Many people are turning to the real estate market for supplemental income by becoming ‘part-time’ landlords. Experts including Knightsbridge letting agents say that still many people are unaware of or fail to comply with the numerous legal requirements that come with lettings. That’s why we’ve put together a 10-point landlord check list to go over before you sign a lease.
According to a recent study, 7% of UK adults rent out a property to supplement their main income, and nearly half (49%) manage their rental property without appropriate protection to ensure they comply with various legal requirements. According to LV=, nearly 500,000 landlords have failed to get their properties tested by a gas safety engineer in the previous 12 months, putting them at danger of prosecution and fines of up to £20,000.
Safety regulations for gas, fire, furniture, and electricity
The landlord is responsible for keeping all gas appliances, electrical equipment, furniture, and soft furnishings in good working order and in compliance with all applicable requirements; the tenant must also be furnished with the necessary current documentation. If you have properties to rent in Knightbridge then it is absolutely necessary to ensure all safety measures are complied with.
Certificates of Energy Efficiency (EPC)
An Energy Performance Assessment must be completed and a certificate issued for all homes being promoted as available to let.
Tenant background checks
Every tenant should go through a thorough vetting procedure that includes a thorough assessment of the renter’s capacity to pay the rent, credit and ID checks, confirmation of residency, and references from previous landlords and employers. If necessary, guarantors should also be subjected to thorough scrutiny.
Condition inventory and schedule
A professional inventory and schedule of condition at the beginning of the tenancy is required to ensure that you have an accurate record in the event that you need to make a damage claim against the deposit.
Tenancy agreements must adhere to residential letting legislation and safeguard your interests as a landlord. They must be simple to comprehend, written in plain English, and free of unjust terms and conditions.
Appropriate insurance for buildings and contents
Because most standard home insurance policies do not cover rented properties, having the required building and contents insurance is essential when letting a property. You may not be able to make a claim if you don’t have the right insurance, and you could face significant financial damages.
Dealing with rent arrears or late rent
To avoid late payments and respond appropriately if they do occur, you’ll need a solid system in place to track rental payments. If your renter is behind on their rent, you must deliver the proper legal notice at the appropriate time.
Deposits for tenancy
Deposits must be safeguarded in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme’s rules and regulations. You must provide the information to your tenant within 30 days of the start of the tenancy.
Property Inspections on a Regular Basis
Regular and properly documented visits to the property are essential, as is having someone on call to handle any maintenance issues, emergencies, and the numerous calls from renters about the property.
Taxation on Lettings Income
Whether the landlord lives in the UK or not, any profit made by letting a property is liable to UK income tax and must be reported in a Self-Assessment Tax Return.
Moving Current Tenant
The renter will eventually opt to vacate the premises.
Consider the following:
- Establishing a date and time for a move-out examination.
- Identify items that need to be fixed or replaced due to natural wear and tear, as well as any severe damage caused by the renter, using the move-in checklist as a guide.
- If allowed by local and state landlord-tenant rules, informing the renter if any portion of the refundable security deposit is being withheld to pay for excessive damage.
- For the return of the security deposit, verifying the tenant’s new mailing address.
- Assuring that the renter moving out returns all keys and remote controls.
- Providing a copy of the move-out checklist signed by both the landlord and the tenant to the tenant.
- Contacting vendors as soon as possible to arrange for any necessary repairs so that the new renter can move in as soon as possible.
It may appear difficult to become a landlord, but a skilled agent can assist you with all of the above. Insisting on the services of an expert agent might be a smart step to guarantee that all legal duties are completed and that your interests are protected.