Landlord Information

With over 20 years’ experience letting property in the Dales, helping over 200 landlords let and manage their properties, when it comes to lettings…JR Hoppers are the local experts.

We know being a Landlord can be stressful; Increasing regulation, safety requirements, repairs, deposits, inspections and time-consuming tenancy management…we are here to help.

First things first….Safety

As a landlord, you have a responsibility to ensure your rented property is safe and everything in the property is in working order. You need to check that your property complies with all of the following regulatory requirements.

Regulations:

  • SAFETY: keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
    • Fire and Furnishings (Safety) Regulations 1988 (1993)
      • All soft furnishings such as settees, sofa, beds, padded chairs, pillows, cushions and so on must comply with the Fire Resistance requirements contained within the regulations.
      • Items of furniture made prior to 1950 are termed as antiques and as such are excluded from the regulations.
      • Usually a label is attached to the item of furniture to confirm it is acceptable.  We will at all times check your furniture and advise you accordingly to the best of our ability.
    • SMOKE & CO ALARMS: Fit and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms – More Info
      • Deregulation Act 2015 – From the 1st October 2015 all residential letting properties must have a smoke alarm on each floor. A Carbon Monoxide detector is also needed in any living space that has a solid fuel burning appliance.
    • CHIMNEYS: If the property has working open fireplaces we recommend that you arrange for these to be swept before the tenancy starts. Thereafter, the tenant is then responsible for sweeping the chimney as often as necessary during the tenancy.
    • RECOMMENDED: We highly recommend also fitting CO Alarms in all rooms where boilers and flues present
    • Follow fire safety regulations for property in a purpose-built block of flats or for houses and property adapted into flats
  • ELECTRICAL SAFETY: – The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
    • These regulations require that all Electrical equipment left at the property be ‘safe and of no risk or injury to human or animal’.
    • They should be checked that flexes, fuses and electrical output are safe and correct. Items that must comply are all portable electrical items such as electric cooker, fridge’s, washing machines, kettles, toasters, etc.
    • As agents we cannot guarantee which items are safe or not and will recommend that a qualified electrician checks these items (a charge will be made). This can be carried out by your own electrician.
  • RECOMMENDED CHECKS:
    • Electrical Inspection is completed and a Periodic Electrical Inspection (PEI) Report retained on file
  • GAS SAFETY: make sure all gas (More Info) and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained – More Info
    • Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1994 (1996)
      • An Approved Contractor must also check all gas appliances and installations within the accommodation, on an annual basis for its safe use.
      • This includes such items as Gas Fires, Central Heating boilers, Gas cookers and other gas appliances.  It also insists that flues and chimneys are clear of obstructions and in the correct place.
      • The engineer must issue a certificate and a copy presented to the Tenant at the start of any tenancy.
      • Any items that fail to comply with the regulations must be fixed or removed immediately.
  • EPCS: provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property – More Info
  • DEPOSITS: protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme – More Info
    • All tenancy deposits need to be registered with a recognised Deposit Protection Scheme. Additionally, you MUST make sure that they issue the following documents to the tenant:
  • Deposit Scheme T&Cs
  • Government Issued ‘How to Rent’ Guide – How to Rent Guide

More information – https://www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords

  • RIGHT TO RENT: check your tenant has the right to rent your property – More Info

Health and safety inspections

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by your council to make sure that properties in its area are safe for the people who live there. This involves inspecting your property for possible hazards, such as uneven stairs. If you own a property and rent it out, the council may decide to do an HHSRS Inspection because:

  • your tenants have asked for an inspection
  • the council has done a survey of local properties and thinks your property might be hazardous
  • HHSRS hazard ratings

Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas and score each hazard they find as category 1 or 2, according to its seriousness.

You must take action on enforcement notices from your council. You also have the right to appeal enforcement notices.

The council can do any of the following if they find a serious hazard:

  • issue an improvement notice
  • fix the hazard themselves and bill you for the cost
  • stop you or anyone else from using part or all of the property

Other important things to remember…

Financial responsibilities

You have to pay:

  • Income Tax on your rental income, minus your day-to-day running expenses
  • Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do renting out property counts as running a business

Mortgage

If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender. You should notify your Building Society or Bank if the property is mortgaged, that you are thinking of letting the property. It is usually one of the conditions of your mortgage that you apply for permission to sub-let the property. We also recommend that your building and contents insurers are advised of your plans, as they too may need altering to cover a third party residing

Leasehold Properties

It is also wise to check that if the property is a lease hold that you confirm with the freeholder that there are no restrictions or covenant which prevent you from letting the property and the Tenants must adhere to during the Tenancy period

Regulated tenancies

There are special rules for changing rents and terms for regulated tenancies (usually private tenancies starting before 15 January 1989).

Non-Resident UK Landlords

If you are going to reside outside the UK we are bound under the Taxes Management Act 1970, Section 78 and 83 to assess you at the basic rate of income tax (variable) due from rents we collect on your behalf if you are not ‘self assessing’ your own tax. In order for you to receive your rent in full, we require you to complete a Form NRL1 and receive an approval number from HMRC. More information can be found at GOV.UK.

Tenancy Agreement & Notices

A Tenancy will be prepared for all Tenants to sign before moving into the property.  The initial tenancy is normally for a fixed period of 6 months.  After the initial period another fixed term can be arranged, or the tenancy can continue on periodic (month by month) tenancy.  In any case the Landlord must give the tenant 2 months’ notice to leave.

The Agreement will include comprehensive terms for the Tenant to adhere to. Under the Housing Act 1988 (amended 1996) an Assured Shorthold Tenancy will be used, except in cases of a company let, then the relevant company Agreement will be drafted as with an Assured Tenancy.

Schedule of Conditions &  Inventory

A detailed written AND photographic inventory will be prepared to ensure that all items of Furniture, Fixtures and Fittings left at the property are recorded and their condition noted. The Tenants deposit will be held against any damages or excess wear and tear shown against the inventory.

Keys

It is important to have several keys cut, for the property – enough for each adult Tenant due to move into your property plus a set for our Management Department (if applicable) for security and access if so required.

Rent Payments

The first month’s rental is collected in advance.

If you choose our Let Only Service you will be responsible for collection of rent from the 2nd month onwards. However, we will advise the tenant to set up a standing order with their bank.

If you choose our comprehensive Full Management service, we will check the tenant has paid the rent on time in full and then process rental payments to you as soon as possible.

Deposits

All tenancy deposits need to be registered with a recognised Deposit Protection Scheme. Additionally, you MUST make sure that they issue the following documents to the tenant:

  • Deposit Scheme T&Cs
  • Government Issued ‘How to Rent’ Guide

More information – https://www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords

Transfer of Services

Please ensure you advise the providers of gas, electricity, oil, water, telephone and Council Tax on the date the Tenants take occupation if possible. If there is a break between tenancies, you will be liable for any utilities and Council Tax during the period. For managed properties we will notify utility providers of the change of account holder to the tenant.

  • OIL: The tenant is responsible for payments of oil used – We will calculate the amount of oil in the tank at the start of the tenancy, and again at the end of the tenancy.  We suggest you do not fill the oil tank before a new tenant moves in, as they are likely to leave it empty when they move out.  To fill a tank can be costly, and if this has to be deducted from the tenant’s deposit, it leaves less money for other dilapidations that may be due.

Mail Redirections

The Post Office offers a service to redirect your mail, which we recommend you arrange prior to vacating the property for the term of the tenancy.  You should also inform your bank, employers, friends and family who are likely to write to you and inform them of your new address.

Would you like more information?

Call our knowledgeable Lettings Team TODAY for a FREE NO OBLIGATION CALL. We would be happy to discuss your situation, property, all the regulations and answer any questions. CALL 01969 622 936 TODAY. We are here to help!