Whether you are a first time Landlord or have a number of properties in your portfolio, there are a few important matters that you will need to consider in the letting of your investment(s):
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC)
Before a property can be offered for rent an EPC must be obtained. Whilst Grade II listed properties are considered to be exempt from the current legislation, we recommend that one is provided for every property. We can put you in touch with an independent assessor to obtain an EPC.
MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS (MEES) LEGISLATION
Since April 2018 all rental property must comply with the MEES Legislation which stipulates that all properties that are to be newly let (or a renewed tenancy) must reach an E Rating on its Energy Performance Certificate or be subject to an exemption on the Private Rental Sector (PRS) Register. The regulations apply to all tenancies from April 2020.
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS & SMOKE DETECTORS
Current regulations require both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation. Smoke alarms must be fitted on each floor, and a carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted wherever there is a solid fuel burning combustion appliance/open fire.
GAS SAFETY CHECKS
A safety inspection must be carried out by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered qualified gas engineer on all gas appliances, installations and pipes and completed satisfactorily prior to any letting and a safety certificate must be provided to the Tenant before the commencement of a tenancy. We have a list of approved Gas Safe registered contractors who would be delighted to help.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY TESTING & PORTABLE APPLIANCE TESTING (PAT)
It is your duty to ensure that all electrical installations and appliances are safe for use by Tenants. The Government has announced that it will shortly introducing five yearly mandatory electrical safety checks for all private rented property.
In order to comply with the ‘Health and Safety Executive's Code of Practice’ Landlords are responsible for carrying out a risk assessment at their premises prior to letting especially if there are open water tanks, cooling systems or a swimming pool.
FURNITURE & FURNISHINGS
All furniture and furnishings in the property to be let and included in the letting (whether originally provided or added during the tenancy) must fully comply with the requirements of the The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 and 1993).
CONSENT TO LET
You should obtain written consent of your mortgage company, insurers and superior Landlord (if necessary) before letting your property.
There is a range of insurance policies specifically tailored to Landlord’s to protect your investment(s). You are required to have an adequate level of Building & Contents Insurance to cover your property but there are other policies including those that guarantee or cover lost rent that you may wish to consider.
It is important to consider how you are going to find a Tenant for your property and whether you are going to enlist the services of a reputable Letting Agent to help. “RH & RW Clutton provide proactive marketing advice and our team takes a full personal interest during the marketing process which includes, for each property, colour brochures incorporating photographs and floorplans (when provided). We also post every property on various key websites, including on www.rightmove.co.uk and www.onthemarket.com as well as on our website www.rhrwclutton.com.
We aim to accompany all viewings as we believe a face-to-face meeting with a prospective tenant helps to provide a complete picture. RH & RW Clutton ensure that viewings are carried out by an experienced member of our team and ensure that clear feedback is provided to our Landlords as soon as possible.
When you have a Tenant that is interested in your property, it is important to carry out the appropriate checks on them to ensure they are suitable. Verifying that Tenants are who they say they are, carrying out a credit check, obtaining a previous Landlords reference and an employment/financial reference gives a Landlord the best possible chance in avoiding problems further down the line.
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract governing the relationship between the Tenant occupying the property and the Landlord collecting rent. The Tenancy Agreement makes it clear what is expected of both parties. RH & RW Clutton ensure that Tenancy Agreements are up to date and legally compliant. There may also be instances when the services of a solicitor are required when preparing an agreement.
INVENTORIES, CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT REPORTS
A professional inventory should be prepared at the start of every tenancy, as an inventory will help to reduce the possibility of disputes at the end of the tenancy over the condition of the property, any missing items and the deposit. The use of a qualified, independent professional clerk to prepare the inventory and check-in report at the start of the tenancy and the check-out at the end is essential, as in the event of a dispute an adjudicator will favour an impartial inventory as evidence when assessing any claim on the deposit.
UTILITIES AND COUNCIL TAX
It is a tenant’s responsibility to pay for the cost of all utilities, including water, electricity, gas, oil, drainage and council tax. We can assist with the transfer into and out of a tenant’s name at the beginning and end of a tenancy.
Deposits taken from tenants in connection with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be registered by the Landlord or their Agent with a government backed deposit protection scheme within a certain timeframe. There are two types of scheme available; a custodial and insurance backed scheme. RH & RW Clutton are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Insured Scheme.
Scale of Landlord Fees
"We have been highly satisfied with their professionalism as a company and cannot recommend them enough."