings.com and www.dorkinglettings.com are managing the property we will also require a full set of keys.
We must ensure that smoke detectors are installed on every floor.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon Monoxide Detectors should also be installed in the property in accordance with legislation and goods practice. The annual Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate should highlight any potential hazards.