Landlords: How to not Kill Anyone or end up in Jail

A landlord's guide to renting out their property safely and lawfully

There’s a lot more to letting out a property than just handing over the keys. As your local property nerds, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know to make the process of renting out your property as easy and stress-free as possible. Whether you’re new to the game or would just like a refresher on the latest legislation, here’s the low-down on how to live your best life as a (law abiding) landlord. Alternatively, you could just leave the hard work to us, a letting and management agency who knows your job inside out – leaving you able to concentrate on the things in life that matter the most (family, friends and eating). 

Life’s a gas, get yours checked

When it comes to renting out a property, the old saying rings true: safety first. To ensure all gas appliances, flues, meters and associated pipework are up to scratch, you’ll need to call in a Gas Safe registered engineer. If all is well, you’ll be issued a Gas Safety Certificate which you must give to your tenant before they move in and get renewed every 12 months. If you’d rather be organising yearly holidays than yearly gas checks, you can hand the responsibility of managing your property over to Davies & Davies, who can arrange the Gas Safety inspections for you. Who said all this landlord malarkey was hard?

To ensure all gas appliances, flues, meters and associated pipework are up to scratch, you’ll need to call in a Gas Safe registered engineer.”

Rock down to electric avenue (and get your electrical appliances checked) 

This next one shouldn’t be a shocker. All electrical appliances come with their own set of safety regulations. The ones you need to know about (and comply with) are the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations 1994, Plugs & Sockets Safety Regulations 1994 and The General Product Safety Regulations 2005, but that’s not all. In January this year, the government announced new electrical safety regulations. Take note. It will soon become compulsory for electrical checks to be carried out every five years on all privately rented properties. However, they’ll be providing a six month notice of the regulations before they come into action, so all landlords will have time to adapt. Plus, if you rent through us we’ll make sure to remind you once a date has been set. It’s also important that anyone carrying out electrical checks including PATs (portable appliance tests) and EICRs (electrical installation condition reports) must be qualified to do so. Davies & Davies only work with engineers who meet the government’s requirements, so if you aren’t familiar with the hard wiring behind these acts, we can help you employ someone who is and at a competitive price. 

It will soon become compulsory for electrical checks to be carried out every five years on all privately rented properties.”

Don’t break the code of energy

Almost all rental (and sales) properties must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) attached to them. These certificates show how energy efficient the property is and are compiled by a qualified and accredited Domestic Energy Assessor, who will visit your property to complete an EPC survey. The EPC must be commissioned before the property is put on the market and it must be available to be shown to prospective buyers or tenants if requested. The lowest legally required rating is an ‘E’ but you should aim for an ‘A’, as prospective tenants will be able to see this certificate and judge your property accordingly. For all of you over achievers out there, we’re afraid there’s no A* rating. As EPCs only last for 10 years and became compulsory in 2008, it is important to check that your EPC is still valid and the rating is E or higher. Failure to have a valid EPC certificate, or renting a property which has a rating lower than an ‘E’, can result in significant fines placed on the landlord. 

If you’ve got a ‘F’ or ‘G’ rating, or perhaps you’ve got an ‘E’ upwards but would still like to improve your rating to be more appealing to tenants and be greener at the same time, please have a read of our article about how to improve your rating by clicking here.

the lowest legally required rating is ‘E’ but you should aim for an ‘A'”

Paperwork makes the dream work

It’s important to provide your tenants with certain documents and compliance paperwork within their relevant time frames. For example, before your shiny new tenants move in, they’ll need to be given the following: a valid Gas certificate, EPC, the Government’s How to Rent Guide and the prescribed pages relating to the tenant’s deposit. Failure to do so can cause you heaps of issues, fines and, if worst comes to worst, could mean you would lose the ability to seek possession using Section 21 (if it ever came to that). These requirements aren’t the easiest to keep up with and are constantly changing – the very latest update being as recent as May of this year (the Government’s brand new How to Rent Guide). But not to worry, before you start setting those Google alerts, we at Davies & Davies eat legislative changes for breakfast and are on top of all of the current rules and regulations so you don’t have to be.

“before your shiny new tenants move in, they’ll need to be given certain documents and compliance paperwork…”

Count it up 

In the words of American rapper J.Cole, count it up, count it up, count it up, count it: the number of people living in your property that is. Large tenancies might need to be registered as a HMO (house of multiple occupation). Some areas have special licensing requirements so it’s worth seeking help from a letting agency, like ours, who can advise as to whether your property requires a HMO and can even manage the application process for you. You’ll also need to pay income tax on any profits raised from your rental income (and declare these profits on your tax return). Don’t live in the UK? Some agents charge non-resident landlords extra but Davies & Davies is happy to help you fill out the correct tax forms without any surprise costs, ‘cause we’re nice like that. 

“large tenancies might need to be registered as a HMO (house of multiple occupation).”


Don’t be a twisted firestarter 

When furnishing a property, it’s important to consider the practicalities: does this sofa comply with fire safety regulations? Does it block the exits?  It’s actually an offence to let a property that doesn’t meet the requirements set out in the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations Act 1988. So make sure you check for the fire safety label (which will feature the word ‘RESISTANT’ in caps underneath a drawing of a lit match) when sourcing upholstered furniture. To stay on the right side of the law, you’ll also need to install a smoke detector (at least one for every floor of your property) and a carbon monoxide detector. Once your tenants have moved in, it’s their responsibility to check the detectors are working and replace the batteries if necessary. Do all this and your chances of becoming a twisted firestarter are very low, which is bad for your street cred, but great for your tenants. 

you’ll also need to install a smoke detector (at least one for every floor of your property) and a carbon monoxide detector.”

If you want to know more about your options, have questions about any of the new laws and regulations, or just want to know more about the ins and outs of becoming a landlord – we’re here to help!

alex@daviesdavies.co.uk – Lettings Manager (contact for lettings and property management)
mark@daviesdavies.co.uk – Sales Manager (contact for sales, new homes and chartered surveying)

020 7272 0986
Davies & Davies Estate Agents, 85 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EG

 

Article by Kyra Hanson at Barefaced Studios
Photography by Odera Okoye at Barefaced Studios

Back to Insights
An illustration of a woman looking out of her window to a crack in her building wall.
How to Be At One With Subsidence: A Guide to Letting It Slide

You might have come across the term while eyeing up the gorgeous period properties on our books, but in most cases you needn’t let it distract you from that pretty Victorian cornicing.
Subsidence crops up when the ground beneath a property shifts due to a combo of dry weather, clay soil and wandering tree roots. It sounds dramatic, and sometimes is (so we’d always advise you seek professional advice) but more often than not, it’s perfectly manageable.

Read More...
an illustration of a moving van moving a sofa and some boxes
Movin’ up and movin’ out – our Billy Joel inspired guide for tenants on the move

We don’t know about you, but every time we hear someone say they’re moving out, our eyes glaze over momentarily as we perform the full Billy Joel hit track with specialised choreography in our heads – complete with on stage breakdown (seriously, google Billy Joel meltdown and thank us later). We also simultaneously recite a lengthy and chronological to do list for said person who is, in fact, movin’ out.

Read More...
Illustration of a Monstera plant in an orange plant pot sitting by a window with bulb fairy lights hanging by it
Spruce Up Your Home and Raise Your Spirits, Lockdown Style

Whether you’re looking to improve your living quarters to attract potential buyers, or you just fancy sprucing up your abode in time for Summer, we’re all spending a lot more time inside these same four walls. So why not try some home improvement tricks and hacks on a budget for simple ways to upgrade your surroundings?

Read More...
Davies & Davies Illustration of a woman meditating in the the park on a grey background surrounded by orange trees
Park Life: Make the Most of Your Local Outdoor Spaces (While Staying Alert)

Question: What’s the one thing you can do to reduce your risk of type II diabetes, heart disease and premature death? Hint: it doesn’t come in a blister pack. The answer really is as simple as moseying over to your nearest green space. But don’t just take our word for it. But don’t just take our word for it. Scientists have found that living near nature can do wonders for your health and wellbeing, including helping people snooze for longer and lowering stress levels. 

Read More...
The interior of a living room in a property in stroud green, with a fireplace and a bookshelf
Don’t panic! How COVID-19 actually affects your remortgage

First things first, don’t panic Mr Mannering. We know how easy it is to read a headline here or there and start spiralling into a pit of existential despair. That’s why we’ve decided to round up some of the more common questions / cries for help we’ve heard since lockdown regarding your remortgaging options. As always, we recommend chatting with an expert or two before making any major decisions

Read More...
Bedroom of a property managed by Davies & Davies in the stroud green area
Landlords ask: what’s the point in having my property managed?

Let’s be honest, property management is time consuming, stressful and, if not carried out properly, can even point to a prison sentence. It’s no joke. Law and compliance around property and, in particular, property rentals changes frequently. During weird times, such as the locked down ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in, things can change even more rapidly. Working with a property management company can help ease that stress – even more so when times are difficult.

Read More...
Mark Scales, director a of sales at Davies & Davies Estate Agents on the phone to a vendor
GUIDANCE FOR VENDORS DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

We understand that the current crisis is a confusing and stressful time for most and as a vendor, you may have some worries about whether you can continue with your own exchange and completion, how it will influence the current housing market or whether it will affect your ability to sell a property right now. We want to offer as much support as possible, so to help put that stress at ease, we’ve put together the Vendor’s Guide to help keep you informed on everything you need to know during the COVID-19 outbreak and current lockdown measures advised by the government.

Read More...
Javerna Lightbourne, sales and lettings negotiator at Davies & Davies Estate Agents on the phone to a buyer.
Guidance for Buyers During the COVID-19 Outbreak

It’s a strange world we currently live in and, as a buyer, you may have some concerns about whether you can continue with your own exchange and completion, how the current outbreak will influence the housing market, or whether it will affect your ability to buy a property right now. We want to offer as much support as possible, so we’ve put together this Buyer’s Guide to help keep you informed on everything you need to know during the COVID-19 outbreak and current lockdown measures advised by the government.

Read More...
Lettings Director Alex Reach at Davies & Davies Estate Agents speaking with a landlord.
Guidance for Landlords During the COVID-19 Outbreak

As a landlord, you may understandably be concerned as to whether your tenants can pay their rent, what will happen if essential works such as gas safety inspections are required on your property during a lockdown period, or what happens during the lockdown if your tenant reports an emergency, alongside other questions you may have. We want to offer as much support as possible, so to help put that stress at ease, we’ve put together this landlord’s guide to keep you informed on everything you need to know during the COVID-19 outbreak and the current lockdown measures advised by the government.

Read More...
Photo of a woman sat on a sofa reading.
Guidance for Tenants During the COVID-19 Outbreak

We understand that the current crisis is a confusing and stressful time for most and as a tenant you may have worries about paying your rent, what to do if you need maintenance works on your property or who to call in an emergency, alongside other concerns. We want to offer as much support as possible, so to help put that stress at ease, we’ve put together a tenant’s guide to keep you informed on everything you need to know during the COVID-19 outbreak and current lockdown measures advised by the government.

Read More...
COVID-19 Information & Resources

We’ve closed our shop doors for now, although two of the company directors are currently in the office to meet contractors and to deal with any emergencies. The rest of our team are now operating remotely. We will do everything we can to help you during the COVID-19 outbreak but please bare in mind that we too are operating under unfamiliar territory. Please be patient and please be kind.

Read More...
Help Support Our Local Community

In an effort to help support our local community during this strange, scary time, we’ve collected locals tips, updates and precautions being taken by and for local people and businesses across Finsbury Park and Stroud Green during this ‘don’t panic!’ pandemic. This article provides you with information on local businesses, help available locally and how you can help others by buying from small independent businesses, joining local initiatives and donating to local charities.

Read More...
Buy to Let Landlords: Reasons to be cheerful in the 2020 apocalypse

While the year may have begun on literal fire and under threat of World War III, there are some advantages to the year 2020 for you buy to let landlords at least. Yes, we know how to keep things light at the end of the world.

Read More...
Freeholders & Leaseholders are you ready? 

Let’s find out some more about Freehold. This particular contender, for example, pays no annual ground rent charges and doesn’t rely on a separate freeholder to maintain their building. Nifty. Freeholder has sole responsibility for the maintenance of their building and the land so happens to be somewhat of a green fingered warrior.

Read More...
Don’t get caught out: new landlord safety regulations are to be enforced

The government has updated its regulations, meaning all new private tenancies will require an electrical safety certificate (EICR) from the 1st July 2020. This affects most landlords, who can face hefty fines for not complying.

Read More...
Getting the self employed on the property ladder

So you became a freelancer and now believe you’re doomed to be a forever-renter? Started up your own company and can’t seem to catch a break, never mind credit? We’re here to retrain your brain, and your financial outlook. It’s time to turn that frown upside down mortgage-lusters, because we’ve got all the ways to get on the property ladder when you’re self employed.

Read More...
A picture of a dining table and a bookcase taken from a property rented through Davies & Davies Estate Agents.
Our fun, or at least useful, self-assessment guide for Landlords

We know, sorting out your tax affairs is a potent mix of fear and tedium, but it’s also entirely necessary. Particularly so if you are a landlord in need of a self-assessment. I know what you’re thinking, but we can get to your intimate health checks later… We’re talking about your tax return, divided here into small manageable chunks of boringness. Fun police assemble! 

Read More...
What can a property management company bring to the table?

Single handedly managing a property portfolio can be enough to bring on an early onset of greys. As well as screening tenants, chasing rent and sorting repairs, there’s a tonne of admin and legal stuff you need to keep on top of. Enlisting the help of a lettings agent means you get to bump up the ‘I love my job’ moments while minimising the stressful ones. 

Read More...
The more you know: find out your rights as a tenant

We know how important it is to know your rights as a tenant; whether you’re currently facing a tenancy issue, or simply want to avoid any renting related concerns in the future.   

Read More...
Porch stories: Is your property Georgian, Victorian or Edwardian?

“Gotta love a Georgian townhouse, eh?” you shout, slapping the brick entranceway and attempting a stride towards your friend’s promise of housewarming nibbles inside. “It’s actually Victorian” mumbles your friend, squeezing along the narrow hallway to take your coat. The next thirty minutes you eat your way through their salmon puffs and your words. 

Read More...
Part 2: How to stop renting and start nesting, a First-Time Buyers Guide 

Mortgage in the bag? Give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve officially entered the adulting world of variable rates, credit scores and laughable curtain prices. Now it’s onto what is arguably the fun bit. Choosing your home sweet home. Here’s what you need to consider when it comes to securing your dream abode. 

Read More...
Part 1: I’m a first-time buyer, get me out of here

By the time you’ve finished reading you’ll have stamp duty sussed and will be well on your way to retiring your renting days. So, before you start Googling obscure German hair thickening shampoo brands, read our handy guide to securing your starter home. It all begins with the stuff that makes the world go round: money.

Read More...
Landlords: How to not Kill Anyone or end up in Jail

There’s a lot more to letting out a property than just handing over the keys. As your local property nerds, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know to make the process of renting out your property as easy and stress-free as possible. 

Read More...
To sell or not to sell, that is the question…

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of each decision to help you begin with this exciting new chapter in your life. Every situation is unique and we know the importance of this decision, so Davies and Davies are are here to help you make the right choice.

Read More...

Get In Touch

Contact

info@daviesdavies.co.uk

020 7272 0986

Address

Finsbury Park Office,

85 Stroud Green Road,

London, N4 3EG

Opening Times

Mon – Thurs 0845 – 1815
Fri 0845 – 1800
Sat 1000 – 1600
Sun: Appointments by Request

Sales newsletter

* indicates required

By submitting your details you are consenting to Davies & Davies sending you their sales newsletter. You can request to have your data changed or removed at any time - please see our Privacy Policy.

Rentals Newsletter

* indicates required

By submitting your details you are consenting to Davies & Davies sending you their rentals newsletter. You can request to have your data changed or removed at any time - please see our Privacy Policy.