With new Energy Performance Certificate regulations coming into force next month, not to mention changes to mortgage interest tax offsetting, landlords have a fair bit on their plates as we move through 2018.
It's worth having a checklist of standard obligations, even if you are a seasoned letting professional... it's easy for something to be forgotten among the mountain of paperwork and red tape after all.
So, here are Martin & Co's five things to remember when it comes to letting your property...
1. Gas Safety CheckThe suitability and safety standards of your gas appliances, flues and pipework need to be checked every year, and these processes must be carried out by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
The expert will recommend what work needs to be done, if any, before tenants can move in. Following their advice is crucial.
2. Electrical ChecksLandlords with HMOs must obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), which is a legal requirement for ALL HMOs - not just licensed properties.
However, even if your property is a traditional let, it's worth ensuring the safety of the property from an electrical point of view before tenants move in.
The best way to do this is to have an EICR performed. An electrical expert will compile a report of their findings and advise of any work required.
Having this report means, should anything go wrong during the tenancy, you can prove professional advice was taken before moving-in day.
3. Appliance TestingAgain, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is not a legal requirement for landlords renting out a property, but as with the EICR, it's worth having the peace of mind provided by professional and regulated testing of electrical equipment.
As a landlord, you are responsible for appliances supplied with the property so getting everything checked out should be a priority.
4. AlarmsAlarms save lives - it's that simple. As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring a smoke alarm is fitted on every habitable floor of your rental property.
On top of that, it is a legal requirement to have a carbon monoxide alarm in "any room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used".
Once installed, landlords must ensure all alarms are working at the start of a tenancy.
5. Fire and Safety FurnishingsIf you are a landlord letting a furnished property, ensuring things such as sofas, chairs, beds and mattresses meet Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations is a legal requirement.
Most furnishings will have their fire safety standards on a label, but landlords who are unsure should consult their supplier / manufacturer.
If you need any more advice on letting out your property, or general property maintenance advice, get in touch with your local Martin & Co office.