• Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in safe condition.
• Make sure that a gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance and flue that you have provided in the property, and that a gas safety check is carried out annually.
• Keep a record of each gas safety check.
We can arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out the safety check on your behalf, if needed. The Gas Safe Register (www.gassaferegister.co.uk) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE.gov.uk) websites have more information.
If you have British Gas Homecare cover, please let us know.
• the electrical system in the property (eg sockets and light fittings) is safe
• all appliances you provide in the property (eg cookers, kettles) are safe
Landlords are not required by law to provide an electrical safety certificate. But, you could be held liable if any electrical fittings or appliances within your property cause harm to a tenant. We can arrange electrical system and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), if needed.
• follow fire safety regulations. For example, by checking that your tenants have access to escape routes at all times
• make sure that all furniture and furnishings you provide in the property are fire safe
• provide fire alarms and extinguishers (depending on the size of the property)
Under The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, any furniture you supply should come with a fire safety tag. Visit www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/1324 for more information. We strongly recommend that you install smoke alarms in the property.
Tenancy deposit protection
Agents and landlords must protect their tenant’s deposit using a government-backed deposit protection scheme, regardless of who holds the money. The deposit must be registered within 30 days of receiving it and the tenant must be told, in writing, where the deposit is held.
If we fully manage the property on your behalf we’ll arrange the deposit protection. If you choose our let only service, then you’re responsible for doing this. You may have to pay a charge depending on the scheme that you choose to use.
We can give you details of government-backed schemes. And the GOV.UK website has more information: www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection
Inventory and check out
Most of the time, tenants leave properties in good order. But, we recommend taking a full inventory, as it protects you and your tenant if there’s any dispute later. A thorough inventory will detail the condition of the property and its furnishings, and list all contents.
It’s important that the same company carries out the initial inventory as well as checking the property when the tenant leaves. We use a registered inventory company who’ll write a full report, including photos, which must be signed by you and the tenant. If we fully manage the property we’ll arrange this. If we arrange the let only you’ll need to organise this, or we can arrange it on your behalf, if needed.
Energy Performance Certificate
By law, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you can market your property for rent. And we must show this certificate to potential tenants before they view your property. An EPC is valid for 10 years and gives:
- information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
- recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
- the property’s energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient)
To get an EPC, you’ll need to use an accredited assessor. We can do this on your behalf at a cost of £80 (inc VAT). GOV.UK has more info – search for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’.
If we take your UK rental payment on your behalf, we’re required to deduct tax from it and pay this directly to HM Revenue & Customs, unless you have an exemption certificate under the Non-resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme.
The NRL Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of people whose ‘usual place of abode’ is outside the UK. If you normally live outside of the UK you can apply for an exemption by completing an NRL1 form. Please tell us if you have an exemption certificate.
You can find more information, including the NRL1 form, at www.hmrc.gov.uk/nonresidents
Other things to think about
Potential tenants will want to be able to imagine themselves in your property and it’s harder for them to do that if it’s untidy or needs cleaning. Where possible, we recommend that you make the property clean and tidy before we take the photos.
You may want to fix anything that’s broken, such as a door that sticks, or give a fresh lick of paint to any walls that have become marked.
Doing these things may not increase the rental value of your property, but will help to make it look its best for potential tenants.
Terms You May Need To Know
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help.