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The Landlord’s Guide to Legal Requirements

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Lease AgreementAccording to recent stats one in seven UK adults now rents out a property as a second form of income. This rise in ‘part time’ landlords has created a £28 billion industry which generates an average monthly income of £678. Yet despite rising numbers many landlords fail to comply with legal requirements. To help you bring your property into line with government regulations we’ve compiled this useful overview which looks at the major legal obligations you’ll need to adhere to when leasing a property.

Protecting deposits

If you request a deposit from your tenants you’re legally obliged to store it with a registered deposit protection provider. You can choose from one of three tenancy deposit schemes currently offered in the UK. After receiving a deposit you must issue your tenant with all the relevant information within 14 days.

Gas Safety

If your property houses gas appliances you must carry out an annual gas safety check. This should always be conducted by a professional who is accredited by the Gas Safety Register. You’ll need to issue your tenant with a copy before they move in and continue checks on a 12 month basis.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Most properties will require an EPC which must also be issued to a new tenant before they move in.

House in Multiple Occupation License (HMO)

If your property falls into the HMO category you’re legally required to obtain a valid license. This includes shared houses, flats and bedsits as well as properties which span over three or more floors or house over five occupants.

Electrical checks

For properties which contain electrical appliances landlords are required to ensure that all devices are safe to use. If you lease a HMO you must carry out an electrical safety check every five years.

Fire alarms

Once again, HMO properties have special legal requirements. In the case of fire safety you’ll need to fit out the property with a fully functional fire alarm system as well as provide residents with unobstructed escape routes.

While it’s important to adhere to these legal requirements they don’t completely minimise the risk of renting. Whether you let a compact studio or a multi-level HMO it’s critical to protect your investments with a comprehensive landlord’s insurance policy that will cover the costs of any unexpected damages or disasters that may occur.

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