Have you addressed the following?
If you have a mortgage on the property you intend To Let you need to obtain written permission from the Mortgage Lender.
You must inform your insurance company of your intention To Let your property. Failure to do so could invalidate your existing policies. Building and contents along with public liability cover is strongly recommended.
Inland Revenue must be informed of any income you receive from your property, and taxes paid where appropriate.
Part of the success for a smooth running tenancy is a good relationship between landlord and tenant. This can be enhanced by the following prior to tenancy commencing:
- Ensuring the property is thoroughly cleaned, free from damp and in good decorative order.
- Gardens clean and tidy, lawns freshly cut, hedges trimmed.
- All telephone services finalised in landlords name.
- Full set of keys, including windows, garage and mail boxes clearly labelled along with instructions and code for any alarm system.
- It is useful to leave any information regarding bin collections or instructions for the use of any appliances, heating system etc.
Under the Private Tenancies (NI) Order 2006 tenancies that start on or after 1st April 2007 an inventory of furnishing must be provided in the statement of Tenancy Terms. This should be checked, agreed and signed by the landlord and tenant with a copy given to the tenant, with any existing damage clearly noted. A proper inventory can help avoid any disagreements at the end of a tenancy especially involving the return of deposits.
A security deposit (one months rent) is required from the approved tenant to cover the cost of any damage, cleaning etc that may occur during the tenancy. This will be passed to the landlord to be held and returned to the tenant at the end of the tenancy less any deductions as agreed.
There are specific regulations that must be complied with when letting property failure to comply with these regulations could result in either a monetary fine, imprisonment or both it is therefore the landlord's responsibility to ensure that these regulations are complied with.
ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES AND EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994
Landlords must ensure all electrical installation and appliances are safe. New appliances should have the CE mark showing compliance with the regulations. Older or second hand appliances should have annual checks by competent electrician to certify that they are safe.
NICEIC regulations require all electrical installations be tested at least every five years by a qualified electrician, which must be carried out prior to letting.
Plugs and sockets that are newly installed must conform to appropriate British standards or approved alternatives.
GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 2004
This applies to all rented properties containing gas appliances.
Main requirements are:
- Landlords are required to maintain all gas appliances in the property, through annual inspections and safety checks.
- Safety checks, together with any service, repair or replacement to be carried out by a registered CORGI contractor.
- A record of these checks must be kept along with dates of inspection, defects identified and any remedial action taken.
- Upon completion of the safety checks a CP12 Landlord/Homeowner gas safety record should be provided.
- A record must be in place prior to and during a tenancy, tenants should be provided with a copy of the record.
- Ventilation, chimney and flues should also be checked.
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1988
It is an offence to let property containing furniture or furnishings that do not comply with all the fire resistance standards.
What to look for:
- Each item of furniture or furnishing will have a label attached to it stating compliance with the regulations.
- All new furniture must carry a display label at the point of sale.
The regulations apply to:
- Beds, headboards, mattresses
- Sofa beds, futons and other convertibles
- Nursery furniture
- Garden furniture which is suitable for use in the dwelling
- Scatter cushions and seat pads
- Loose and stretch covers for furniture
They DO NOT apply to furniture made before Jan 1950 or:
- Bed clothes (including duvet)
- Loose covers for mattresses
- Sleeping bags
All relevant items must be checked to be compliant and all non compliant items removed from the property.
The department of Environment state that any new build after June 1992 is to have smoke detectors installed. If the property is built after this date a mains operated smoke detector must be fitted on each floor.
GENERAL PRODUCT SAFETY REGULATIONS 1994
The General Product Safety Regulations state that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting this would cover structure of the building and contents. We recommend that you check for any obvious signs of danger, walls which seem unsound, sharp edges, broken glass. Landlords are required to consider general safety of the tenant in their property examples are supplying instruction manuals to items used in the property e.g. lawnmower or any danger points e.g. hot surfaces/ sharp edges etc.
Please note that above is just a brief checklist.