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Landlords – Compliance and Preparing to Rent

 

 

There's a lot to consider but we can do it all for you, when you are one of our Managed Landlords.

 

Completed agency agreement

This should be completed IN FULL and signed and dated by the owner of the Property. Where the Property is jointly owned we will require signed consent of all owners to rent out the Property. The document can be completed and signed via Docusign if you prefer to process this electronically. Alternatively, you can complete a paper version and the duplicate copy can be removed and retained with your own personal documents as a record of the information you have provided to us.

 

Client identification / money laundering

Under the provisions of The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 it is a legal requirement that the Agent must be able to identify their client. Therefore, all private Landlords are required to furnish Thornley Groves with their proof of identity to be held on file in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988. Where there are joint Landlords, a copy of the relevant identification for each Landlord will be required. Where the Landlord is a company, at least two directors or a director and company secretary must furnish us with the relevant identification. The fact that you are being asked for these documents does not mean that you are suspected of money laundering.

Proof of identity

To confirm your name: current full signed passport, current UK driving licence (full or provisional) either full paper version or photo card, Firearms certificate, Residence Permit issued by the Home Office.

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Proof of ownership

E.g. correspondence from your mortgage company including the latest mortgage statement, the title deeds, documentation relating to the ground rent if leasehold.

Proof of your address

Current UK driving licence (full or provisional), Bank, building society passbook or recent statement, current council tax bill, recent utility bill.

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Certified* / original copies

You can bring proof of your name and address in person by showing us original documents from the lists above and we will make a copy for our records. Please note that you cannot use the same document to confirm both name and address. Alternatively, you can confirm your name by post, in which case we will need to see the original or certified copies of 3 documents from the list, at least one from each section. These should be sent by registered post or recorded delivery and we will send them straight back to you. *Certification is needed because someone has to see the original of your documents in order to prove that the copies are genuine. You can take your documents to a Solicitor, Bank Manager, IFA, Accountant, Teacher, Doctor, Minister of Religion or Justice of the Peace. They should take photocopies, write “I hereby certify this to be a true copy of the original” and where there is a photograph, “I hereby certify this to be a true likeness of ...” on the copies. They should then write their name, address and profession on each copy and sign and date them. We need the original of this certification, not a photocopy of it.

Mortgage

If your Property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgage company’s consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the Tenancy Agreement of which you must inform us.

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Mortgage Statement

Provide your most recent mortgage statement if property is mortgaged.

Buildings and contents insurance

There may be a higher number of risks to your property when you rent it out and these will not normally be covered under a standard home insurance policy. It is vital that you arrange a Landlord’s insurance policy before letting to ensure that you are covered for claims for injury from the occupants plus malicious damage by the Tenants and for periods when the property is empty for more than 30 consecutive days. A good Landlord insurance policy should include Public liability and property owner's liability cover, Alternative accommodation costs, Loss of rent cover, Glass and lock replacement and where relevant, Contents insurance. You should also ensure that Tenants have their own contents insurance for items they keep in the property. However, it's your responsibility to have an insurance policy that covers any fixtures and fittings in the property and if your property is furnished, to have Landlord’s contents insurance for the items you own. If you wish to be contacted by our referencing Agent Let Alliance to receive a free no obligation Landlord insurance quotation, please contact a Thornley Groves lettings representative for assistance.

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Leaseholds

If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease and obtain the necessary written consent before letting. A copy of the head lease should be provided to us in case additional clauses are required in the Tenancy Agreement.

Access

We need to be supplied with relevant keys, fobs, alarm codes and / or access arrangements to your Property. You should provide us with one set of keys for every adult on the Tenancy Agreement before the start date of the Tenancy. If you wish for Thornley Groves to manage your Property on your behalf, we also require a full set of keys / fobs which will be held at our office in case of emergencies and for the purpose of inspections.

Gas safety check

In accordance with the gas safety (installation and use) regulations 1998 the Landlord is responsible for ensuring that the gas supply to the Property, and any gas appliances within, are safe. This must be achieved by having a safety check carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A copy of the safety certificate must be provided to Thornley Groves before the commencement of the Tenancy. Alternatively, you can authorise Thornley Groves to obtain a Gas Safety Certificate on your behalf. This safety check must be carried out on an annual basis and previous certificates kept for at least 2 years by the Landlord/Agent. 

Breach of the regulations is a criminal offence and could result in loss of life. If you do not comply, you risk being prosecuted, and this could result in you facing imprisonment or a fine of up to £20,000, or both, for each offence. If the case is then referred to the Crown Court, the maximum penalty may be imprisonment, or an unlimited fine, or both. It is also likely that any insurance cover could be invalidated for non-compliance of the regulations.

Electrical safety check

In accordance with the electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994 and the plugs and sockets etc. (safety) regulations 1994 checks should be carried out by a suitably qualified electrician and a safety report issued. A copy of the safety certificate must be provided to Thornley Groves before the commencement of the Tenancy. Alternatively, you can authorise Thornley Groves to obtain an Electrical Safety Certificate on your behalf.

Smoke alarms and C02 detectors

As of 1 October 2015, by law the Landlord must ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on each story of the rented premises and checks must be made by or on behalf of the Landlord to make sure that each alarm is in proper working order on the day that the Tenancy begins (if it is a new Tenancy). Carbon Monoxide detectors are required in every room where there is solid fuel burning equipment – such as a coal fire, wood burning stove, AGA. Therefore, it is the Landlord’s / the Landlord’s Agent (if the property is managed) responsibility to ensure the smoke alarms are installed, tested and working before any Tenancy commences. It is illegal to move a Tenant into a property without fully functional smoke alarms on ALL floors of the property. The local authority is responsible for enforcement. If the Landlord is in breach, the local authority may require the Landlord to pay a penalty charge up to a maximum of £5,000.

Furniture and furnishings

In accordance with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 – Amended 1993 a Landlord is required to ensure all furniture within the Property conforms to the 1993 amendments of this Act of Parliament. Manufacturers’ labels showing the use of fire resistant material, match and cigarette resistance test pass results should be permanently attached to the relevant items which include: arm chairs, three piece suites, sofas, sofa beds, futons and other convertible furniture. Beds, bed bases and headboards, mattresses, divans and pillows. Garden furniture which could be used indoors. Nursery furniture. Loose, stretch and fitted covers for furniture, scatter cushions, seat pads and pillows. This regulation does not currently apply to carpets and curtains. Non-compliance is a Criminal Offence and could result in a fine, imprisonment or both. You could also be liable for civil prosecution.

Energy Performance Certificate

As of 1 October 2008 Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’S) are a mandatory requirement for all new lets and are valid for 10 years. A copy of the certificate must be provided to Thornley Groves or alternatively, you can authorise Thornley Groves to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate on your behalf.  

There are fixed penalties for failing to provide an EPC/make one available when required. The fixed penalty is £200 per dwelling. In addition, for all new tenancies starting on or after 01 October 2015, Landlords have to provide the EPC to tenants prior to the tenancy move in, otherwise they risk invalidating any section 21 notice that is served.  

Legionella risk assessment

Recent changes in the UK Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice L8 (“Legionnaire’s disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems”) means that Landlords must carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment of rented properties. The Health and Safety Executive Code of Practice states that this is a legal requirement in accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. A copy of the risk assessment must be provided to Thornley Groves before the commencement of the Tenancy. Alternatively, you can authorise Thornley Groves to obtain a Legionella Risk Assessment on your behalf. This risk assessment must be reviewed every 12 months and written records must be kept for at least 5 years by the Landlord / Agent. The risk assessment must be completed by someone with the necessary competence, knowledge and expertise.

Right to rent checks

In line with the Immigration Act 2014, from 1 February 2016 all Landlords and letting agents in England who allow a Tenancy are required to make ID and Right to Rent checks on all adult occupiers. The scheme is compulsory and makes it mandatory for anyone who rents out private property in England to see and make a copy of evidence that any new adult Tenant has the right to rent in the UK, be this continuous or time limited. Landlords or agents who fail to do these checks correctly could be liable for a fine of up to £3,000 per occupier. Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014, a Landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy property as their main or only home under a residential Tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British Citizen, Swiss national, from a European Economic Area or has other proof of a continued right to rent in the UK. Landlords should carry out ‘right to rent’ checks for new Tenancy Agreements to determine whether Tenants have the right to live in the UK legally. An Applicant may have a time-limited right to rent if they are from outside of the UK or EEA and this can be proved using the correct documentary evidence:

  • Verify the ‘Right-to-Rent’ of a prospective Applicant
  • Establish whether a ‘Right-to-Rent’ is continuous or time limited
  • Report to the home office in the event of expiry of the ‘Right-to-Rent’.

NRL1i form

United Kingdom rental income is liable to UK Tax whether the Landlord lives in the UK or not, and Thornley Groves has to deduct tax when paying the rent to any Landlord whose usual place of abode is outside the UK. Form NRL1i enables an individual whose usual place of abode is outside the UK to apply to have his or her UK rental income paid without deduction of UK tax. The Inland Revenue’s approval of application does not mean that the rent is exempt from UK tax and they may request completion of a UK Self Assessment Tax Return at a later date to confirm any tax due. NRL1i forms and guidance notes are available online at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nr_Landlords.htm.

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