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Legislation requires that safety checks be made before the property can be let. We will help where possible to advise or suggest a qualified contractor to assist you from our approved contractors list.

The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998

A Gas Safety Record (GSR) is a mandatory requirement that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. It must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer. This needs to be checked every 12 months. Knights removes the stress by arranging this for you, if you do not already have one in place.

Legionella Risk Assessment

As a landlord you have a duty of care to your tenants to make sure your water supply is working properly to protect them from Legionella

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) (Consumer Protection Act 1987)

If you are furnishing your rented property, you must ensure that all furnishings comply with these regulations. Knights can give advice on which furniture items need to be compliant, and all compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position. This is to reduce the risk of fire within the property.

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989 (Consumer Protection Act 1987)

You are required to ensure that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) so you can be sure you are compliant.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015

Regulation has been introduced which requires all landlords – with properties in England – to have at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their properties – even where only a bathroom is located. And if any room contains a solid fuel  appliance, such as a wood burning stove, a coal fire, an open fire place or where biomass is used as fuel, a carbon monoxide alarm has to be present.

The alarms must be checked to make sure they are working on the first day of any new tenancy but it is then the responsibility of the tenant to regularly check the alarms are in working order during their tenancy – the Department for Community and Local Government recommend you check the alarms once a month and if they are not working, report it as a maintenance issue.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Landlords and letting agents are required to register a tenant’s deposit with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. A Tenancy Deposit Scheme protects the tenant’s money and can help to resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy. At Knights, we register deposits with MyDeposits. We will handle the administration of the protection of the security deposit and provide your tenant with all the details of the scheme.

Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Introduced as part of the Housing Act 2004, the HHSRS allows local authorities to assess the condition of the property and any potential hazards. The aim is to maintain good standards in the private rented sector. Knights can help you understand how this legislation may apply to your property.

The How to Rent Guide – the checklist for renting in England (for England only)

A new tenant should always receive a Department of Local Government and Communities How to Rent Guide at the start of their tenancy from their lettings agent which gives practical advice about what to do before and during a let. A Guide which the tenant must confirm they have seen at the start of a new tenancy. The Guide is available via gov.uk or for further information simply ask your local Knights office.

Income Tax

All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm

Right to Rent Regulation April 2016

The Right to Rent scheme, which helps to make sure that people renting property in the UK have a legal right to be here, was rolled out across England in April 2016. At Knights we’ve been doing this as part of our referencing process for many years, but if you carry out your own checks you will now need to make sure you get an acceptable proof of residency or risk a fine. If we don’t currently handle tenant checks for you, we’d be very happy to discuss how we can help you with this.

Energy Performance Certificate Regulations

An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. All landlords are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it. It is also a requirement that letting agents display the EPC when marketing the property. If a property does not have an EPC when marketed, the landlord and the agent risk a fine. When you let a property through Knights we can help you obtain an EPC for an additional charge. Ask in your local office for more information.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

When you let to sharing occupants who are not a family group you will need to comply with rules around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

MINIMUM ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FROM 1ST APRIL 2018

As from the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies from 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches. This guidance summarises the regulations. 

For most landlords this will mean that they will no longer be able to rent out a property with a rating of F or G after April 1st 2018. As such landlords with properties in this EPC bracket should begin preparing now for April 1st.

Knights intend to provide this information here as a guidance only. For full details Landlords should refer to the full regulations. This information could date as regulations are updated. It is not an authoritative interpretation – which would be a matter for the courts. Knights can provide their landlords with a full copy of the relevant and up to date regulations, upon request.