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Wednesday, 08 July 2015

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Legal Obligations for Landlords

14th November 2012

Becoming a landlord is a great way to earn a secondary income. Thousands of people throughout
the UK purchase property with a view to renting it out to tenants. You may think that negotiating
the price of the purchase is the difficult part and it will all be plain sailing from there on in. In reality
that’s certainly not the case. You need to think about various factors such as landlords insurance uk,
securing rental payment and various legal obligations.

Our quick guide below will help you abide by the law.

Is it illegal not to have landlords insurance?

It’s a common mistake to think that having landlords insurance in place is a legal requirement
for all landlords. It actually isn’t illegal not to have a policy, but it would be extremely unwise.
The overwhelming majority of landlords opt for the financial protection and peace of mind that
insurance brings. Standard home insurance is not appropriate for rental properties, so for the full
protection required for landlords, it’s imperative a full and comprehensive policy is in place.

What legalities do I need to be aware of?

Gas and Safety Certificates - These are required by law and must be re-certified every year. In
order to ensure no appliances or heaters are leaking carbon monoxide – something which is
undetectable in the home – all gas appliances within the property must be tested and approved by
a gas registered engineer. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to extremely tragic results, meaning
landlords who have not put this in place can be liable. Make sure you keep records for two years and
provide to tenants when they move in.

You’re also responsible for the safety of electrical appliances, so make sure you get a qualified
electrician to do this. This is known as Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and will ensure you can
provide a dated certificate to tenants as well as putting safety stickers on all appliances. Inspections
of fixed electrical installations must also be regularly conducted.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) - When a residential or commercial property is sold or
rented, an Energy Performance Certificate must be obtained. This will provide information on the
energy efficiency of the building on a sliding scale from A (very efficient) to G (least efficient). The
report is valid for ten years and is able to be used for all tenants in that period.

Smoke alarms - Depending upon the age and size of the property it can be a legality to have smoke
alarms fitted, meaning it’s vitally important to check on your obligations in this respect. Even if
you’re not legally obliged it’s strongly advised that you provide at least a battery operated smoke
alarm in rental properties.


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