Take a look at these 5 tips to to make sure you understand your legal obligations so you can be sure that you don't fall foul of landlord legislation.
- Safety should always come first. Smoke alarms are required on all floors of your property and it is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure carbon monoxide detectors are installed in any room where solid fuels are burnt (such as wood or coal.) These need to be tested and working prior to the first day of the tenancy.
- Prepare the property. If you are offering your property as a furnished home, think carefully about what you can provide. Remove anything valuable or sentimental – aside from the fact they’re at risk of damage, it can be off-putting for tenants to rent a property that is filled with someone else’s belongings. All upholstered furnishings must comply with the fire and furnishings act.
- Obtain your Landlord Licence. You must check if you need a landlord license from your local council before your property can legally be rented out. This legislation was introduced in 2006 with the main purpose of ensuring landlords maintain their rental properties to a good standard.
- Tenancy Deposit Protection. If you take a deposit from your tenants, you must protect it in one of the Government-authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes. There are three available – Deposit Protection Service (DPS), MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).You will need to protect the deposit within 30 days of receiving it and provide the tenant with both the Deposit Protection Certificate and completed Prescribed Information. Failure to do so could result in you not being able to evict your tenant plus the full return of the deposit and a fine of up to three times the value of the deposit.
- Choose the right Estate Agent. Make sure to choose the right letting agent for your needs. Researching an organisation that operates with client money protection is a great place to start, and you should always be able to find more than one ARLA Propertymark protected letting agent nearby to choose from.
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