Useful links & information

An inventory will protect the landlord against any damage or neglect caused by the tenant. No inventory, or a poorly created one, will not stand up in court if a tenant challenged any deposit deductions. Under the fully managed service, the inventory fee is incorporated.

Aspire’s inventory clerks are members of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) which offers further support and comfort knowing that the inventory has been produced in the best format with the correct terminology and dated images.

Any landlord on a let-only or rent-collection service level needs to make arrangements for an inventory to be carried out. A sample of our inventories can be sent to you, so please feel free to ask.

In this inventory, or Schedule of Condition, it will accurately detail the condition of the property at the commencement date of the tenancy and show how the property was ‘handed over’ to the tenant.

Aspire prefers tenants move into a property that has been professionally cleaned (including carpets) and, when vacating, the tenant ensures the same professional clean is carried out because the AST, signed by the tenant, instructs them to return the property in the same condition, less fair wear and tear.

A deposit is taken from the tenant to ‘hold’ the property until the date of occupation (usually no longer than four weeks from the offer agreement). The property is then removed from the market and, if it is advertised elsewhere, the relevant agents are informed.

As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government introduced tenancy deposit protection for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have to be protected. The legislation aims to ensure that tenants who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent are entitled to receive all or part of it back at the end of the tenancy.

There are different schemes available Aspire Lettings are members of The Deposit Protection Service.

PIR (PERIODIC INSPECTION REPORT) AND PAT (PORTABLE APPLIANCE TEST)

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 imply that landlords have a Duty of Care towards any tenant residing in their home to ensure that all electrical wiring installations and appliances supplied as part of the dwelling are safe. To comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, all electrical installations and appliances in the property need to be regularly checked and serviced.

Although this is not a legal requirement, it is always recommended that a landlord has his or her property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every five years and conducts a PAT test annually to ensure electrical appliances are also safe. See Community Hub on our website for contractor's names.

An EPC must be created prior to the property being advertised for rent or any viewings can occur. In October 2008 landlords were required by law to provide an EPC for their rented property. The EPC, which is valid for 10 years, will make recommendations on how to improve the efficiency of your property. It rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and shows potential clients how energy-efficient your home is.

From April 2018, any home that is being advertised for rent that has an EPC with a rating F or G will no longer be valid and will require you must take the necessary steps to bring the property up to a standard that meets the EPC grade. If your property has been rented and currently has a rating of F or below then when the tenants vacate or renew the contract then you must take the necessary steps to bring the property up to standard.

(NB reports in the past that have been recorded as showing an E may now show an F as standards have change during this time).

Upholstered furniture and soft furnishings provided in rental properties must comply with current regulations. Landlords need to ensure that any upholstered furniture including but not limited to, beds and frames, mattresses, pillows, cushions, headboards, loose and stretch covers, comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire
Safety) Regulations 1988 and the subsequent amendments to that Act. Exempted items are: curtains, carpets, bed linen, duvets, period and antique furniture manufactured before 1950. (Furniture purchased since 1990 should meet standards and comply. Check for safety labels).

Any rental property that is rented out and has gas mains must have an annual Gas Safe record completed. This safety check is a Gas Safety record and it complies with the Gas Safety Regulations (installation and use) Act 1998.

The certification is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all appliances (boilers, cookers, gas fires, pipework and flues) are checked for safety by a gas-safe registered engineer prior to the start of each tenancy and then checked annually. A tenant must be given a copy of this prior to taking occupancy and any subsequent Gas Safe records are also provided to the tenant.

Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) standards helps eliminate additional risks for landlords, some examples of areas to assess:

  • Protecting children from open ponds
  • Ensuring all glass doors are safety-rated
  • Checking of electricals by qualified tradesmen
  • Checking of gas supply and connections by a qualified Gas Safe engineer
  • Advising on Legionnaires Disease and if a Risk Assessment is required

Legionnaires’ Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing Legionella. All manmade hot and cold water systems are likely to provide an environment where Legionella can grow.

Where conditions are favourable (for example, suitable growth temperature range; water droplets (aerosols) produced and dispersed; water stored and/or recirculated; some ‘food’ for the organism to grow such as rust, sludge, scale and biofilm) then the bacteria may multiply, thus increasing the risk of exposure.

A landlord has a legal obligation to ensure that their tenants are safe. A landlord should show Duty of Care to the tenants and a Risk Assessment should be conducted if required.

LetsXL can provide Building and Content insurance for landlords

Any tenant renting through Aspire will have a full reference completed and be provided with a rental warranty. If a tenant fails to pay rent, a comprehensive insurance policy from our referencing company LetsXL will cover up to six months. The insurance also covers all legal expenses up to £25,000 (subject to terms and conditions).

See landlord hub for warranty information and insurance information

NRL stands for Non-Resident Landlords. Landlords residing outside the UK are classed as NRL and need to apply to HMRC for an exemption certificate (NRL1i). Sometimes exemptions are not granted and landlords are then liable for taxation. If Aspire does not receive a copy of an NRL1i certificate, 20% tax from all NRLs will be retained.

Landlords have a legal responsibility to complete a Right to Rent check on their tenants. As an agent, Aspire will carry out these checks on landlords’ behalf.

Aspire must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential property in England. Before the start of a new tenancy, checks must be made for all tenants aged 18 and over, even if:

  • they are not named on the tenancy agreement
  • there is no tenancy agreement
  • the tenancy agreement is not in writing

All tenants must be checked. It is against the law to check only people you think are not British citizens. If the tenant is only allowed to stay in
the UK for a limited time, landlords need to complete the check-in 28 days before the start of the tenancy. Landlords won’t need to check tenants in some types of accommodation (for example, social housing and care homes).

The checks completed are thorough and we will ensure that they are conducted correctly.

On the day of occupation all properties must have their smoke detectors checked to ensure they are working. A smoke detector must appear on every storey of the building. A working carbon monoxide alarm must be placed in any room used as living accommodation and which contains a solid fuel-burning combustion appliance. Any home built after 1992 must have a mains-operated and interlinked smoke alarm fitted on every floor.

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