USEFUL INFO AND REGS
Electrical Equipment & Systems: Whilst there are no set statutory regulations governing electrical equipment in your property, you must still ensure your property is safe. In the event that something goes wrong, you may be liable. Under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, The Housing Act 2004, The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 specific regulations are detailed and it is important that you make yourself familiar with these acts. Along with these acts and regulations, Part P of Building Regulations also specifies that a competent person must carry out any electrical work.
Gas Safety: A property containing any gas appliances, which have been provided by the landlord, needs to have an annual gas safety check in order to comply with current legislation. Only a gas fitter or engineer, registered on the Gas Safety Register, is allowed to carry out these checks.
The tenant must be provided with a copy of the gas safety checks prior to moving into the property, or each time a check is carried out. And these checks must continue to be carried out annually.
Fire: Fire resistance requirements must be followed when furniture is provided within a rental property. The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 outline the implications and regulations pertaining to this. Furniture includes beds, headboards, sofa beds and other convertible bed products, as well as cushions, pillows, covers and seat pillows. This also applies to nursery and garden furniture. All furniture must comply so long as the furniture was made after 1950. For more details on this legislation, visit The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations on the legislation.gov.uk website.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms: As per The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, a smoke alarm must be fitted in a property by a landlord. An alarm must be installed on every storey of the property, and any property with a solid fuel burning appliance (like an open fire, log burning stove etc) must have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. Each time a new tenancy takes effect, the alarms must be checked to ensure they are in good working order. The gov.uk site provides more information on this.
EPC or Energy Performance Certificate: EPCs show the energy rating efficiency of a property, as well as providing recommendations on how to reduce energy use, and save money. By law, an EPC must be provided for properties being sold, let or constructed and it must be available before a property is marketed. An accredited assessor can produce an EPC for you. Here at Castles we can help you to arrange this.
Tax and The Non-Resident Landlord Scheme: If you spend more than six months of any tax year outside of the UK, you may find that you are considered a property investor, or non-resident landlord. For this reason you may be subject to income tax as well as capital gains upon sale. There may be stiff penalties if you choose to ignore the rules.
Along with this, for those running their property as a business, you may have to pay tax on profit after allowable deductions. To ensure you comply, consult with an appropriate accountant or legal person. More information on this can be found on the gov website.
Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP): At Castles we register all deposits from tenants on behalf of the landlords, with Tenancy Deposit Protection, a government approved deposit protection service for landlords, agents and tenants alike. This not-for-profit organisation ensures that the deposits are protected and that you comply with the law.