First BTL purchase and want to make sure we are fully compliant with all regulations

by Readers Question

3 years ago

First BTL purchase and want to make sure we are fully compliant with all regulations

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First BTL purchase and want to make sure we are fully compliant with all regulations

We have just purchased a house with attached land recently for future development. The house was already let and we have retained the existing tenants and is being managed by a local letting agency.tick all the boxes

We have signed up with them for 6 months with a view to handling the tenancy directly ourselves or perhaps just maintaining the arrangement with the agents for the foreseeable future.

Our question is really what do we need to do in terms of registering our landlord status (currently in my wife’s name) with the local authorities and/or HMRC etc. Everything seems to be covered as we own the property outright and no BTL loan or mortgage is required.

We have landlords insurance in place and the agent is managing the safety certification etc and has not requested any further action from our side. Being new to the landlord business we wanted to check that all our obligations are being met and we realise that of course we will be responsible for maintenance and the upkeep etc.

My other question is do we need some form of landlords license as we checked with HMRC and there is nothing specific to our situation that we can see.

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

Neil



Comments

Neil Patterson

3 years ago

Hi Neil,

Let's start with the most obvious.:

Is the property a single let or an HMO?
Was a deposit taken and has it been protected?
Do you complete tax self assessment forms each year?
Do you have a Gas safety certificate?
Does your council have selective licencing?

Carol Thomas

3 years ago

Hi Neil X 2!
A great question! It may seem simple to all of those Landlords who have been doing this for years, but is useful in a lot of ways. I have to admit that I sometimes get quite confused by all the letters giving their take on the "rules". Neil 2 has started this off in a simple form, how about everyone adding a 'simple' point of their own? Here's mine -

Do you have Smoke and CO2 alarms in the required places?

I will watch this post with great interest. Good luck in the future Neil 1 ?

Luke P

3 years ago

It is becoming increasingly difficult to run your own BTL if you do not do it full time or use an agent. There have been many, many people who have done (correctly or otherwise), that have managed to do so to date, but with raft of legislation that has now come in, on top of what was already there, with little experience it is a complete minefield.

We speak about this regularly in my office -even if you've been making a hash of things, because there is virtually no enforcement, you'll 'get away it'. From April next year when the first S.21s are going through the Courts, the first questions to be asked will be about the prescribed information and if you have any of that wrong, expect to get thrown out.

Most individual landlords I have spoken with have no idea about the prescribed information.

In the spirit of the above comment...

Have you issued the up-to-date copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government guide ‘How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England’ (assuming your BTL is in England) -whilst not a requirement at the outset, it is a requirement before you serve a S.21 and it'll be so much easier whilst they are signing their initial tenancy agreement.

Michael Barnes

3 years ago

When I started I paid a letting agent for an hour of his time to talk about everything I should be doing (not just legally, but procedurally such as inspection visits).

I did research first to work out what I thought position might be and to determine my known unknowns so that I could get the best from the paid time.

Paid £100 in 2001, and he also gave me sample letters, forms, and tenancy agreement.

I also bought "which guide to renting and letting", which covers most things.

H B

3 years ago

If you do not currently make a tax return, you will need to notify HMRC and pay tax on rent at your marginal tax rate after any allowable deductions.

Be very careful about "forgetting" to inform them as it seems to have as they have developed an increase appetite to track down tenanted properties and the last thing you want is a massive fine and potentially a criminal record.

Carol Thomas

3 years ago

Great start Luke, Michael and HB, thank you for your additions to the post. I'm sure there are a lot more of you out there who can contribute the odd point or two...........where are you???

Chris Byways

2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "CaZ " at "14/11/2015 - 16:28":

Make sure you ALWAYS get a signed Tenancy Agreement in place before handing over the keys. Urgent pleas to get in early should set alarm bells ringing, you want to end the void, and stop your council tax liability. Don't wait for a Witness, not necessary for 6 or 12 month ASTs.

PS wouldn't it be great if this thread was continued, collated, linked to greater details of each point, and pinned as a "Where do I start" heading!

Puzzler

2 years ago

You will need a licence if the property is in Scotland, not in England and I don't know about Wales or NI.

Chris Byways

2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "12/11/2015 - 13:33":

Puzzler, see Neil's post, there is also Rent Smart Wales now.

Also:-

"from October 1 all landlords in England, or agents acting on their behalf, will be required to install smoke alarms on every floor of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy.

Landlords or their agents must also fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance, which includes wood burners and open fires.

Those not abiding by the regulations face fines of up to £5,000."

Puzzler

2 years ago

I thought Neil's post referred to LHA licensing for HMOs. In Scotland all landlords have to be registered centrally no matter what type of property.

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