Guide for landlords
Our advice is always well researched and well considered
As a landlord, it’s no surprise that there are many rules and regulations that you have to follow. You’re always welcome to ask us any questions, but here’s a summary to help guide you:
By law Tenants’ deposits must be registered with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme that has been government-approved. This:
- gives an independent resolution should a dispute arise between tenant and landlord
- ensures that tenants’ deposits are not unfairly kept by landlords
- safeguards all deposits against rogue tenants, landlords, and agents
- gives all parties confidence that their deposits are protected by a licensed organisation.
We can register your tenants’ deposits, or you can do it yourself. You must give us proof you have registered if you choose to do it yourself.
The structure and exterior of the property must be kept in good repair, including heating, gutters, drains, external pipes and water, gas, electricity and sanitation installations.
Any furniture or soft furnishings that don’t comply with fire regulations must be removed before the tenancy starts. All items must have evidence of compliance but certain exclusions do apply, which we can advise you of.
A certificated GAS SAFE registered engineer must inspect all gas appliances, pipes and meters every year. If gas facilities aren’t inspected, the landlord is considered responsible for any fatalities (sadly these do occur every year from non-compliant gas facilities). We have competitive rates and can arrange for approved engineers to inspect your property.
Electrical equipment must comply with the safety requirements of the 1994 Regulations and not any cause danger to your tenants. If you need a qualified electrical contractor to give you advice and carry out inspections, we can recommend one to you.
All new buildings must be fitted with mains-operated smoke alarms. Although buildings built prior to 1992 need not comply, we strongly recommend that every floor is fitted with a smoke alarm.
An EPC must be in place before a tenancy begins, by law. If you don’t have a valid certificate we can organise an inspection for you.
Before your tenancy commences, find out from your insurance company whether your buildings and contents are adequately insured for letting a property. As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your property and any contents are fully insured against fire, theft, flood etc, however many house and contents insurance policies are not valid for letting. Heywoods can put you in contact with a recommended insurance provider.
The income you gain from letting a property, minus the cost of certain allowable expenses, is subject to income tax whether you live in the UK or abroad. As legal owner, you must complete a Self-Assessment tax return to declare your rental income.
We are required by law to deduct Basic Rate Tax from the rent we receive on your behalf, and pay this to HMRC, if you live for more than six months outside the UK (read more on the definition of this). However the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme means you can apply to receive your rent without deducting tax. You can apply using this link and quoting our reference number: NA026820
We recommend getting advice from your accountant or tax adviser, but you can find out more about non-resident landlords and tax at HMRC.