The Tenancy Agreement – the renting of Accommodation and Tenants rights are dealt with my numerous Acts of Parliament and other statutory Instruments. The Housing Act 1988 in England & Wales (amended 1996) and The Housing Act (Scotland) Act 1988 state that most tenancies granted are Assured Tenancies. To make sure that you has a Landlord afford yourself the ability to obtain repossession of your property at the end of the contract term then an Assured Short hold Tenancy agreement (England & Wales) or Short Assured Tenancy agreement (Scotland) will be used. In practice this is much easier since 1997, unless specified to the contrary, all tenancies are deemed to be short holds.
Under these agreements, you as landlord will be entitled to recover possession of the property as a right, at the end of the agreed term provided of course you have served the correct notices to the tenant. It is against the law to evict a tenant unless you have a court order, however if you have served the necessary notice papers, a possession order can normally be obtained within two months.
UK Landlord Regulations
Safety Regulations – there are various rules and regulations that relate to the letting of property, under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 a landlord must keep in repair the structure of the property and the installations for the supply of services such as Gas, Electricity, Water etc and Heating etc. It must be noted that an Assured Short hold Tenancy Agreement states that a Landlord is not responsible to reinstate the property following damage caused by the tenant that the insurers of the building refuse to pay, or to reinstate the building following a peril that is not insured by the Landlords Building Insurance policy. Although not specified in the agreement, you must pay attention to the various laws relating to Letting property, these checks should be carried out prior to letting the property:-
Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations – the Gas Safety (Installation and Use Regulations) place a requirement on all Landlords to make sure that all gas fittings, appliances and flues supplied with accommodation are maintained in a safe condition. As well as the Gas certificate that must be given to the tenant, you should provide instruction booklets with each appliance supplied. The regulations require that a Council for Registered Installers (CORGI) gas installer carry out an annual safety check. A record of safety checks including details of any problems found and rectified must be kept and the tenant issued with a copy of the Gas certificate within 28 days of the service. The penalties for non compliance are quite severe; you could receive a fine of up to £6,000 and 6 month’s imprisonment per item not complying with the regulations.
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation – any furniture and furnishings provided by you must meet the fire resistance requirements of the above regulations.. Not all furniture is covered by the requirements; The regulations do cover all upholstery and upholstered furniture supplied in a rented property. Items included would be settees, armchairs, loose cushions, futons sofa beds, mattresses, headboards, pillows etc, garden furniture if it can be used indoors is also included.However, the following items are not included, duvets, loose mattress covers and carpets. This law is fairly easier to comply with if you are purchasing new furniture, anything manufactured after 1990 should have a label stating that bit meets the requirements, you should leave these labels attached to the furniture. If you are in any doubt as to whether an items needs to comply, you should contact the Department of Trade and Industry who will be able to furnish you with a guide book. Again The penalties for non compliance are quite severe, in line with those mentioned above.
The Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations – there is no statutory requirement on Landlords to have professional checks made on electrical equipment within the rented property. However you do have a responsibility to make sure that all items are safe. The Health & Safety executive enforces these regulations as laid out in Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 & The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994. These come under the Consumer Protection Act. Although there is no requirement to furnish a certificate of inspection to a tenant, having a qualified electrician test each item will help demonstrate that you have ensured items are safe. A leaflet providing further information can be obtained from the Health & Safety Executive. As per the above, failure to ensure safety in the rented property my result in a fine or imprisonment.
Landlord Regulations. A guide from Assetsure.
This article was correct at the time of writing.