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Legislation

Legislation

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Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

As of 1st October 2008 an Energy Performance Certificate EPC will be required for a new tenancy which must be applied for on or before the first viewing. We will be unable to market the property until we are in receipt of an EPC. The EPC lasts for ten years and can be undertaken by our qualified contractor.

Fire & Safety Regulations

The responsibility for compliance with the following regulations or any re-enactment, is and remains the personal responsibility of the landlord. Failure to comply with safety legislation is a criminal offence and will lead to prosecution, fines or imprisonment.     

The Furniture and Furnishings (fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988                                     The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993

All upholstered furniture, permanent or loose fittings beds, mattresses, padded headboards, pillows and cushions in the property and forming part of a letting must comply with these regulation. Carpets and curtains are not covered by these regulations.  Furnishings manufactured pre 1st January 1950 are exempt as toxic foam was not manufactured. However if the item has subsequently been re-upholstered then the filling must comply with the regulations. Where there are no labels, contact the manufacturer    or retailer for confirmation. If in doubt items should be removed as it is illegal to let a property with furniture, which does not comply with the Fire Resistance Regulations. 

THE GAS SAFETY (INSTALATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 1988      

Landlords are responsible for ensuring that appliances and pipework in tenanted premises are maintained in good safe condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any person. The regulations require that the installations appliance pipework are checked for safety prior to the commencement of a tenancy and every 12 months thereafter by a qualified Safe Gas Engineer. A record of the safety check must be supplied to the Tenant and a copy kept by the Landlord/Managing Agent for at least two years.  If you decide to go for our full management service the gas safety checks are compulsory as per our Terms and Conditions and the relevant certificate will be sought before commencement of the tenancy.  Any defects will have to be rectified immediately.  We are able to organize the initial and thereafter future annual Safety Checks on your behalf through our “Gas Safe” engineer at a competitive rate, which will be deducted from the rental statement.  An administration fee of £5.00 + VAT will be added to this charge. 

If you decide to go for our letting only service it is the sole responsibility of the Landlord to arrange this gas Safety Check to comply with the legislation as outlined above and as per our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that Oliver Field Associates do not take any responsibility for Landlords not complying with the gas safety regulations.

THE ELECRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994

Landlords must ensure that ALL electrical appliances and the electrical supply are safe and will not cause danger. From January 1997, all new electrical must carry a CE mark and instruction booklets or clear working instructions must be provided. Newly installed plugs and sockets must also comply with the regulations. Confirmation that inspections of all electrical appliances belonging to the Landlord have been regularly undertaken or requested, although no specific timescale is given. We recommend that an inspection be undertaken prior to the commencement of a tenancy and at regular intervals thereafter. The safest way to ensure prosecution does not occur is to organise a PAT test (Portable Appliance Test) at the start of a tenancy and recommended every 12 months thereafter.  If you decide to go for our full management service the gas safety checks are compulsory as per our Terms and Conditions and the relevant certificate will be sought before commencement of the tenancy.  Any defects will have to be rectified immediately.  We are able to organize the initial and thereafter future annual Safety Checks on your behalf through our “Gas Safe” engineer at a competitive rate, which will be deducted from the rental statement.  An administration fee of £5.00 + VAT will be added to this charge. 

If you decide to go for our letting only service it is the sole responsibility of the Landlord to arrange this gas Safety Check to comply with the legislation as outlined above and as per our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that Oliver Field Associates do not take any responsibility for Landlords not complying with the gas safety regulations.

THE BUILDING REGULATIONS 1991: SMOKE ALARMS

All properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains- operated interlinked Smoke Detectors/Alarms on each floor, properties built before that date are not included under statutory requirement, we strongly recommend that all properties to be let are fitted with smoke alarms and these are regularly  serviced.   If the smoke alarm is battery operated it must be checked prior to the commencement of each tenancy and the fact that it is in working order noted on the check in inventory.       

Consents

Before entering into any agreement to let your property you must check whether there are any restrictions to you and whether consent needs to be obtained from:

Mortgage Provider

If the property is subject to a bank loan or mortgage, in most cases permission will be required from the lender before the property can be let. Many corporate tenants insist on having a copy of the consent prior to taking up a tenancy. You should ensure you hold consent as failure to do so could delay a successful letting of your property.      

Superior Landlord/Freeholder

If you hold the property on a lease you must ensure that your lease permits you to let the premises and that you gain consent to do so. You must also ensure that the letting is for a period expiring prior to the termination of your own lease.   If your Superior Landlord makes a charge for granting consent you will be responsible for payment. You should also provide a copy of the relevant sections of the Head Lease so that they are attached to the Tenancy Agreement.  Failure to do so may mean that your tenant may not to comply with some of your legal obligations under the Head Lease. This could result in a breach of the Head Lease by the tenant. Obligations cannot be enforced on the Tenant after the start of the tenancy.   

Insurers

Most insurance policies require you to notify them if the property is to be let. Failure to do so may void the policy. You must check the policy includes public liability cover. You should also provide us with copies of the relevant sections of your policies that include obligations especially relating to vacant properties so that they can be imposed on the tenant as part of their tenancy.  Obligations cannot be enforced on the tenant once the tenancy has commenced.                                                                                                            

Tax for overseas landlords

In accordance with the Finance Act 1995, if a Landlord is resident abroad we, as the Landlord's agent, are responsible for any income tax liability arising on the rents. Accordingly, we are authorised to retain tax at source from the monthly rents in order to settle the landlord's income tax liability.                             

Overseas landlords are responsible for making an application to the Inland Revenue for the clearance certificate. If, for whatever reason, the landlord is unable to produce a clearance certificate, we will be obliged to deduct tax at the basic rate (20%) from the net rents collected.  The tax will be paid over to the Inland Revenue each quarter and it will be the landlord's task to reclaim any tax which is considered to have been overpaid.