In recent years, buy-to-let has been a popular business choice, with television programs such as Homes under the Hammer highlighting some of the deals to be had with buying cheap, doing up and either selling on or letting the property. What isn’t so clear to new potential landlords is exactly where their obligations lie regarding their tenants. So what is needed to help keep landlords on the right side of the law and to be good, rather than just mediocre landlords?
There are certain legal responsibilities that landlords must be careful to adhere to. Failure to meet legal responsibilities can result in sanctions such as fines and even criminal liability in some instances.
The first and foremost of these legal responsibilities for landlords is to keep their properties safe. Safety in a rental property includes an annual gas safety check and ensuring that all electoral outlets meet with EU safety regulations. Smoke alarms and accessible fire escape routes are also a necessity, and any furniture owned by the landlord should be fire safe.
Part of ensuring the property is safe is making certain that it is in good repair. While certain aspects of property maintenance are within the remit of the tenant, things such as the exterior and the basic structure of the property are the landlord’s responsibility. Water pipes and electrical wiring are also the responsibility of the landlord, along with plumbing and heating systems. It makes good sense for any property owner considering renting to have cheap landlords insurance, so when things inevitably go wrong the owner will not be seriously out of pocket. Seeking good landlord’s insurance from a company such as https://brokersdirect.co.uk/ is a good first step towards protecting your investment.
Deposit protection and paperwork.
Another responsibility for landlords is ensuring that the rent deposit paid by the tenant at the start of the tenancy is entered into a government-approved deposit protection scheme. The tenant must also be notified of the particular scheme into which their deposit has been placed. Failure to either protect a deposit or to notify the tenant can lead to heavy fines being levied against the landlord. Paperwork such as the tenancy agreement, the EPC rating of the property and copies of any safety certificates should also be forwarded to the tenant.