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The Legal Essentials

The Legal Essentials

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The Legal Essentials

Our experienced lettings team will provide the latest information and guidance to ensure you meet all your legal obligations as a Landlord.

Energy Performance Certificate

All properties for rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before any marketing or viewings can take place. An EPC rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and is valid for ten years for rental properties. A copy of the EPC must be made available to tenants before entering into a tenancy agreement. If you do not have an EPC for your property, Pilgrims can arrange an inspection for you.

Safety

Gas Safety

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords have a legal obligation to make sure all gas pipework appliances, fittings and flues are safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. Every gas appliance and flue must be tested for gas safety every 12 months. A Gas Safety record must be provided to existing tenants within 28 days of the annual safety check or to new tenants before they move in and you must keep copies yourself for two years. All installation, maintenance and safety checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, we can arrange this for you.

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

Upholstered furniture and soft furnishings supplied in a rented property must comply with current regulations. This includes, but is not limited to bed frames, mattresses, headboards, sofa beds, pillows, cushions, seat pads and any garden furniture that may be used indoors. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. All non compliant items must be removed before a tenant moves in. Bedding, carpets, curtains and any furniture made before 1950 are exempt.

Electrical Safety

Landlords are required to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in a safe condition. Although not a legal requirement, it is strongly recommended that you have the property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every five years and arrange Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) once a year to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

From October 2015 new regulations require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their rental property and test them at the start of every tenancy, and to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

If you own a property and rent it out, your local council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection. Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas.

Consent to Let

If your property is mortgaged, you must obtain written consent to let from your mortgage lender. If it is leasehold, your lease may require written consent from your landlord before you can sub-let.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

If your property is let to at least three tenants who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities but are not from one household or family - sometimes called a ‘house share’ - it is a House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO). Depending on the size of the property, the number of tenants and the area, you are likely to need an HMO licence from your local council plus an HHS RS inspection, we can advise you on this.

Buildings Insurance

Landlords are required by law to take out buildings insurance for rental properties. We advise our clients to also consider contents insurance and policies to cover rent guarantee and legal expenses.