Landlords Legal Obligations and Responsibilities

It has never been more important to be aware of the obligations placed on you as a landlord. Indeed, UK law now makes both the landlord and ourselves as letting agent legally responsible should safety issues not be dealt with correctly. Failure to do so can potentially lead to large fines and in the worst scenarios a prison sentence for both parties. At Haughton Warburton Residential we will not let or manage property that does not meet legal requirements, and we are dedicated to protecting both yourself as a landlord and ensuring the tenant’s safety. To this end, we will work with you to ensure that your property fully meets health and safety requirements, but it is important that you have an understanding of those obligations, such as:

  • Gas safety regulations – It is a legal requirement that a Gas Safety inspection is carried out every 12 months by a qualified and registered Gas Safe engineer. This tests all heating and additional gas appliances in the property, and a certificate is issued confirming conformity to the regulations.
  • Electrical safety – it is a legal requirement that the electrical installation is safe when tenants move in and is maintained in a safe condition throughout the period of a tenancy. This inspection will also look at any appliance provided, i.e. cooker, kettle, toaster and that these are at least CE marked as meeting the requirements of European law. As such a periodic inspection should be carried out by a qualified and registered NICEIC electrical contractor.
  • Fire safety – The Fire and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988 and the amended regulations of 1993 mean that you are legally responsible for any furniture you leave in the property and that it meets fire regulations.
  • Energy Performance Certificate – An EPC provides information about a property’s energy efficiency and provides recommendations on how to make the property more energy efficiency and save money. These last for ten years.
  • Smoke alarms – It is a legal requirement for at least two smoke alarms be fitted in the property. We would always recommend going one step further and fitting combined smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, especially in the area of central heating boiler installations.
  • Insurance – You are responsible for maintaining buildings insurance on the property throughout the course of your ownership. Should you leave contents in the property, you should also cover these items appropriately. One thing to remember is that the insurance must cover you as a Landlord rather than the Owner/Occupier.
  • Maintenance – While the tenant is responsible for ‘maintaining’ the property in good order, actual maintenance falls to you the Landlord. You have the option of nominating your own contractors for given issues or allow us to instruct contractors to inspect and quote. You are not obligated by such quotes and can still instruct your own Be mindful that in many instances a swift response can save additional cost.
  • Mortgages – If you have a mortgage on your rental property, you should in the first instance request permission from your lender. There may be a small charge for granting consent, and in some instances your lender may require further information regarding our credentials.
  • HMO’s (Houses in multiple occupation) – Your home is a HMO if both the following apply: at least three tenants live there, forming more than one household and they share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. Your home is a large HMO if ALL of the following apply: It’s at least three storeys high; at least five tenants live there, forming more than one household and they share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities. Properties of this type often require a licence from the relevant local authority.
  • Unvented hot water storage cylinder checks – This type of cylinder is intended to provide large volumes of hot water throughout the property on demand. Due to the nature of these cylinders and the potential dangers associated with them should they leak or burst it is recommended by both manufacturers and safety experts that they undergo a safety inspection and/or service annually and a record of inspection and any maintenance work completed on it provided to the tenant or posted close to the appliance for the tenants consideration.
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