Landlord responsibilites summary .GovMake Text Bigger
If you are renting out a property in England or Wales the government provide a summary of landlord responsibilities which many landlords will be completely familiar with, but it is still common to find the basics missed. Click here for the full .Gov web pages.
Make sure you are on top of what is required and have the fundamentals covered.
Keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
Provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
Protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
Check your tenant has the right to rent your property if it’s in England
Give your tenant a copy of the How to rent checklist when they start renting from you (you can email it to them)
Fit and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
Health and safety inspections
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by your council to make sure that properties in its area are safe for the people who live there. This involves inspecting your property for possible hazards, such as uneven stairs.
If you own a property and rent it out, the council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection because:
- your tenants have asked for an inspection
- the council has done a survey of local properties and thinks your property might be hazardous
HHSRS hazard ratings
Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas and score each hazard they find as category 1 or 2, according to its seriousness. You must take action on enforcement notices from your council. You also have the right to appeal enforcement notices.
The council can do any of the following if they find a serious hazard:
- issue an improvement notice
- fix the hazard themselves and bill you for the cost
- stop you or anyone else from using part or all of the property
Financial responsibilities (It is still amazing how many questions we get at Property118 from Landlords who have not informed HMRC or their lender that they are renting property)
You have to pay:
- Income Tax on your rental income, minus your day-to-day running expenses
- Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do renting out property counts as running a business
If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender.
Property you personally own: The first £1,000 of your income from property rental is tax-free. This is your ‘property allowance’.
- £2,500 to £9,999 after allowable expenses
- £10,000 or more before allowable expenses
If you do not usually send a tax return, you need to register by 5 October following the tax year you had rental income.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
If you let your property to several tenants who are not members of the same family, it may be a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO).
Your property is an HMO if both of the following apply:
- at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than one household
- toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared
A household consists of either a single person or members of the same family who live together. It includes people who are married or living together and people in same-sex relationships.
An HMO must have a licence if it is occupied by 5 or more people. A council can also include other types of HMOs for licensing.
Find out if you need an HMO licence from your council.
The council has to carry out a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) risk assessment on your HMO within 5 years of receiving a licence application. If the inspector finds any unacceptable risks during the assessment, you must carry out work to eliminate them.
You must tell the council if:
- you plan to make changes to an HMO
- your tenants make changes
- your tenants’ circumstances change (for example they have a child)
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