INVENTORY & SCHEDULE OF CONDITION
If the property is managed by Hamlet Letting Agents, we insist that a professional Inventory is compiled to protect the interests of both Landlord and Tenant regarding the condition of the Property and its contents at the commencement and termination of the Tenancy. If you do not wish to take advantage of our Management Service we would still strongly recommend that a professional Inventory is compiled. This documentation will be used in the case of any deposit disputes in conjunction with current Tenancy Deposit Scheme legislation.
Unless we are instructed otherwise we will use our standard form of Tenancy Agreement. Although our documents are reviewed and updated regularly by our legal advisers, we must advise you that we are not solicitors. You should consult your own solicitor if you require further information about your rights and obligations as a Landlord.
ENERGY PEFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
From 1st October 2008 all rental properties with a new tenancy in England and Wales will be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC. This is valid for 10 years.
TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION
From 6th April 2007 all new tenancy deposits must be protected in a government-authorised scheme. If the Landlord or Agent has not protected the deposit, and they fail to do so within 14 days, they will be ordered to pay the tenant three times the amount of deposit.
If we are not Managing the property on your behalf you will need to ensure that your deposit is registered into an appropriate Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Further details can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/.
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS (FIRE) (SAFETY) (AMENDED) 1993 REGULATIONS
Landlords should be aware that since 1st March 1993 it is an offence under the above Regulations to supply upholstered furniture and furnishings in accommodation made available for letting that does not meet the Fire Resistance Requirements i.e. "the Cigarette Test" "The Match Test" and the "Ignitability Test" and labels to this effect must be attached to the item. This offence carries a punishment of six months imprisonment or a fine up to a maximum of £5,000 or both.
THE GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 1994
The above regulations came into effect on 31st October 1994 and require the Landlord of a premises that has any gas appliances or installation or pipework installed to ensure that any such appliances or pipework are maintained in a safe condition and are checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months by either the Gas Board or Corgi Registered Engineers and records kept of dates of inspection, defects identified and remedial action taken. Once the appliance or pipework is deemed safe the engineer will issue a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate which must be renewed annually. Failure to comply is a criminal offence and carries a substantial fine, imprisonment or both.
ELECTRICAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
PAT test (tests electrical appliances)
Whilst there is no statutory obligation on landlords to have professional checks carried out on electrical systems or appliances. However, we feel that we should make known to landlords that under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and the plugs and sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1994, both of which come under the 1987 Consumer Protection Act, there is an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe.
We would strongly recommend that all landlords should make absolutely sure they are complying with these regulations to ensure that all electrical equipment supplied is in working order and safe. In order to do this we recommend: Annual visual inspections by the landlord or agent - recording this on a safety checklist, Inspections on tenant change-overs, listing electrical equipment and recording its condition and noting the fuses fitted. Periodic inspections of electrical equipment by a qualified electrician. 5 yearly inspections by a qualified electrician to ensure safety and that the electrical system complies with current electrical regulations.
You are responsible for notifying the Inland Revenue of the Tenancy. Income from letting UK property is subject to UK income tax, even if you are resident abroad. The liability for tax arises whether the non-resident Landlord is an individual, an overseas registered/resident company or an overseas-resident trust. Please contact us for Overseas Landlord Inland Revenue forms which need to be completed and forwarded directly to the Inland Revenue.
The definition of an overseas landlord is someone who is out of the country for 6 months or more.
In April 1996 the legislation under section 42A, Income Tax and Corporation Taxes 1988 came into effect. This means Hamlet South West Ltd as your Agent must account for tax at the basic rate on United Kingdom rental income if you are a Landlord whose usual place of abode is outside the UK (a "non resident Landlord"). From 6 April 1996 a non-resident Landlord can apply directly to the Inland Revenue (or through their accountant) for exemption from deduction of tax at source from rental income.