Becoming a landlord is an attractive proposition. The demand for rentable properties is on the rise and the prospect of earning money from a property you own can be a very attractive one. However, becoming a landlord is not as easy as buying a property and finding a tenant. There are a number of rules and regulations that you need to follow if you are to provide the level of service that is expected by tenants. Here we will examine some of the most important.
Ensuring The Property Is Safe
You have a duty to tenants to ensure the properties you rent to them are actually safe to live in. This means you need to stay aware of any issues that arise with the electrics, gas or any other potential hazards that could harm those living in the property. Furthermore, it is important that you provide other safety devices, such as smoke alarms on each floor of the property and adequate escape routes in the event of a fire. You must also resolve any issues that arise when your tenants are living in the property, as an unsafe property also leaves you liable for any legal issues that follow.
Providing An Energy Performance Certificate
Your property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) lets tenants and authorities know how energy efficient the property is. The ratings provided range from A to G and the EPC will define what measures have been installed in the property, such as insulation, new boilers or double-glazed windows, to make it as energy efficient as possible, thus reducing the cost of bills for tenants. It is in your best interest to achieve a high rating for your EPC, as this makes the property more attractive to prospective tenants. You can acquire an EPC from an accredited assessor, of which there are many on the web.
Right To Entry
While you have the right to enter a tenant’s property to inspect things, you also need to understand that there are some key rules you must follow before turning up. Chief amongst these is that you must provide your tenants with twenty-four hours’ notice before you arrive at the property. IN many cases, the tenancy agreements that you create will also stipulate that visits must be made at reasonable times, which means no turning up in the early hours of the morning. Failure to comply with this means you are breaking the law and violating the privacy of your tenants.
If you have taken a security deposit from your tenant it is your duty to protect this money. The rules state that all deposits must be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme and there are no exceptions.
There are three such schemes in England:
- Deposit Protection Service
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Each of these protects deposits and ensures that tenants receive them back upon leaving the property, assuming they have held up their ends of the tenancy agreement. You must place a deposit into one of these schemes within thirty days of receiving it and the agreed sum must be returned to tenants within ten days of said sum being agreed.
If you have any questions or concerns, the team at Hills Estate is happy to help. Contact us today to find out how our property management and letting agency services may benefit you.