Lettings Legislation

Energy Performance Certificate
All property which is offered “TO LET” must have an Energy Performance Certificate – they are relatively inexpensive and last for 10 years.  We can arrange this for you.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme
There is now a legal requirement for landlords to hold any monies, taken from a tenant as a deposit against breakages or losses, in one of the authorised and government approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes.  Goodfellows preferred scheme is

The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1993
These regulations state that “the cover fabric and filling material of upholstered furniture be made of fire resistant material and be able to pass the ‘smoldering cigarette’, and ‘match flame’ resistance test and carry a label confirming this.”

Most items manufactured in the U.K. after 1990 by a reputable supplier are likely to meet the required standards and display the appropriate permanent label confirming compliance.

Items for you to check prior to letting your property (you are not liable to check furniture provided by tenants, only the furniture you provide as a landlord):

  • Three piece suites, sofas  and arm chairs.
  • Scatter cushions, seat pads including dining and desk chairs, bean bags.
  • Beds, padded headboards, mattresses, pillows.
  • Convertible sofa beds, futons.
  • Loose and stretch covers for upholstered furniture
  • Nursery furniture, conservatory furniture, garden furniture suitable for indoor use.

Items that are exempt from the regulations and so do not need checking:

  • Antique furniture or furniture manufactured prior to 1950.
  • Carpets and curtains, pillow cases, duvets, loose mattress covers.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018
If your property has any gas appliances, whether fed from a mains supply or liquid gas such as Calor or Propane, then the gas appliance or equipment including flues and fittings must be checked prior to your property being let.  They must then be inspected on an annual basis by a Gas Safe registered engineer qualified to work on the particular type of appliances or system.

There is a specific Landlord Gas Safety Certificate, which must be obtained for full compliance, and it is required that a copy of this certificate be given to your tenant/s or displayed within the property.

The Electric Equipment (Safety) / Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
For general let properties there is no current obligation to obtain an electrical certificate for wiring, appliances or plugs and sockets.

*(However Landlords offering a property to three or more tenants all living within the property at the same time, should refer to their Local Authority Environmental Health Officer, who will advise them of the more stringent electrical and fire safety regulation required).

Building Regulations - Part 'P' Electrical Safety In Dwellings
Although an electrical certificate is not required for general let property*, The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, does infer on landlords, a responsibility to take reasonable steps to make sure they let their property in a safe condition, and to maintain any defects promptly.

Furthermore, since 2005, all domestic electrical installation works or any electrical repairs or maintenance must be carried out by a Government ‘Approved’ contractor. i.e. a registered electrical contractor.

It is also recommended that all portable electrical appliances be tested prior to each tenancy. This called a P.A.T. test and can quickly be carried out.

Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarms:
Under The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 all Landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove).  After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

The requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

Notify Your Mortgage Lender
If the property you wish to let has previously been your own home then it is likely it will be subject to a ‘domestic mortgage’. If this is the case then you should be aware that most lenders will state that permission must be obtained before a domestic mortgaged property can be let. Many lenders will charge an administration fee or increase the mortgage interest rate as they see let property as an investment or as commercial lending rather than a domestic mortgage for your own home.

If you are relocating and intend to sell the property once you have relocated, you may in some cases negotiate a ‘holiday period’ with your lender, this is where they allow you to remain with your domestic mortgage rate whilst the property is let but only for a certain period of time before levying any extra interest rate charges. The mortgage market is highly competitive and it is always worth discussing your situation with your lender.

Many landlords purchase investment property for their future pension requirements. The buy to let mortgage industry has become very competitive and specialist lenders can offer low rates of interest.  Some landlords especially those with larger portfolios opt for Interest Only mortgages, which significantly reduces the monthly payments required. They intend to retain their property investments for some years and rely on the property increasing in capital value over time, whilst reducing their monthly repayment costs.

Consent to Let
Whether a leaseholder or commonholder, you should check with your block managers to see if you have any obligations to notify them that you intend to let your apartment.

You should have a copy of your lease or commonhold agreement, and it is worth checking to see if there are any obligations or restrictions that you need to comply with. You can also check to see if you are obliged to pay an administration fee to your block manager.

Tax Self - Assessment
All tax that is due from rental income must be declared to the Inland Revenue even if the landlord is resident in the U.K. or overseas.