Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 – Came into force on 1st October 2015
Private sector landlords are required from 1st October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every story of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room that contains a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire or wood burning stove). The landlord is also responsible for ensuring this alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.
The regulations do not stipulate the type of alarms (such as hard wired or battery powered) to be installed. Landlords should make an informed decision and choose the best alarms for their properties and tenants.
With the changes to the Housing Act 1996 in 2004 from 6 April 2007, all landlords and letting agents taking deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must safeguard them with a Government authorised tenant deposit protection scheme, either custodial or insurance based. Reed Residential are NAEA qualified and lodge all of the deposits paid to The Dispute Service (TDS) the insurance based scheme for regulated Estate Agents, further information on the deposit schemes can be found on our website www.reedresidential.co.uk, this only applied to properties that are managed by Reed Residential, landlords that choose to manage their own property are required to provide details of their chosen deposit scheme.
Energy Performance Certificate
From the 01st October 2008 Landlords are required to provide and Energy Performance Certificate when they rent out a property, EPCs assess the energy performance of a property and represent the energy efficiency on a scale from A most efficient to G least efficient. A valid EPC will last for 10 years, unless changes are made to the property which may affect its energy efficiency, and can be used for multiple tenancies within that period. Reed Residential is working in partnership with several EPC assessors that can produce a report swiftly avoiding any marketing delays.
Since 1st April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place. If you are currently planning to let a property with an EPC rating of F or G, you need to improve the property’s rating to E, or register an exemption before you enter into a new tenancy.
Selective License Scheme – Southend on Sea Borough Council
As of the 1st December 2021, Southend Borough Council introduced a selective license scheme throughout the Borough, covering certain wards. This was implemented to help regulate conditions, management and occupation of properties and to assist with the increase of ‘good landlords’ landlords as well as reduce anti-social behavior and properties in disrepair. The license is valid for 5 years, although the council do have the right to issue a reduced length if required, there is also a fee of £668 payable in two parts. Please refer to the link below for further information.
Your obligations as a landlord
As a landlord you must ensure your properties are rented in a safe condition and free from hazards, any safety certificates need to be provided to the tenancy at the start of any new tenancy, any safety checks/certificates completed during the tenancy will need to be provided to the tenants also, this includes a satisfactory EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). You/your agent must register a tenants deposit into a scheme within 30 days of receiving the funds and provide your tenants with a certificate of confirmation. You will also be required to ensure that the potential tenant has the right to rent in the UK (subsequent checks throughout the tenancy may be required). It is against the law to only check people you think are not British Citizens, you must not discriminate against anyone because of where they are from. Checks can be completed by obtaining some documentation, please see the link below that will take you to the home office ‘Landlords guide to right to rent checks’ from page 25 will provide information on the documents you can accept to do manual checks.
From the 6th April 2022 you will not be able to accept biometric residence cards or permits, ask the tenant for a share code that will allow you to view their right to rent.