Introduction to Lettings

The Property

Preparing the home that is to be let is important, ensuring that it is in good decorative order, tidy and that repairs have been carried out. The better the condition of the house the better quality tenants you will attract. First impressions are important and any problems with the home will not go away. In fact they are likely to get worse.

Energy Performance Certificates

Since 1st October 2008, Landlords have been legally required to provide copies of an Energy Performance Certificate to potential tenants. An EPC tells a landlord and prospective tenants how energy efficient a rental property is on a scale of A-G, with A being the most efficient. The EPC certificate also indicates, on a scale of A-G, about the impact the property has on the environment. If landlords fail to obtain an EPC before they market a rental property they may be liable for a fine and must withdraw the property from market until they have obtained one.

Fire Safety

All furniture and furnishing need to meet strict criteria laid out in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations1988 (amended 1989 and 1993). Under these regulations all upholstered items, including beds and sofas, must have fire resistant filling and have passed a match resistance test. As a general rule items bought before 1988 may need to be replaced. The regulations apply to pillows, beds, sofas, armchairs and nursery furniture but not antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, duvets, curtains and carpets.

Electrical Safety

The electrical wiring in the home must also be safe and in good working order and smoke alarms should be fitted and work properly. Wiring that is more than 15 years old needs to be inspected annually. The relevant law regarding electrical safety for landlords is The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and Smoke Detectors Act 1991.

Gas Safety

Landlords are also required to ensure that any gas boilers and other equipment are serviced once a year. A landlord is also legally required to provide a tenant with an annual gas safety certificate. The service must by carried out by a contractor registered with Gas Safe previously known as CORGI. The relevant law is The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.

Types of Landlord Insurance

Your buildings insurance will most likely be included as part of your Maintenance charges and will be renewed by the subsequently appointed block management company

Contents insurance to cover items not included as part of the buildings insurance – even if your apartment is to be rented unfurnished; sometimes carpets are not included in the policy, even though the Amtico may be

Liability insurance (this may form part of your Contents Insurance) to cover issues such as personal injury claims by tenants

Loss of rent insurance (this also may form part of your Contents Insurance) to cover any damage or building work, which makes your property un-rentable for a period of time

Rent & Legal Warranty

This kind of 'insurance' covers you for loss of rent but will also provide legal cover to assist in any necessary eviction of the tenant. The Sinclair Hammelton rent & Legal Warranty also offers 75% of your monthly rental income for up to 2 months after vacant possession has been achieved whilst you are trying to re let the property

Permission to let

Before you can let your property, you should contact your Mortgage Lender to advise that you will be renting your property and also your Freeholder (if applicable).  Your Freeholder may also charge for the Permission to Let and it may be provided on a yearly renewable basis.

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