Keeping you informed of your legal obligations as a Landlord.
Electrical Equipment & Systems
There are currently no statutory regulations governing electrical equipment and systems in the UK, although you are obligated to ensure the property is safe and you may be liable should something go wrong. The following Acts and Regulations detail this - The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, The Housing Act 2004 (Housing Health and Safety Rating System), The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. Under Part P of Building Regulations, certain electrical work is required to be carried out by a Competent Person.
An Energy Performance Certificate is required to be ordered by the time a property is being marketed by Keatons. This provides an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), the same system used by kitchen appliances. It will detail energy use and costs, and recommendations to reduce energy usage.
The furniture supplied within a rental property must comply with fire resistance requirements as defined within The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended).
The regulations apply to beds, headboards of beds and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in the dwelling, scatter cushions and seat pads, pillows, loose and stretch covers for furniture. They do not apply to furniture made before 1950, bedclothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillow cases, curtains, carpets and sleeping bags.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 require a gas safety check to be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. This will ensure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use. A certificate will be supplied by a Gas Safe registered engineer stating a pass or a fail, and the appropriate action will be required should the check fail. The certificate is valid for 12 months and must be provided to the tenants within 28 days of the check. Keatons will not allow tenants to move in without a valid certificate.
The Buildings Regulations Act 1991 states that all properties built after 1st June 1992 must have mains powered smoke alarms on each floor.
If the property is built prior to this date it is not a legal requirement, however, it is strongly recommended that all properties provide at least one smoke alarm.
If smoke alarms are present, it is imperative that they are maintained. A clause within the tenancy agreement will typically inform the tenants of their responsibility to keep it well maintained and the battery to be replaced when necessary.
Tax and The Non-Resident Landlord Scheme
You may be subject to income tax during the rental period and capital gains when you sell. If you are in any doubt, or you would prefer not to complete your own Self Assessment tax return, consult an accountant.
If you reside overseas, we are required by HMRC to comply with the non-resident landlord scheme. Unless the landlord provides a NRL form to HMRC, we will be required to deduct the basic rate of income tax from the rent. Keatons can provide and assist you with the required information. Once HMRC approval is given we will able to transfer rental income without deductions.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
Legislation requires security deposits for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies to be registered with a government approved scheme. Keatons can register the deposit on behalf of the landlord. We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, operated by The Dispute Service Ltd.