In a recent blog post, we highlighted some of the key compliance factors that need to be carried out before and during a Tenancy to ensure Landlords are fully compliant. Part 1 of this list focused in on the aspects of letting a property that pose the most sever penalties for non-compliance. Part 2 here highlights some of the areas that are more often overlooked but are still of utmost importance to consider when letting a property.
LANDLORD COMPLIANCE – PART 2
- Ensure that the furniture and furnishings provided by the Landlord or supplied to the Property on behalf of the Landlord comply with Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and are clearly marked with a label to confirm they meet the necessary standards
- Provide a valid Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certificate at the start of the Tenancy to each person forming the Tenant and document proof of receipt to ensure that the Property does not pose a risk to the Tenant’s health and safety as defined by HHSRS being part of the Housing Act 2004
- Carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment and provide a report at the start of the Tenancy to each person forming the Tenant and document proof of receipt to ensure the Property does not pose a risk to the Tenant’s health and safety as defined by HHSRS being part of the Housing Act 2004
- Ensure that any blinds or curtains fitted at the Property comply with current European Regulations for raising and lowering of blinds; and the movements of curtains across windows. All new blinds and curtains being installed by a contractor will have fixed cords or ball bearing pulls to prevent the danger of asphyxiation to a young child; and a warning notice with the purchasing material
- Ensure compliance with the Deregulation Act 2015, where the Tenancy is an AST, by issuing the following documents to the Tenant at the start of the Tenancy:
The most recent version of the “How to Rent Guide” (gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent);
- Information for Tenants document relating to the deposit protection scheme;
- A valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC);
- A valid Gas Safety Certificate covering all fixed as well as portable gas appliances;
- The relevant Deposit Protection Certificate together with Prescribed Information.
- Carry out a complimentary Pre-Tenancy inspection, to check the general condition to ensure the Property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the Tenancy
- Protect the Deposit if the Tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) and issue the relevant Deposit Protection Certificate together with Prescribed Information to the Tenant
- Deal with any problems and day-to-day repairs to the Property and equipment which result from wear or maintenance requirements rather than abuse by the Tenant and keep a written record of when something happens during the Tenancy at the Property
- Check the professional qualifications of all contractors together with any employer’s liability insurance and public liability insurance copies of which must be produced annually
- Carry out interim inspections in order to verify the good order of the Tenancy (i.e. Property being used in a ‘Tenant-like’ manner) and the general condition of the Property to ensure it is fit for human habitation during the Tenancy. A well as carry out a visual and auditory test of the CO and smoke alarms, plus check on the number of current occupiers to ensure:
- Compliance with the Immigration Act 2014 & 2016; and
- The number of persons does not exceed the maximum number of permitted occupiers without the Landlord’s prior consent resulting in the Property becoming a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) which may require a Licence and places additional responsibilities on the Landlord
It’s important to note that it’s not just sufficient to carry out the above checks, or hand over paper copies of documentation or certificates. It’s crucial that everything that needs to be served on a Tenant is done so in a way that can be proven, should it be questioned further down the line. At Excel, we serve all documents on Tenants via electronic signature, so that there is a clear trail of the time, date and recipient of the documents, which removes any doubt that may arise using simple email.
We also use a CRM system to document all maintenance issues through from reporting to completion, which includes the arranging of safety certificates to be renewed.
A reminder that at Excel, our Landlords who have taken up our Fully Managed level of service are safe in the knowledge that all of the above are taken care of on their behalf by our experienced Team. If you are a self-managed Landlord looking for more peace of mind with your rental investments, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat to see how we can assist you.