Six Important Points for Landlords

 

Checklist for Residential Landlords

We act for a number of landlords with completely different sized portfolios. Whatever the size of your portfolio, Francis Wilks & Jones can assist with your legal requirements which include obtaining an Order for Possession to defending proceedings issued by tenants.

Regardless if you are landlord what uses a Lettings Agents to fully manage your property, the reality is that being a landlord can involve a lot of work and the below is a checklist of some important steps landlords should take or ensure are done prior to granting a new tenancy.

Landlord Checklist 6 Key Points to Consider

  1. Arrange an Electrical Performance Certificate (“EPC”).

    An EPC is required whenever a property is sold or let and the purpose is to provide tenants with details of the energy performance of the property. It must be provided to the tenant at the outset of the tenancy.

    Landlords are prohibited from serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession under the Housing Act 1988 if an EPC has not been provided to the tenant.

  2. Ensure the property has an up to date Gas Safety Certificate which is given to the tenant

    Gas Safety checks must be carried on all gas appliances ever twelve months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and landlords are required to keep a record for at least two years and provide copies to tenants within 28 days of the gas safety check or prior to a new tenant moving in.

    Landlords are prohibited from serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession under the Housing Act 1988 if a Gas Safety Certificate has not been provided to the tenant.

  3. Ensure the tenant’s deposit is protected in a government authorised scheme.

    It is a legal requirement for landlords to ensure that tenants deposits are protected in one of the three government schemes within 30 days of receipt and that the prescribed information has been served on the tenants.

    Landlords that fail to protect tenants’ deposits and/or fail to correctly served the prescribed information are prohibited from serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession under the Housing Act 1988 and may be liable to claims tenants for up to three times the deposit amount by way of damages.

  4. Ensure you have any necessary Local Authority Licence to let the property.

    If the property is within a Local Authority which operates a selective licensing scheme, landlords must ensure they have the correct licence.

    Failure to obtain any necessary licence can result in landlords being prohibited from serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession under the Housing Act 1988.

  5. Ensure compliance with the Right to Rent scheme

    Landlords are legally required to comply with the Right to Rent scheme which involves ensuring that any prospective tenant has the legal right to rent in the UK.

    Landlords should obtain copies of the tenant’s identity documents such as UK passports, European Economic Area passport or identity cards, permanent residence cards or travel documents showing indefinite leave to remain. Landlords can also accept as proof of a right to rent a Home Office immigration status document or a certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen.

    The government website contains details of the various documents landlord can accept.

    Landlords that fail to carry out these checks can be fined up to £3,000.

  6. Provide a How to Rent guide to tenants

    Landlords are required to provide tenants with a copy of the government guide How to rent: the checklist for renting in England which is available from the government website.

    A paper copy of the guide must be provided unless the tenant has notified the landlord or agent that s/he is content to accept service of notices and other documents by email.

    A landlord is not required to provide a further copy if: 

    • The guide is updated during the tenancy; or
    • The tenancy is renewed or becomes a statutory periodic AST, unless the guide has been updated since it was originally given to the tenant.

    Landlords that fail to provide a How to Rent guide are prohibited from serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession under the Housing Act 1988 in order to obtain an Order for Possession. However, the requirement to give a tenant a copy of the guide can be satisfied at any time prior to serving a Section 21 Notice Seeking Possession.