The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 state landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for the tenant’s use and that installation, maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a technician registered with the Gas Safety Register (which superseded CORGI on 1st April 2009).
The landlord must keep a record of the safety check for two years. They must issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
New Regulations were implemented regarding the electrical installation on 1 June 2020 to all rented residential property which must be inspected every 5 years by a qualified electrician ensuring safety requirements are met and up to standard.
As from 1st July 2020, electrical installations must be inspected before the start of a new tenancy and for any current tenancies, a check must be carried out as by 1 April 2021.
A most recent electrical safety certificate must be provided to the current and new tenant.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) sets minimum fire resistance standards for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery that remain in a dwelling during the course of a tenancy.
These include any of the following which contain upholstery:
– Furniture intended for private use in a dwelling, including children’s furniture
– Beds, head-boards of beds, mattresses (of any size)
– Sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
– Nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling
– Scatter cushions, pillows, seat pads and loose and stretch covers for furniture
The Regulations do not apply to:
– furniture made before 1950
– sleeping bags
– bed-clothes (including duvets)
– loose covers for mattresses
For items that do apply, a suitable label must be attached to the furniture in a prominent position so that the label will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser of the furniture and the wording on both sides can be read with reasonable ease. Examples of these labels can be seen above.
SMOKE ALARMS & CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
After 1st October 2015 the landlord must ensure that a smoke alarm is equipped on each story of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. Additionally, landlords must ensure that there is a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in any room that is used partly or wholly as living accommodation which also contains any appliance which burns, or is capable of burning, solid fuel. This would include log and coal burning stoves and open fires.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE
With effect from 1st October 2008, all new tenancies require an Energy Performance Certificate. Their purpose is to determine how energy efficient homes are on a scale of A-G. The most efficient homes – which should have the lowest fuel bills – are in band A. The certificate uses the same scale to define the impact a home has on the environment. Better-rated homes should have less impact through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The average property in the UK is in bands D-E for both ratings.
The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency to save money and help the environment.
HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY
If the landlord wishes to rent their property to multiple occupants, it may mean that a license is required before the property can be legally rented. Houses in Multiple Occupation are also referred to as “HMOs” and the purpose of the licensing scheme is to improve management and safety standards in this area of the rental sector.
It is now a mandatory duty for:
– All Local Authorities to have a licensing scheme
– Owners of certain types of HMOs to have a license
For further information on houses in multiple occupation and how this may affect you as a landlord, please speak to one of our representatives.
OVERSEAS LANDLORDS AND INCOME TAX
The scheme requires UK letting agents to deduct basic rate tax from any rent they collect for non-resident landlords. If non-resident landlords don’t have UK letting agents acting for them, it is their responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received and to pay any tax due. Non-resident landlords can apply at any time for approval to receive rent with no tax deducted.
If your intention is to reside abroad then we can offer the following services:
– Arrange for annual rental accounts to be prepared by a local firm of chartered accountants and be submitted to the Inland Revenue at the end of each tax year. Details available on request.
– Tax saving schemes relating to earned income abroad and the possibilities of re-investing your income to receive tax-free interest. Again we have the expert advice of a firm of financial consultants on hand. Details are available.