Becoming a Landlord for the first time can be a very daunting process and before taking the plunge and purchasing a building, it is best to research the subject fully. Rented buildings and the rights of tenants are governed and regulated by various Act of Parliament (Housing Act 1988 in England & Wales and amended in 1996 and the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 in Scotland.
Most Tenancies are known as Assured short hold agreements ( Short Assured Tenancies in Scotland) . Under these acts the Landlord will be able to recover the property at the end of the fixed term providing of course that he has served the correct papers to the tenant. It is against the law to evict a tenant unless you have a court order. However at the end of the rental period, if the tenant fails to vacate the property and you have served the correct notices, a possession order can normally be obtained within two months (Landlords with property in Scotland may take slightly longer.)
Before you let a property , you will need to check with any lender that you are able to let the property under the terms of any loan you have with them. If the property is a leasehold Flt, you should check with the Freeholder first. If you are responsible for the building, you will also need to effect. Landlord Insurance at least covering the building. A variety of covers are available on the market. Depending on your needs, you may choose to effect Landlord Building Insurance on it's own or perhaps include Contents. You should also pay attention to the laws relating to let property insurance and these include the following:-
Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1994
- The Gas Safety (Installation and Use Regulations) 1998 place a duty of care on all Landlords to make sure that all gas fittings, appliances and flues etc that form and or are supplied with the landlords building are maintained in a safe condition.
- A copy of the gas safety certificate should be left with the Tenant at the property along with instruction books for all appliances.
- Instruction booklets should be provided for each gas appliance supplied.
Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
- Any furniture and furnishings provided by you as Landlord for use by the tenant must meet the fire resistance requirements of the above regulations.
- The current regulations cover all upholstery and upholstered furniture property. Typical items that need to comply would include settees, armchairs, and sofa beds. The regulations do not apply to duvets, loose mattress covers and carpets. Please refer to the act for the full list.
- Any item of furniture sold since 1990 will have regulatory display labels, which should not be removed, leave them so as the tenant can see that the item comply with the regulations.
The Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994.
- There is no statutory obligation placed on Landlords to have professional checks carried out on the electrical system or appliances at the rented property.
- However, under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 & The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 there is an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe. for your tenants usage.
- As a Landlord ( any before you purchase Landlord Insurance or allow the tenant to move in) You should ensure that any electrical equipment supplied as part of a let accommodation does comply with the above regulations and is safe for usage