Legislation and insurance

Right To Rent

If you are renting out your home or a room in your home, you must check that anyone aged 18 or over, who is living in the property, is legally entitled to rent a home in England. This includes people living in the property but not named on the tenancy agreement, and applies whether or not you have a tenancy agreement in place.

This scheme was made compulsory on 1 February 2016, and required all landlords and agents to:

  • Check which adults will use the property as their main home
  • Ask for original documents that prove they can live in the UK
  • Check that the documents give them the right to rent your property
  • Check that each tenant’s documents are genuine and belong to them
  • Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date you made the check.

You can receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison if you rent your property to someone who isn’t allowed to stay in England.

It is against the law to only check people you think aren’t British citizens. You must check all new tenants.

You can find more information on the Right to Rent scheme on the government website.

 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements

An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.

Energy Performance Certificates are needed whenever a property is:

  • built
  • sold
  • rented.

You must order an EPC for potential buyers or tenants before you market your property to sell or rent.

How to get an EPC

You’ll need to find an accredited assessor if you’re selling or renting out your home. They will assess your property and produce the certificate.

You can be fined if you don’t get an EPC when you need one.

From the 1 April 2018, any property for rent in the private rented sector must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This regulation will come into force for all new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1 April 2018, and for all existing tenancies on 1 April 2020.

It will be unlawful to rent a property which does not have a minimum E rating. You could receive a fine of up to £4,000 if your property does not meet this requirement.

We can arrange for an accredited assessor to assess your home and produce a certificate, and will advise on how much it is likely to cost.

Electrical

You must ensure that all electrical appliances in the property are working and safe, and that freestanding electrical appliances are PAT tested. It is a legal requirement for the electrics in a property to be safe to use, and an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is recommended. We can arrange these for you, and can advise on how much it is likely to cost.

Insurance

All landlords must have specialist landlord building insurance, which must include public and landlord liability cover. We recommend Let Alliance for your insurance, and have worked with them for many years.

You must also insure the contents of the property, where appropriate, and notify the insurance company if and when the property becomes empty.

If you have a mortgage on your rental property, you must obtain permission from your mortgage provider to rent your property out.

Gas servicing

You must arrange for a registered Gas Safe heating engineer to inspect all appliances and issue a certificate on an annual basis. We can arrange this for you, and can advise how much it is likely to cost.

Fire safety

You must ensure that you have working smoke detectors on all floors (we will check this at every property inspection). You must also ensure that all furnishings are fire resistant and comply with the regulations set out in the Fire Safety Amendment 1993.

If your property is classed as a House of Multiple Occupation by LACoRS, it must have a fire assessment report, and all the work that is stated in the report must be completed within a given time period. We can assist with this.

General advise

Ensure your property is protected against frost, particularly if it is empty over the winter period (we can advise on how best to do this).

Refund the Local Authority for any overpayment of Local Housing Allowance.

If your property is in an area covered by the Selective Licensing Scheme, it must be registered with Blackpool Borough Council and the appropriate licence obtained (we can assist with this).