While there is no mandatory regulation of letting agents and landlords, there are nearly 150 pieces of law affecting tenancies. We are proud to be members of ARLA Propertymark, voluntarily adhering to a nationally recognised code of practice, enabling us to give you a more complete service and greater peace of mind. We can help you to meet all the legal requirements necessary to let out your property, so you can sit back knowing your investment is in safe hands.
Landlords are legally responsible for the gas safety of their properties. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 outlines what landlords must do to ensure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. Landlords must arrange an annual gas safety check on every gas appliance and flue by a registered Gas Safe engineer. When the Gas Safe registered engineer has completed the safety check they will provide a Gas Safety record.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms
The Government has introduced the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (2015) to make landlords in the private rented sector in England responsible for ensuring that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are appropriately installed and are in proper working order at the start of a new tenancy. The Regulations effect England only and came into force on 1 October 2015. Landlords will have to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. They will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG. Landlords or agents will then have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of each new tenancy.
Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that their rental property and any electrical equipment provided is safe before a tenancy begins and throughout its duration. Tests are recommended to be carried out by a registered electrician at least every five years. If you do not undertake PAT tests on any electrical items provided in the tenancy, it is recommended that portable electrical appliances should be checked by the landlord before letting the property to ensure that there are no cuts/abrasions to the cable, the plug is satisfactory, there are no loose parts or screws, that there are no signs of burning and there is no damage.
Legionnaires' disease is a pneumonia like infection caused by Legionella bacteria, commonly through the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water. Landlords must assess and control the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, but this does not require an in-depth detailed assessment. Most landlords can assess the risk themselves and do not need to be professionally trained.
Furniture and Furnishings
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988* set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. They should pass the 'smouldering cigarette' and 'match ﬂame' resistance test and carry a label conﬁrming this. Generally, items manufactured in the UK after 1990 are likely to meet the required standards and display the appropriate compliance.** If items do not comply they should be removed from the property before it is let.
* As amended 1989, 1993, 2010
** Exceptions apply
Right to Rent
Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, or has a Right to Rent in the UK. The law introduces a requirement from 1 February 2016 for all landlords of private rental accommodation in England to carry out Right to Rent checks for new tenancy agreements to determine whether occupiers aged 18 and over have the right to live in the UK legally.
The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 introduce measures to improve the energy efficiency of private rented property under the Energy Act 2011. Part Three of the Regulations outline that private sector landlords must not grant a new tenancy of a property (including an extension or renewal) they let after 1 April 2018 and must not continue to let the property (on an existing tenancy) after 1 April 2020, where the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties of band E.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property that is shared by three or more tenants who are not living together as a family and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities but have separate bedrooms. If the property is in Loughborough and has three or more unrelated tenants, or outside Loughborough and has more than six unrelated tenants then you will need planning permission for a HMO.