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 inventories are produced in house.
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 standard carried out by them.
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. This deposit is the equivalent of 1 weeks rent.
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)
Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that their rental property, and any electrical equipment provided, is safe before a tenancy begins and throughout its duration.
Five Yearly Electrical Checks From 1st June 2020, private landlords in England will be required to have the electrical installation in their rental properties checked by a qualified electrician to ensure that they are safe.
This means that:
Electrical installations must be inspected and tested prior to the start of a new tenancy from 1st July 2020
Checks must be carried out on any existing tenancies by 1st April 2021
These checks must then be carried out on a five yearly basis.
A copy of the most recent electrical safety condition report (EICR) must be provided to both new and retained tenants. If the inspection reveals any action that needs to be taken, this remedial work must be carried out within 28 days. It must meet British Standard BS 7671, with appropriate certification issued. You can find out more about periodic inspections in Section 5 of this guide. As the landlord, you are responsible for making sure that the person who completes the check is suitably competent. Using an electrician or firm that is a member of an accredited registration scheme operated by a recognised body will give you the confidence that this has been achieved.
Visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/findanelectrician. Full details of the legislation can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/312/contents/made.
We recommend that landlords in Wales also carry out five yearly checks on the electrical installations in their rental properties, to make sure that they fulfil their obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, which states that a property must be maintained so that it is safe for human habitation.
The Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 and Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 – give landlords a duty of care for anyone visiting their property. In short, a landlord could be prosecuted if someone is injured on their land or premises – regardless of whether the visitor is there lawfully (the 1957 Act) or trespassing (the 1984 Act.)
Part P of the Building Regulations In January 2005, the Building Regulations for England and Wales were amended to include Part P, which covers electrical safety in dwellings. This means that all electrical installation work undertaken in a home in England or Wales must, by law, comply with Part P of the Building Regulations.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
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).
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Amendment Regulations 2010
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 (FireSafety) 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).
Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
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)
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.
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.
Right to rent check
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 inthe 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.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms: Regulations 2015
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.