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Legislation for Landlords

Legislation for landlords

Basic Legal Requirements for UK Landlords - Landlords requirements and obligations

As a landlord, you must ensure certain inspection and contents of your property comply with current government legislation. Failure to do this may result in a fine, or even prosecution and possibly a prison sentence.

The following paragraphs state what you need to have in place before you let your property and which need to be kept up to date throughout the period of the whole tenancy.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
If your property has gas appliances installed, by law you must have a gas inspection carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Failure to do this could put your tenants at risk of possible carbon monoxide poisoning if the appliances are not working as they should or are faulty. Once the inspection has taken place you will be provided with a certificate stating the appliances condition. Any faults highlighted will need to be rectified as soon as possible. It is illegal to move tenants into a property with gas appliances until an inspection has been carried out. Outlet will be able to arrange this, and any other inspection you will require before your tenant moves in. However, if you choose to organise this inspection yourself, ensure that you ask to see the engineers Gas Safe membership card and number.

Electrical Equipement (Safety) Regulations 1994
It is illegal for a landlord to provide unsafe electrical goods in a rented property. If this is not carried out it will fail to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and The Consumer Protection Act 1987. Therefore it is strongly recommended that landlords carry out an electrical inspection to prove that all appliances supplied to the tenants are safe. In addition, any electrical repairs/installations in the property must be carried out by a qualified electrician. Any appliances that are highlighted to be faulty must be removed from the property immediately. If tenants were to injure themselves using any electrical goods in the property and the landlord has no documentation proving that they were supplied in a safe condition could result in a fine and even prosecution and prison sentence.

*NB. While we are preparing for your tenants to move in, Outlet are able to arrange these vital inspections for you at a cost of £150 + VAT for both. Please note that due to company policy Outlet will be unable to move tenants into your property if you have gas appliances and you fail to allow us to carry out the inspection or provide us with a certificate at least 24 hours before the tenants are due to enter the property. For your own peace of mind we are happy to carry out these inspections on your own home as well. Please feel free to tell your friends and family of this service too!

Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988
It is an offense to supply furniture that does not meet fire resistant requirements as set out in 1988 and 1993. Any furniture purchased after 1st November 1988 will almost certainly comply with these regulations and this will be indicated by the green label below. Any furniture within the property that does not have this label does not comply with current regulations and will need to be removed from the property BEFORE the tenancy begins.

Stamp Duty Land Tax on Residential Properties
From the 1st December 2003, new rates and procedures came into force. The tenants are now liable to pay the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and not the landlord. The tenant must pay 1% on any rent paid for the term of the tenancy, once they exceed £60,000 threshold. Extensions of tenancy are included, so if a 12 month tenancy only attracts £35,000 rent, but the extension of a further 12 months concludes to a total of £70,000 then stamp duty is due on the difference being £10,000 x 1% = £100. This does not apply to any tenant who moved in before December 2003.

Non-Resident Landlord Tax
If you live outside of the UK for more than 6 months in a year, you may be classed as a non-resident landlord and may not have to pay tax on the rent you receive. In order to register with Inland Revenue, you must complete a NRL1 form and send this to them. Once you have received approval you will be given an approval code. Until this code is received, by law, Outlet will have to deduct the tax on the incoming rent. Remember, it is in your best interest to register with Inland Revenue as you may be paying tax on monies received that you do not have to!

Deposit Registration
From April 2007, by law most deposits must be registered with a government approved scheme. This will include all tenancies on an Assured Shorthold Agreement. Failure to do this could result in a fine three times the amount of the deposit! If you are a managed landlord Outlet will register the deposit on your behalf. If you will be managing the tenancy yourself Outlet will pass on the deposit to you in your first rent statement and you will need to register it with one of the schemes. Also remember to pass on the registration details to your tenants. If you are unsure as to whether the deposit you are holding should be registered, please make sure to ask a member of staff at Outlet or contact one of the schemes for confirmation. Outlet are fully endorsed members of the Deposit Protection Service.

The approved schemes are:

The Deposit Protection Service – http://www.depositprotection.com/ (Custodial Scheme)

My Deposits – http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/ (Insurance Based Scheme)

Energy Performance Certificate
This inspection reports on how energy efficient your property is and gives a rating that the tenants should be provided with. This report can last for up to five years and is required by law if your property is rented. Outlet can arrange for this inspection to be carried out for you for £75 + VAT. For the tenant, it can give them an insight into how to reduce energy costs while living in the property. For a landlord this report can give an over-view of the energy efficiency and provide recommendations on how to improve your properties energy rating. This report can also be used in the process of receiving council/government grants to carry out improvements.


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