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Landlords: Your Responsibilities

Gas safety check

All gas appliances must have a safety check once a year by a ‘Gas Safe’ (formerly CORGI) registered plumbing/heating engineer and any defects acted on immediately. Because this is a statutory duty we will instruct our own contractors to carry out this safety check prior to the commencement of a tenancy and thereafter on an annual basis throughout the period of the letting.

Any recommendations made by the contractors will be reported to you immediately and quotes provided where necessary. Failure to have the gas safety check carried out and any relevant works done could result in a criminal prosecution.

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Landlords must ensure that a smoke alarm is installed on each storey of the property where there is a room used as living accommodation. These are usually located in the hall and landing. The smoke alarm must be working at the beginning of the tenancy and we check and record this as part of our comprehensive check-in.

If your property has an open fire or solid fuel appliance such as a woodburning stove then you must also install a carbon monoxide alarm in the room where it is located. We also insist that these alarms are fitted at all properties where there is a gas boiler.

Electrical equipment safety

Under the Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994 you are responsible for providing instruction books for all items of electrical equipment and for ensuring that all electrical appliances within the premises comply with the above regulations. You should also ensure that all electrical installations are safe and have them checked regularly.

Furniture and furnishings safety

It is a criminal offence to let premises with furniture or soft furnishings which cannot be proven to comply with the following fire safety regulations: The furniture and furnishings (fire) (safety) Regulations 1988 and The furniture and furnishings (fire) (safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993. By signing our terms and conditions you agree to remove any item that does not comply or have a fire label attached to it.

Legionella Risk Assessment

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water containing legionella. Landlords, as part of their duty of care to their tenants must carryout a simple assessment to show how any potential risks from legionella are being managed.

For example:

  • Flushing out the system prior to letting the property
  • Ensuring that shower heads are cleaned thoroughly and free from lime scale
  • Ensuring that any cold water tanks have a tight fitting lid
  • Setting the immersion thermostat to at least 60C
  • Providing tenants with information on how to prevent the build up of legionella

Consent of letting

You must provide us with suffcient documentary evidence to satisfy us that you are legally entitled to grant a tenancy of the premises. If the premises are registered with the Land Registry, we reserve the right to obtain office copy entries. If the premises are unregistered we reserve the right to carry out such investigations. The cost of these searches will be charged to you in addition to our commission.

If you are a leaseholder, you will normally require the permission of the superior landlord, freeholder of their managing agent before sub-letting the premises. We will require a copy of the lease for it to be attached to the tenancy agreement. If the tenant is not given a copy, then you cannot impose any obligations contained in it upon the tenant. By signing our terms and conditions, you warrant to us that you are the owner of the premises, or otherwise lawfully entitled to enter into the Tenancy Agreement.

Mortgages

If the property is mortgaged, we will need your mortgagee's written consent to the proposed letting as soon as possible. The mortgagee may ask to see a copy of the draft Tenancy Agreement which can be supplied to you. The mortgagee may charge you a fee for giving their permission. If your mortgagee has any special conditions relating to the tenancy, you must provide them prior to the start of the tenancy to be included in the Tenancy Agreement. These cannot be imposed later.

Insurance

It is essential that the property and contents included in the inventory are adequately insured and that your insurers are aware that the premises are let. Failure to do so may invalidate your insurance. You must inform your insurers if the property is left vacant for a period greater than specified in your policy. You should also check that your insurance includes third party liability to protect you if the tenant or a visitor sues for personal injury. We can put you in touch with insurance providers which offer policies specifically aimed at landlords, including Rent Guarantee cover. Please ask us for more details. We cannot be responsible for your buildings or contents insurance or the renewal of your insurance cover.

Council tax

When the property is empty the standard Council Tax rate applies to the owner and we accept no liability as Managing Agents since our arrangement is for the duration of the Tenancy only. Where the property lies empty and unfurnished a nil exemption is normally applicable for 1 month. Once a tenant moves in Council Tax becomes their sole responsibility and they are asked to register with their local office.

Money laundering regulations

In order to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering regulations 2003, we require you to provide us with one proof of identity and one proof of residency:

Proof of identity: Full passport, Identity card or Full driving licence
Proof of residency: Council tax bill, Utility bill, Mortgage statement, Bank statement or Credit card statement

Data Protection Act

Neil Douglas Lettings is registered with the Information Commissioner for Data Protection. In order to comply with the Data Protection Act, we have the responsibility to keep your personal information con dential and will only relay in case of referring the matter to a solicitor or debt collector, or if we are specifically required to pass it to a government agency by law. Please note that your tenants have the legal right to ask us to supply them with your name and address.

Reimbursement

By signing our terms and conditions you agree to keep us reimbursed in respect of any claim, damage or liability whether criminal or civil during the time that we are or were acting in your behalf. We reserve the right to have work carried out on your behalf and to charge you for that work to ensure that you fulfil your contractual and statutory obligations as landlord.

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