Landlord Regulations

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A Landlord has a legal duty of care to ensure a property is safe for it's tenants. They are responsible for ensuring their property complies with the latest regulations and legislation.

If you are using our Tenant Finder or Tenant Finder Plus Services then you will need to make sure you are compliant with all the latest regulations. We will of course be able to advise you. If you employ our Full Management Service, although you remain responsible, we will arrange these checks etc. for you on an annual basis and advise you of any upcoming changes to existing regulations, or proposed new ones.

Below is a list of some of the most common regulations and legislation associated with letting a property. The dates and details are believed to be correct as of 15/1/08 but may have changed since. This summary is intended to assist landlords to understand the effect of the Regulations. It is not an authoritative interpretation - this is a matter for the courts. For more detail, you should refer to the text of the Regulations themselves.

Please click on the links below for more information:

Energy Performance Certificate
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Gas Safety
Electrical Appliances & Equipment Safety
Furniture and Furnishings Safety
Smoke Alarms
Repairs and Maintenance

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's) for Rented Properties


From October 1st 2008 landlords will be required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property.
The EPC's will have to be provided free of charge when any written information is provided about the property. The EPC's will be valid for 10 years and therefore, a new one is not required for each let.

The requirement is being introduced to comply with the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which applies to all property, including rented property.
If landlords wish to improve the energy performance of their properties they can claim some allowances:

The NAEA website states "At present any landlord carrying out certain works to improve the Energy Efficiency of his property is able to claim a Landlord's Energy Saving Allowance. This is up to £1500 which for most landlords will equate to a saving of £600. When originally introduced it was a personal allowance but has now been extended to a per property allowance.Certain Grants may also be available and for landlords whose tenants are in receipt of certain benefits discounts on insulation may be available."

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Tenancy Deposit Scheme


From 6 April 2007, all landlords and letting agents taking deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST's) in England and Wales will be required to join a Government-accredited tenancy deposit protection scheme. This will safeguard all the deposits landlords and agents take. There is a free scheme available for Landlords and Letting Agents - The Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS).

The DPS is completely free of charge and open to all landlords and letting agents. The scheme also benefits from an independent dispute resolution service.
Plamer Estates Property Management will be participating in this scheme.

Please click here for a link to the DPS website.

You will see that all Landlords are eligible to join for free. If, however, you would prefer not to have the hassle of sending each deposit to the scheme then we can take care of that for you. All our services include transferring the deposit to the scheme and giving the prescribed information to the tenants.

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Gas Safety


Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas fittings, appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (i.e. a CORGI registered gas installer). Note: The Gas Safety Check must be completed prior to any tenancy. A copy of the certificate must be given to the tenant before they can move in, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of completion of the check.

A Landlord should also ensure that all appliances are serviced in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. If they are not available then it is recommended that they are serviced annually.

You should not assume that an annual service inspection meets the safety check requirement, or that a safety check will, on its own, be sufficient to provide effective maintenance.Ask the advice of a CORGI-registered gas installer where necessary.

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Electrical Appliances & Equipment Safety


There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate (as exists in the case of gas appliances), it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', or even of manslaughter is to arrange such an inspection and certificate. It is also recommended that all portable appliances be tested (PAT). We can recommend companies to carry out the above inspections.

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Furniture and Furnishings Safety


The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 and 1996), and other regulations provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed covers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items or items without labels must be removed before a tenancy commences.

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Smoke Alarms


All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered that the common law 'duty of care' means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas) and that they are tested and if necessary batteries replaced before a tenancy begins. The tenant is responsible for checking operation and battery condition during the tenancy.

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Repairs and Maintenance


It is the landlord’s obligation to maintain and repair the property in line with current legislation particularly in relation to section 11 of the Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 as well as in line with current safety regulations regarding furniture, electrical items and gas.

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Records


Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.

 

Scheme and legal protection.



As well as carrying out extensive reference checks on all Tenants prior to occupation, Lawsons can also offer Landlords further peace of mind with our Rental Guarantee.


This is an additional option to be added to our standard management service, and is a company guarantee offered by us to protect you against non-payment of rent by your Tenant.

Subject to terms and conditions, it also provides all the legal services and costs required to gain vacant possession of the property and any arrears through the court system.

 

Letting Only


Our letting only services includes marketing of the property and carrying out viewings leading to he introduction and vetting of a prospective tenant. This proving satisfactory, we will then go ahead and prepare the tenancy agreement, and if required an inventory.
Following this , the first month’s rent and a security deposit will be collected. These will be credited to the landlord less our agreed fee. Managing the tenancy, including the maintenance and rent collection, will then be the responsibility of the landlord.

 

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