Compliance with relevant legislation is vital for any businessowner, including landlords. With this role in particular, there are a number of obligations you must follow and that may change year upon year.
It’s important to keep up with the changing guidelines as failure to do so could result in fines or prison. To make sure you are up to date with landlord compliance in the UK, here’s a checklist with everything in one place.
Landlord Compliance Before Renting a Property
Right to Rent Checks
Since February 2016, Right to Rent checks have been a legal obligation. This consists of checking documents, such as a passport and visa, to ensure tenants have the right to rent in the UK. The pandemic had an impact on this process, so make sure you are up to date. Find out more about the adjustments here.
Although not all landlords need a licence, it’s important to check with your local authority to see if it is required in your area. It is now easier for tenants to see if their landlord has a licence with property licence checkers available online. It may be more common in big cities or places with many tenants, but it’s still crucial you check if you need a landlord licence.
Health & Safety Standards
It is obligatory for landlords to guarantee their properties meet certain health and safety standards and be free from health hazards. Possible hazards include unsafe plug sockets, loose wires or uneven stairs. It is essential that all gas and electric appliances have been safely installed, maintained, checked and tested regularly and fire safety regulations are followed, including fitting and testing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
Landlords have been obliged to protect tenant deposits in government approved schemes since 2007. These schemes include the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The tenant’s deposit must be placed in one of these within 30 days of receiving it and it must be given back within 10 days of both agreeing how much they’ll get back at the end of tenancy.
Financial & Tax Considerations
Renting out a property is an investment, so you need to make sure that your finances are protected and you are paying the correct taxes. Income tax must be paid on your rental income, excluding your day-to-day running expenses, and you must pay Class 2 National Insurance. Landlords should always be prepared, so taking out a Rent Guarantee policy will give you peace of mind if a tenant stops paying rent, and putting money aside for maintenance issues is a good idea too. Landlords are responsible for carrying out repairs and maintenance on their properties. This includes ensuring that the property is in good condition and that any necessary repairs are carried out promptly.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Since 2018, landlords are responsible for making sure their properties meet energy efficiency standards. An EPC must be provided at the start of a tenancy and the property’s rating must be E or higher. Minimum energy efficiency standards will adjust as the UK moves closer to its net-zero targets, so continue to keep up to date with it. Find out more here.
It is important for every landlord to keep up to date with regulatory changes that affect their rental properties and tenancies. Being prepared and keeping up to speed with amendments and announcements will give you peace of mind that you know what’s to come and that you are compliant.