Please read on to find out what you need to do to be sure your rental property is safe and legally compliant:
EPC – Energy Performance Certificate:
If you’ve recently purchased your property, you’ll have an EPC, so this won’t be an additional cost. If you don’t have an EPC, then you’ll need to get an assessment carried out and your property must be a E rating or above. An EPC costs around £50 and last 10 years. However, its worth thinking about ways to move your rating up. This minimum rating will eventually move up to a C or higher. So, its worth thinking about cost effective ways to push the property rating up if possible.
EICR – Electrical Condition Report
An Electrical Condition Report is a new legislation requirement for 2020/21. All new rental properties on an AST or periodic must now have an EICR. By April 2021, existing rental properties will also be required to have one. These will last for 5 years and the cost is around £180.
LSR –Landlord Safety Report
An LSR is a gas safety certificate. If you have gas or oil central heating, or gas appliances, this inspection must be carried out every year by a certified gas or oil engineer.
As a first step, make sure you have working and compliant smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. If the property was built later than 1992, the smoke detector needs to be mains fitted. You must then get written confirmation from the tenants that they’ve been shown these alarms are working correctly at the start of their tenancy.
Any furniture you provide must comply with the Fire Safety Regulations of 1988. These regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, even garden furniture. Any items that do not comply, or you’re unsure, must be removed before the start of the tenancy.
HHSRS – The Housing Health and Safety Rating System
The Housing Health and Safety Rating system is designed to be sure you’re providing a safe and healthy living environment for your tenants. The government has produced a list of 29 potential hazards in this 72-page document. Its quite heavy reading but most of the potential hazards are common sense and something most landlords would consider anyway.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
Your tenant’s security deposit must be protected by a government recognised tenancy deposit protection scheme. You’ll have the choice between custodial, or insurance-based schemes.
Disability Discrimination Act 2005
You are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
You have a legal responsibility to carry out a Legionnaires risk assessment. This can be done by a professional or you can do it yourself, as long as you think you’re competent enough to do so. For new tenancies, especially where no-one has been living in your property for any period, we would strongly recommend a professional Legionella risk assessment be carried out. Here’s the link to the government Health and Safety Executive guide for more a detailed guidance on Legionnaires disease.
You will need specific landlord insurance for your rental property that will provide you with liability cover and accidental damage from your tenants or their guests.
Here is a link to the latest government ‘How To Rent‘ guide that’s come out this month (December 2020)
For further information about any aspect of property rental, or specifically if you want to be sure your rental property is safe and legally compliant, please get in touch, we’d be delighted to help.