Renting out Property
If you are considering renting out a property it is better to avoid any pitfalls right from the start than to find yourself in hot water later.
We can ensure that you comply with your landlord responsibilities right from the beginning and that you don’t have any problems later.
As a landlord we would advise you to:-
- Always have a tenancy agreement, detailing the terms upon which you have agreed to rent out your property;
- Ensure you are aware of your responsibilities as a Landlord before you rent out your property;
- Make certain all safety responsibilities are complied with;
- Ensure health & safety inspections are properly carried out; and
- Be sure that you are aware of and meet your financial responsibilities regarding income.
- Keep your rented property safe and free from health hazards;
- Make sure all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained;
- Provide an energy performance certificate for the property;
- Protect your client’s deposit in a government approved scheme; and
- Check your tenant has the right to rent your property if it’s in England
The Tenancy Agreement
The Tenancy agreement should include:-
- The names of all parties involved;
- The rental price and how it’s paid;
- Information on how and when the rent will be reviewed;
- The deposit amount and how it will be protected;
- When the deposit can be fully or partly withheld, for example to repair damage caused by tenants;
- The full property address;
- The start and end date of the tenancy;
- Any tenant or landlord obligations;
- Which bills your tenant are responsible for; and
- It can also include information on:
- Whether the tenancy can be ended early and how this can be done;
- Who is responsible for minor repairs (other than those the landlord is legally responsible for); and
- Whether the property can be let to someone else (sub-let or have lodgers).
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to:-
- Fit and test the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms; and
- Follow fire safety regulations for property in a purpose built block of flats or for houses and property adapted into flats.
Health and Safety Inspections
The housing health and safety rating system (HHSRS) is used by your council to make sure that properties in it’s area are safe for the people who live there. This involves inspecting your property for possible hazards.
If you rent out a property, the council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection because:-
- Your tenants have asked for an inspection; or
- The council have done a survey of local properties and thinks your property might be hazardous.
HHSRS Hazard Ratings
Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas and score each hazard they find as category 1 or 2 according to seriousness.
You must take action on enforcement notices from your council. You also have the right to appeal enforcement notices.
The council can do any of the following if they find a serious hazard:-
- Issue an improvement notice;
- Fix the hazard themselves and bill you for the cost; or
- Stop you or anyone else from using part or all of the property.
You will have to pay:-
- Income tax on your rental income, minus your day to day running expenses;
- Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do renting the property counts as running a business; and
- If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender.
There are special rules for changing rents and terms for regulated tenancies.