Are you a, UK Landlord, considering the venture of renting out your apartment in London? The process may appear complicated, with legal requirements, certifications and documentation. However, fear not – a seasoned UK estate agent can guide you through the process with ease. In this detailed blog, we have meticulously written an all-encompassing guide to cater to the requirements of landlords in the UK, providing you with the knowledge you need to navigate this endeavor successfully.
Certifications & Legal Requirements
In order to rent out your property, you must ensure to meet the legal requirements and obtain the necessary certifications. A professional and well-trusted property management company can assist with these.
1. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
An EPC includes Energy Efficiency Rating & Environmental Impact Rating. Prospective tenants must be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a formal document that furnishes information regarding a property’s energy efficiency. It offers insight into the property’s energy-efficient attributes and offers suggestions for enhancing its energy performance. EPCs are mandatory for properties upon construction, sale, or rental.
The validity of an EPC is for 10 years from the date of issue. This means that if you already have a valid EPC for your property, you can use it for multiple tenancies or sales within that 10-year period.
For new buildings, an EPC is required as part of the construction process. The EPC must be obtained before the building is completed and occupied. The purpose of the EPC for new buildings is to ensure that energy efficiency is considered in the design and construction phases.
2. Gas Safety Certificate
A Gas Safety Certificate is a legal requirement for landlords in the UK who provide residential accommodation with gas appliances. This certificate ensures the safety of both tenants and the property, as it confirms that gas appliances, fittings, and flues are safe to use. A new certificate is required every 12 months to ensure that gas appliances remain safe for use. Landlords are responsible for arranging and paying for these annual checks. And only Gas Safe-registered engineers can issue this certificate.
Landlords must provide tenants with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate, within 28 days of completing the gas safety check. If a new tenant moves in, the certificate must be given to them before they move in. If a current tenant’s certificate expires during their tenancy, the new certificate should be provided within 28 days of the expiration.
Landlords must keep a record of each Gas Safety Certificate for at least 2 years. This ensures that there is a documented history of safety checks for each property.
3. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
Commonly referred to as an electrical certificate, is an important document that assesses the safety of electrical installations in a property. As of July 1, 2020, for new tenancies, and from April 1, 2021, for existing tenancies, you must have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) done by a qualified electrician. This ensures the safety of the property’s electrical installations.
An EICR is designed to ensure the safety of electrical systems and installations within a property. It identifies any potential hazards, defects, or non-compliance with regulations that could pose a risk to occupants. The report provides valuable information for both landlords and tenants to ensure that electrical installations are safe and up to code.
EICRs must be carried out by qualified and registered electricians who are competent to assess electrical systems. It’s recommended to hire electricians who are registered with recognized bodies, such as the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), ELECSA, or other similar regulatory bodies.
During an EICR, the electrician will thoroughly inspect the electrical installations in the property. This includes wiring, sockets, switches, distribution boards (fuse boxes), lighting, and other electrical components. They will test the system for safety and compliance with regulations.
For rental properties, the EICR should be renewed every five years, or sooner if recommended by the electrician.
Once the inspection is complete, landlords must provide a copy of the EICR report to their tenants within 28 days of the inspection. New tenants should receive the report before moving in.
4. HMO License
If you’re renting to multiple tenants from different households, your property might be considered a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). In this case, you’ll need to apply for an HMO license from your local council.
Local Council Documentation
Local council documentation requirements can vary depending on the specific area within London and the regulations set by each individual council. However, there are certain types of documentation and licenses that landlords might encounter when renting out a property.
1. Landlord Licensing
Some local councils in London require landlords to obtain a landlord license. This license is separate from any other certifications or documentation and is specific to the local area. Landlord licensing aims to improve property standards, reduce anti-social behavior, and ensure that properties are managed responsibly. Landlord licenses often have specific requirements that landlords need to meet, such as property management standards and tenant safety measures.
2. Selective Licensing
Selective licensing schemes are introduced by local councils to regulate certain types of properties within designated areas. These schemes typically apply to properties that are privately rented and help local authorities identify and address issues related to property management, tenant safety, and anti-social behavior.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Regardless of your location, you’ll need to protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme and provide the required information to the tenant. The TDP scheme will provide you with a deposit protection certificate, also known as a Prescribed Information document.
This information includes:
- The amount of the deposit.
- Details of the TDP scheme and its dispute resolution service
- Information on how to retrieve the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
- Any circumstances under which deductions can be made from the deposit.
- Information about the tenancy, including the property address and the start and end dates of the tenancy.
Requirements when you rent out your apartment in London
Your property manager or estate agent must ensure they provide your tenant with:
- a copy of the valid Gas Safety Certificate
- a copy of the valid EICR (electrical certificate)
- a copy of the valid EPC (Energy Performace Certificate)
- The “How to Rent” guide must be provided to tenants as part of the rental process. It’s essential to provide the most current version of the guide, which outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords. The guide should be given to tenants before they move in.
- Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, you must provide your tenants with specific information about how their deposit is protected.
As you embark on buying a property in London, putting your property for rent, and on your role as a landlord, keep in mind that regulations may evolve, and staying informed is an ongoing responsibility. Embrace the opportunity to connect with professionals, engage with reputable property management services, and continuously educate yourself about the latest developments in the real estate landscape.