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Complying with Legislation

Fire and Safety Regulations

The responsibility for compliance with the following regulations or any re-enactment, is and remains the personal obligation of the Landlord. Failure to comply with safety legislation is a criminal offence and will lead to prosecution, fines or imprisonment.

Landlord Statutory Obligations

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

All upholstered furniture, permanent or loose fittings, beds, mattresses, padded headboards pillows and cushions supplied to a property and forming part of a letting must comply with these Regulations. Carpets and curtains are not covered by the Regulations. Furnishings manufactured pre 1st January 1950 are exempt from this legislation as toxic foam was not used in manufacture. However if the item has subsequently been re-upholstered then the filling must comply with the Regulations.

Where there are no labels, contact the manufacturer or retailer for confirmation. If in doubt the items should be replaced. It is illegal to let a property with furniture, which does not comply with the Fire Resistance Regulation as in Regulation 14 of the 1988 Regulations.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

Landlords are legally responsible for ensuring that gas appliances, fittings, flues and pipework in tenanted premises are maintained in good order and in a safe condition. Landlords are responsible for an annual gas safety check on every gas appliance and flue by a registered Gas Safe engineer. Before any new tenancy starts Landlords must ensure these checks have been carried out.

Oil and Solid Fuel Boilers

Should your property contain an oil, solid fuel boiler or Aga, we recommend these are serviced on an annual basis, as good practice. We ask all Landlords to have any biomass or solid fuel domestic heating appliance, i.e. woodburner, approved by a HETAS engineer.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

You must ensure that the electrical equipment, wiring and installations are safe. A qualified NICEIC approved contractor should be asked to carry out a full test.  It is best practice to get an electrical safety test carried out every 5 years.  Any portable electrical appliances also need to be PAT tested, good practice is annually.

Furniture Regulations

(Fire and Furnishing (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (As Amended))
These regulations apply to all soft furnishings. Your property must meet the regulations and compliant furniture should have conforming labels attached. Non-compliant furniture must be removed or replaced. 

Chimneys Swept

Prior to your property being occupied, all working chimneys must be swept. Following occupation this becomes the responsibility of the Tenant and should be done at least once a year. All chimney sweeps should be registered with the National Association of Chimney Sweeps, The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps or the Association of Professional & Independent Chimney Sweeps.

Legionella

Legionnaires’ is a pneumonia-like disease commonly caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water. Landlords must assess and control the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella to ensure the safety of their tenants, but this does not require an in-depth detailed assessment. Most landlords can assess the risk themselves and do not need to be professionally trained. However, Landlords can arrange for a competent person to carry out the assessment if they wish. 

Asbestos

As the Landlord, it is your responsibility to notify us if there is any asbestos within the property, including fixtures and fittings. We can then ensure that the correct contractors are used for any works that may be required during the tenancy. It is a criminal offence to expose anyone to a risk from asbestos.

Energy Performance Certificates

As from 1st October 2008 an Energy Performance Certificate EPC will be required for a new Tenancy which must be given to an applicant on or before the first viewing. Woolley & Wallis will be unable to market the Property until we are in receipt of the EPC. The EPC lasts for ten years.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales)Regulations 2015 introduce measures to improve the energy efficiency of private rented property under the Energy Act 2011. Landlords must not grant a new tenancy of a property (including an extension or renewal) they let after 1 April 2018 and must not continue to let the property (on an existing tenancy) after 1 April 2020, where the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties of band E. Since October 2015, where a landlord hasn’t provided an assured shorthold tenant with an EPC, they won’t be able to evict them using a Section 21 Notice.

The Building Regulations 1991: Smoke Alarms

All properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains-operated interlinked Smoke Detectors/Alarms on each floor.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

Private sector landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (eg a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. The requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

The Landlord’s Obligation to Repair
(Section 11 – Landlord & Tenant Act 1985)

As the Landlord, you are required to repair the structure and exterior of your property, this includes drains, gutters and external pipes. The supply of gas, electricity and water must be kept in working order to provide the Tenant with hot water and heating. It is your responsibility to ensure your property is always kept to a habitable standard.

Consents

Before entering into any agreement to let your property you must check whether there are any restrictions to your doing so and whether consent needs to be obtained from:

Superior Landlord/Freeholder

If you hold the property on a Lease you must ensure that your Lease permits you to let the premises and that you are granted consent to do so. You must also ensure that the letting is for a period expiring prior to the termination of your own Lease. If the Superior Landlord makes a charge for granting consent you will be responsible for payment. You should also provide us with a copy of the relevant sections of the Head Lease so that they are attached to the Tenancy Agreement. Failure to do so will mean that your tenant may not have to comply with some of your legal obligations under the Head Lease. This could cause problems if there is a breach of the Head Lease by the Tenant. Obligations cannot be enforced on the Tenant after the start of the Tenancy.

Mortgage Provider

If the property is subject to a bank loan or mortgage, in most cases permission will be required from the lender before the property can be let. Many corporate tenants insist on having a copy of the consent prior to taking up a tenancy. You should ensure you hold consent as failure to do so could delay a successful letting of your property.

Insurers

Most insurance policies require you to notify them if the property is to be let. Failure to do so may void the policy. You should hold both buildings (unless the Superior Landlord holds it) and contents insurance for the property. You must check that the policies include public liability cover. You should also provide us with copies of the relevant sections of your policies which include any obligations especially those relating to vacant properties so that they are imposed on the Tenant as part of the Tenancy. Obligations cannot be enforced on the Tenant if the Tenancy has commenced.

Non-Resident Landlords / Overseas

In accordance with the Finance Act 1995, agents are required to deduct tax at the basic rate from rental monies net of expenses prior to paying these monies to overseas Landlords. The payments must be made to the Inland Revenue quarterly and at the end of the tax year. If there have been excess payments then Landlords can, on submission of detailed paperwork, apply to the Inland Revenue for a rebate.

However, under this Act the Inland Revenue introduced a system of Self-Assessment and all overseas Landlords may apply to the Inland Revenue for Approval to be paid the rent without tax being deducted. If granted the agent is issued with an Approval Number for the Landlord, whereby they are allowed to pass the rental monies to the Landlord without deduction of tax. Should you move abroad whilst in the middle of a Tenancy you will need to notify us of your new details so that we can ascertain whether tax should be deducted from your rental income. We would strongly recommend that you apply for Self-Assessment and we can provide you with the appropriate application form. Further information can be obtained from the Inland Revenue web site (www.hmrc.gov.uk).

Right to Rent Immigration Checks

Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a Landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, or has a Right to Rent in the UK. The law introduced a requirement from 1 February 2016 for all Landlords of private rental accommodation in England to carry out Right to Rent checks for new tenancy agreements to determine whether occupiers aged 18 and over have the right to live in the UK legally.

Contact Our Offices

Fordingbridge

Fordingbridge Office

Call us on 01425 655900
fordingbridge@w-w.co.uk
Romsey

Romsey Office

Call us on 01794 512129
romsey@w-w.co.uk
Salisbury

Salisbury Office

Call us on 01722 424535
lettings@w-w.co.uk
Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury Office

Call us on 01747 852242
shaftesbury@w-w.co.uk