What are the landlord responsibilities with buy-to-let properties?
If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to take on the role of being a buy-to-let landlord, it’s a good idea to know your legal responsibilities: you may find it useful to contact a lawyer who specializes in Landlord and Tenant law for any specific advice. Things to be aware of include:
You need to provide a contract for your tenant, which most commonly comes in the form of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). This gives your tenant the legal security that they can live in the property for the fixed term specified, or on a rolling basis.
Right to rent
As the landlord, it’s up to you to check that any prospective tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
Tenancy deposit protection
You need to place your tenant’s deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP), then provide them with details of where their deposit is being kept.
Gas and electric
As well as regular checks on wiring and electrical appliances, you need to carry out an annual gas safety check, covering all of the gas appliances in the property. When this has been done, you must provide your tenant with a copy of the certificate.
Energy performance certificate (EPC)
EPC’s are valid for ten years, and your property must have an up-to-date certificate before you can rent it out. A copy should also be supplied to your tenant.
Protecting your tenants against the risk of fire is very important. Soft furnishings and furniture should meet fire safety regulations, while fire alarms and smoke detectors should be fitted and in working order. Carbon monoxide alarms should also be fitted in rooms with gas appliances.