Information and obligations for landlords:
It's completely understandable that you want to maximise the return on your investment by charging the highest possible rent. At Urban Link we provide an accurate appraisal of the rental potential for your property, taking into account location, local amenities and the tenants you are looking to attract.
As every deposit taken by a landlord must be registered with an approved scheme, it's important to protect the tenants right to dispute any deductions, and for a landlord to protect their asset by creating proof of the initial and end condition of the property.
Furnished/Unfurnished Tenancy Agreement
Deciding whether to let your property furnished or unfurnished is an important factor when determining rental values. If you are likely to attract families or long term tenants they are likely to have their own furniture, whilst students will probably seek furnished accommodation. Always buy good quality, durable furniture that meets fire safety regulations and doesn't break the bank. Sites such as freecyle.org and gumtree.com can be invaluable.
At Urban Link we collect the rental income on your behalf and promptly remit to you each month. Typically we pay our landlords with 24 to 48 hours.
There is currently no legal requirement for a landlord to have insurance; although your lender may specify that you have insurance in place. In addition to the usual buildings and content insurance, we recommend that you consider taking specialist landlord cover for circumstances such as non-payment of rent, damage to your property, loss of earnings / rehousing costs and liability for accidents.
Fire and Furnishings Regulations (Fire, Safety, Amendment) Regulations 1993
These regulations came into force on 1 January 1997. From this date all properties that we have available for rental must have furniture complying with the fire regulations. The Consumer Protection Act 1987 Section 12 (1) and the 1988 regulations make it an offence to 'supply' any furniture to a property unless the furniture meets what is generally known as 'the cigarette test', 'match test' and 'the ignitability test'. What this means to you as the landlord is the following: If you have supplied any upholstered furniture or beds to your rented property that do not comply with the regulations you could have broken the law. We reserve the right to remove any furniture from the premises that does not comply with the above regulations and charge any reasonable expenses incurred.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and 1996
As from 1 April 1998 all gas engineers must be ACOPS (Approved Code of Practice 'Standards of Training in Gas Safety Legislation') qualified as well as Gas Safe registered. Gas engineers must meet certain criteria for each type of gas operation carried out.
The ACOPS certificates are broken down into different elements depending on the type of work carried out. It will be the responsibility of the landlord to check that all the gas engineers used have the relevant ACOPS certificate. Failure to do so may result in both civil action being taken against the landlord and a criminal offence being committed. The above regulations state the landlord must ensure that all his gas appliances are checked annually to ensure that they are safe.
The regulations came into force in October 1994 and must be enforced by Gas Safe registered installer. You must obtain proof from the Gas Safe registered engineer that all appliances are safe. You must keep a record of when each gas appliance was checked and from 31 October 1996 a copy of the safety certificate must be given to the tenant. We will require a copy of this certificate prior to the tenancy commencing.
We reserve the right to appoint a Gas Safe registered installer to carry out an annual safety check or take remedial action to make safe a faulty appliance and charge any reasonable expenses incurred if it is brought to our attention that you have failed to take appropriate action.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
The above regulations came into force on 9 January 1995. Your property and all electrical appliances supplied must be safe and have properly fused plugs with the correct fuse fitted. In order to comply with the regulations it is essential that your property and all electrical appliances provided by yourself are tested by a qualified electrical engineer and a certificate of safety and compliance is provided prior to the start of the tenancy. It is your legal obligation to ensure 'duty of care' that the electrical appliances and the property are safe and comply with current regulations.
Energy Performance Regulations 2008
From the 1st October 2008 your property will require an Energy Performance rating and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), this must be produced by a Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) officer. Energy performance Certificates for rental purposes will be valid for 10 years, this applies for both existing and new build properties. A new certificate is not needed on renewal of a tenancy agreement.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
By law in England and Wales taking deposits on assured short-hold tenancies starting after 5th April 2007 must insured under a tenancy deposit protection scheme, which is covered by a flat fee of 50.00 per deposit. The Landlord must accept ultimate liability for the deposit and be permanently resident in the United Kingdom (excluding the Isle of Man). The Scheme will thus cover deposits of property owners who are temporarily resident overseas, including members of HM Forces.
Smoke alarms must be fitted to each level of the property. They must conform to current British Standards, require correct fitting and be in good working condition.
You should make provision for any mail to be sent to you as we will not be responsible for redirection. We recommend that you use the Post Office redirection service.
Should you require annual statements for accounting purposes, this can be prepared there will be a charge for this service.