Guide for landlords

Everything you need to know as a landlord

It’s not surprising that there are many regulations that you have to abide by as a landlord. Feel free to ask us anything at any time, but here is a summary:

 

Deposits

Tenants’ deposits must by law be registered with a government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This  

  • provides an independent resolution if any dispute arises between tenant and landlord
  • means that landlords cannot unfairly hold on to tenants’ deposits
  • gives all parties confidence that deposits are protected by a licensed organisation, which safeguards deposits against rogue landlords, tenants, and agents.

You can do this yourself, or we can do it for you at a cost on request. If you do it yourself, you must give us proof that you have done so.

 

Structure

You must keep the structure and exterior of the property in good repair. This includes drains, gutters, heating, external pipes and installations for water, gas, electricity and sanitation (read more). 

 

Furnishings

All furniture and soft furnishings must be compliant with fire regulations. Any items that do not comply or do not have evidence of such, must be removed prior to the tenancy commencing. Certain exclusions do apply, and we can advise you of these (read more).

 

Gas safety 

All gas appliances, pipes and meters must be inspected and certificated by a GAS SAFE registered engineer every year. Deaths occur every year from non-compliant gas facilities, and if no inspection has occurred, the landlord is considered responsible. We can arrange for approved engineers to inspect with minimum fuss and at competitive rates (read more).  

 

Electrical equipment

You must ensure that electrical equipment won’t cause danger to your tenants, and that it complies with the safety requirements of the 1994 Regulations. We can recommend suitably qualified electrical contractors to advise and carry out inspections where appropriate (read more). 

 

Smoke alarms

Mains-operated smoke alarms must be fitted in all new buildings. Those built before 1992 need not comply, but we strongly recommend that a mains- or battery-operated smoke alarm is fitted to every floor (read more).

 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

By law you must have an EPC in place before a tenancy begins. We can arrange for an inspection to be carried out if you don’t have a valid certificate.

 

Insurance

It is your responsibility as landlord to make sure that your property and any contents are fully insured against fire, theft, flood and so on. Please speak to your insurance company before your tenancy commences to make sure that your buildings and contents are adequately insured for letting a property, as many house & contents insurance policies are not valid for letting. Woods have a recommended insurance provider and can put you in touch if required.

 

Income Tax 

As a landlord, whether you live in the UK or abroad, the income you gain from letting a property, less the cost of certain allowable expenses, is subject to income tax. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) demands that all legal owners of the property individually declare the rental income using a Self-Assessment tax return.

 

Non UK-resident landlords

If you live for more than six months outside the UK, (read more on the definition of this) then we are required by law to deduct Basic Rate Tax from the rent we receive on your behalf, and pay this to HMRC. However you can apply under the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme to pay rent to you without deducting tax. You can apply using this link and you will need to quote our reference number: NA026820

Find out more about non-resident landlords and tax from HMRC and we also recommend you take advice from your accountant or tax adviser.

If you have any questions on any of the above, please give your Woods local office a call.