AOS Blog

Legal Requirements for UK Landlords and Buy to Let Investors

Legal Requirements for UK Landlords and Buy to Let Investors

Wednesday 26th July 2017

Here at AOS we want to provide you with all the information you need to make sure you are meeting all regulations and laws required on rental properties. the below are statutory legal requirements of which you should be aware. As a basic, these laws protect you and your tenant. It is imperative you adhere to these, as they are not too onerous, and will allow you to rent out with confidence.

1. Gas Safety
It is imperative that you have an annual inspection of gas supply and gas appliances. This must be carried out by a Registered Gas Engineer and failure to comply with these regulations may lead to prosecution and/or imprisonment with fines up to £25,000.
This is compulsory under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and it is the responsibility of you as Landlord to arrange for these checks to be carried out. Both the Landlord and the tenant should each have a written report on the condition of each appliance. You must as Landlord, keep records of the safety checks and issue a copy of them to new and existing tenants.

2. Electrical Safety
An electrical safety check must be commissioned prior to the commencement of a tenancy, and must be carried out by a competent person (a Part P qualified electrician in kitchens and bathrooms) to ensure that the electricity supply, and all appliances, are legal. This includes supplying instruction books where needed for safe use. Failure to comply with the Electrical Regulations may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 that carries a maximum penalty on summary conviction of a £5000 fine and/or six months imprisonment. This Legislation means that Landlords have a legal obligation and a duty of care to tenants to ensure that the electrical installation and the electrical equipment supplied is safe.

3. What should I as a landlord do?
As a minimum, have an annual electrical safety inspection (i.e. the Enhanced Electrical inspection or"E2"), which includes the electrical equipment.

4. Energy Performance Certificates
It is a legal requirement that any property marketed either for sale or to rent has an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate and that this is made available to any prospective tenant. Energy Efficiency takes into account factors such as insulation, heating and hot water systems, ventilation and fuels used. When this comes to EPC's, the average Energy Efficiency Rating for a dwelling in England and Wales is band E (rating 46). With the green agenda now being high on any Governments requirements, the energy efficiency of a building will be paramount in future proofing the building. By fitting items such as high efficiency boilers or air source heat pumps (to passively heat the dwelling), you could make significant savings.

5. It is essential for energy efficiency that you:
• Insulate your loft, but allow ventilation to circulate around it.
• Insulate your hot water cylinder and all pipes.
• If renewing, fit a new, highly efficient boiler.
• Install cavity wall insulation.
• Install high quality double glazing.
• Consider fitting a water metre (if not built with one in place). There have been moves by successive Governments to help fund this in the form of grants, to homeowners.

All AOS Heating engineers are Gas Safe registered and are therefore authorised to carry out any gas-related repairs, servicing and new installations in rental properties.