Reports that one of the most prominent Estate Agents in the UK had allowed its landlords to open to fines of between £9million and £30million in the last few days.
This is because they allegedly failed to send some paperwork to their tenants when their tenancy started.
This has had many Sussex landlords picking up the phone to us to ensure they are compliant with their Sussex rental property. So, what should every Sussex landlord consider to ensure they are compliant and won’t be fined.
To start, there are over 150 pieces of legislation, these are some important ones that Sussex landlords should consider.
Registering your Sussex tenant's deposit
Every Sussex landlord (or their agent) needs to register the tenant’s deposit. It is believed that one in six tenants' deposits are not registered, leaving the landlord (not the agent) liable to a fine three times the amount of the deposit plus making it very difficult to evict them
When your Sussex tenant pays their deposit, it has to be protected in one of the government-approved schemes within 30 days.
Yet even if you do register the deposit, you must also give your tenant proof of being in the scheme. That must include information on which of the three schemes you chose (The Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme) protects their deposit and how your Sussex tenant can get their deposit back at the end of the tenancy.
Gas Safety Certificates
Every Sussex landlord must offer a safe rental home for your tenants. Every Sussex rental property must have an annual Gas Safety Certificate. The certificate, issued by a qualified and registered Gas Safe engineer, is only valid for 12 months. All certificates must retain for 24 months, and give your tenant a copy of the existing certificate.
EPC for your Sussex rental property
The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is just like the colour coded energy rating diagrams you see on fridges and washing machines, albeit it's for your rental property. If you don’t have an EPC, you can't rent your property. Also, since this Summer, rental properties have had to achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of 'E'. If your property doesn't meet this requirement, you'll be unable to rent it out (although there are a handful of exemptions). Again, you also must give your tenant a copy of the up-to-date EPC certificate.
Right to rent checks
Every Sussex landlord can only let their property to a tenant who has the legal right to rent in the UK. You have the legal responsibility of checking the prospective tenant’s identification and confirming that the tenant is legally in the British Isles. If you let your property to someone in the UK illegally, you might face a substantial fine.
Anything else Sussex landlords should be aware of?
How about ..
- Smoke alarms
- Health and Safety
- Client Money Protection
- Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
- Fire safety risk assessment
- Legionella risk appraisal
- Electrical Safety checks
That’s just the tip of the iceberg
The list goes on…
As you can see, there are many things a Sussex landlord must consider when it comes to being legal. Yet, apart from a logistical nuisance there are actual financial penalties involved if you do not observe with all your landlord obligations.
If you have any questions about anything raised in this article or would like us to provide you with any further advice, please contact our dedicated lettings team on 01273 688 884 or email email@example.com
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