Landlord Regulations

Landlord Regulations

Gas Safety
The Gas Safety (Installation and use) regulations 1998 stipulate that all properties rented out with gas appliances must be inspected annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A valid gas safety certificate must be issued each time (with a copy given to the tenants) and updated every twelve months. Non–compliance is a criminal offence with serious penalties. Where requested we will appoint a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a Landlord Gas Safety Inspection and if your property is managed by us we will automatically arrange for this to be carried out annually.

Electrical Safety
Whilst it is not law to have an Electrical Safety inspection carried out prior to letting your property, the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 require that all electrical equipment including wiring is safe. It may be prudent therefore to arrange for a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) or a more detailed full Electrical Inspection, to be carried out regularly and all electrical testing must be conducted by a qualified and registered engineer. Where requested, we will appoint a qualified and registered Electrican to carry out the works for you.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
On the 6th April 2012, changes to the legislation on EPCs were introduced, whereby an EPC must now be commissioned before marketing a property for rent or sale, unless there is already a valid EPC available for the property. The EPC must be made available to prospective viewers within 7 days of the property first coming on to the market. If this is still not possible however, despite making reasonable efforts, then the property owner must ensure it is available before the end of a further 21 days. Failure to produce a valid EPC on request could result in the local trading standards officer issuing a property owner with a fixed penalty of £200. If you do not yet have a valid EPC, then we will arrange for an Energy Assessor to carry out an inspection of your property and issue the required Energy Performance Certificate.

Tenancy Deposit Protection
The Housing Act 2004 introduced tenancy deposit protection for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. 

There are currently 3 government approved schemes where Landlords can protect a tenant's deposit:
- Deposit Protection Service (DPS) www.depositprotection.com
- MyDeposits www.mydeposits.co.uk
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) www.tds.gb.com

From 6th April 2007, all deposits paid under an AST should have been protected within 14 calendar days of receipt by the landlord. 
From 6th April 2012, all deposits paid under an AST must now be protected within 30 calendar days of receipt by the landlord (Localism Bill 2011). 

There are some situations where deposits do not need protecting, for example:

- resident landlords
- landlords of tenancies with rent of over £100,000 per annum
- company lets
- student accommodation let directly by universities or colleges

Deposits taken prior to 6th April 2007 do not need to be protected by a scheme such as The Deposit Protection Service (DPS). However, if and when an existing tenancy is renewed and a landlord agrees a new fixed-term tenancy, the initial deposit taken must then be lodged with a tenancy deposit protection scheme. 

Following the recent Superstrike court case, it would be prudent for Landlords to issue Prescribed Information to tenants at every tenancy renewal, whether renewing on a Fixed Term tenancy or moving onto a Statutory Periodic.

If you need some free advice or are in any doubt at all about your legal requirements as a Landlord then please do not hesitate to contact us at Redstones Letting Agents Wolverhampton on 01902 504455 or email wolves@redstones.co.uk
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