There’s a lot of which landlords must be aware. Whether you’re overseeing the property that you rent out or you’ve left it in the capable hands of a letting agency, you’re still responsible for ensuring that everything’s in order.
Even if you’re a well-established landlord who’s been renting out properties for years, you will still need to keep up with the latest rules, news and regulations. To help, here’s a look at why it’s important that you keep everything up to date.
Keeping Your Property Well-Maintained
One of the main things to keep in mind is the general upkeep of your rental properties. You might rent out the one flat or have a whole portfolio of properties. Wherever you stand in terms of your buy-to-let empire, you have the final say when it comes to how each property operates.
So, it’s up to you if you agree to your tenant’s request for a dishwasher. It’s also up to you to make sure that there’s no damp or mould in the property – and, if there is, that you make sure that it’s treated. By properly maintaining your rental properties, you’ll not only keep your current tenants happy and safe but also preserve it for future tenants.
It’s also worth thinking about how you will protect the property once you have spent the money on maintaining it. Landlord insurance could help cover any unexpected issues that may arise, for instance, malicious vandalism by tenants or flooding; whereby the property will need to be vacant for a period of time to repair damage.
There are some essentials checks to run on your buy-to-let property. These are required to make sure your property is safe for habitation and they include:
- A gas safety check every 12 months carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer.
- Ensuring that any furniture provided meets the required safety standards. Check that sofas are fire-retardant, for example.
- Ensuring that any electrical equipment provided meets the required safety standards.
- Supplying your property with a smoke alarm on each floor, along with carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a coal fire or wood-burning stove.
- Having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place for your property. Privately rented properties must have a minimum EPC rating of E for new lets and renewal tenancies (unless exempt). Failure to comply with this could result in a fine of £5,000 from the local authority. However, there are changes coming to EPC rules in 2025 of which you need to be aware.
The New EPC Rules
The UK Government has implemented new EPC rules that come into place in 2025 for residential properties. The current minimum rating is E for rented properties but they will need a rating of C or above when the updated rules come into effect.
Not everyone’s happy about this change, however, with some landlords thinking of selling up. The move is designed to move rental properties in line with other plans to help the UK to reach carbon net zero by 2050.