Landlord Legal Compliance
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
Tenancy Deposit legislation was introduced in 2007 to protect tenants' deposits by requiring letting agents/landlords to register the deposit for all new tenancies with one of three Government-approved Schemes: the DPS (Deposit Protection Service), TDS (The Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and MyDeposits. If a tenant's deposit is not registered with a scheme within 14 days, the tenant can legally demand three times the amount of deposit in compensation, highlighting the importance for all agents to register to an approved scheme.
The legislation came into effect on 6 April 2007, meaning that all deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies after that date must covered by a tenancy deposit protection scheme, but landlords do not have to use a tenancy deposit protection scheme for deposits paid before 6 April 2007, unless the tenancy has been renewed after this date.
Here at Reality Properties, we realise that large amounts of money is being dealt over, therefore we ensure we have created a tenancy deposit scheme, which ensures money which is placed over to us is not lost and therefore providing a constant ease to the Landlord and the Tenant.
Another important aspect of protecting your deposit is having a comprehensive, detailed inventory report. At Reality Properties, our expert team and state of the art software produce professional 40-page reports to ensure the safety of your deposit. Read more here(insert hyperlink).
|An EPC tells you how energy efficient your property is, using a scale from A to G called the Asset Rating. Band A represents the most efficient property which is likely to have the lowest fuel bills and have less impact on the environment. Energy efficiency is based on CO2 emissions. An EPC remains valid for ten years (subject to building modifications).|
How does an Energy Performance Certificate affect me?
If you construct, sell or lease a property, regardless of its size, an EPC is required. Or, if you make certain building modifications that involve the addition or removal of building parts, or the extension or introduction of heating, ventilation and air conditioning services, you will also need an EPC. If you do not comply with the regulations regarding an EPC, you could face a maximum penalty for non-compliance.
An EPC can only be produced by an accredited commercial energy assessor. The assessor must be accredited for your type of building, which is rated on a scale depending on its complexity.
An EPC is required for nearly all buildings such as:
- Retail and Shop units
- Industrial units
- New and old built homes
- Rental properties
- Public institutions
- Government buildings
Are there any exceptions?
Yes. The following properties do not require an EPC:
- Places of worship
- Buildings which are less than 50m squared and stand alone
- Temporary building with a planned life expectancy of less than two years
- Buildings which will be demolished within the next two years
- Industrial premises where the space is mostly not heated or cooled, and will therefore have low energy use
All files can be delivered in either 2D or 3D formats, along with hard copy plans, and can also be accompanied by a full set of digital photographs.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties (except HMOs), it is generally considered that the common law 'duty of care' means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas).
All soft furnishings must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations 1988 and be fire safety compliant so landlords will need to check the fire safety label on all furnishings. Any furniture without a safety label should be removed.
Gas Safety Certificates
Non-compliance is a criminal offense, with penalties costing £6,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. Landlords and/or their agents can be convicted for non-compliance by Health & Safety Executive. The most serious cases can result in manslaughter charges.
Landlords or their agents are responsible for the safety of tenants and due to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 enforced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). They deal with the duties of landlords to ensure that gas installations, appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. This includes:
Residential properties of all types including houses let by councils, housing associations, private landlords, housing co-operatives and hostels and working accommodation.
Residential accommodation of all types including private houses, flats and maisonettes, bed sits (HMO), private households (lodgers) bed and breakfast, holiday cottages, chalets, caravans and houseboats on inland waterways.
There are no specific statutory requirements with commercial properties for an annual safety check, apart from the common law duty on the landlord to ensure that gas installations and appliances provided with properties are safe.
The lease or a separate contractual agreement should determine whether tenant, agent or landlord is responsible for maintenance, including gas appliances. If you as landlord (or agent) have taken on responsibility for maintenance then an annual safety check and the issuing of a Gas Safe safety certificate is appropriate and advisable.
Where the landlord supplies premises with gas appliances already installed, or where he controls multi-occupation business premises (offices, shops etc) through service charges, then annual maintenance and safety checks should be carried out.