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Where there are any gas appliances in the property provided by the landlord, the landlord must ensure that annual gas safety checks are carried out. These checks must be carried out by a gas fitter/engineer who is registered on the Gas Safety Register (which has replaced Corgi). A copy must be given to the tenant before the tenant moves in and the check must have been carried out within the 12 months before the new tenant takes up occupation. Checks must be done annually at no more than 12 month intervals and copies of all certificates for checks must be handed over to the tenant.
Where a landlord controls flats, bedsits or hostels there must be a risk assessment in place to comply with the Fire Safety Order. It should be in writing. A statutory risk assessment is not required for shared houses or single dwelling lets.
Before a tenant moves in there must be an energy performance certificate in place for most types of property. This must be made available to prospective tenants and a copy of the certificate given to any tenant who moves into the property.
If you take a deposit from a tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy, the deposit must be protected under one of the three tenancy deposit schemes and the prescribed information regarding the deposit must be given to the tenant within 14 days of receiving the deposit.
It is very important that advance payments of rent and non returnable administration fees are not confused with deposits. You should always make clear to tenants what money is being taken for; otherwise it could be regarded as a deposit which shall be protected under one of the deposit schemes.
If your property is a house in multiple occupation (e.g. bedsits, shared house or a shared flat) then if the property is on three or more floors and has five or more occupants an HMO licence may well be needed from the local authority.
EICR Landlord requirements
From July 2022, all landlords are legally required to carry out an EICR every five years as a minimum, you must also have an EICR carried out whenever there is a change of tenancy. Additionally, you’ll need to supply a copy to existing tenants within twenty eight days of the inspection, prospective tenants within twenty eight days of a request and new tenants before they occupy a premises. Local authorities can also request your latest EICR report, which must be supplied in seven days.
Finally any works required at the property deemed essential for the report to be issued must be completed within twenty eight days. Landlords who do not or cannot provide a valid EICR in line with the rules can be fined up to £30,000.
Where a property is provided with electrical appliances it is the landlords responsibility to make sure that they are safe at the outset of letting.
Where fire alarm systems are provided in a house in multiple occupation, the landlord is responsible for ensuring fire alarms are checked regularly. You must also make sure that the means of escape from the property (normally the hall, stairs and lading) are unobstructed. Houses in multiple occupation include shared houses, flats in multiple occupation, bedsits and certain types of converted flats.
You must not harass your tenants. It is unlawful to evict a tenant without a Court Order. You cannot throw a tenant out because he/she is in arrears with his/her rent or breaking the terms of his/her tenancy. You must go to court to get a possession order. Any possession order obtained must be enforced by the court bailiff
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