H&H Land & Estates highlight the key regulations in place to ensure landlords safely rent out properties.

Renting a property or multiple properties can be daunting, and it can be hard to keep up with the constant changes to regulations. In acknowledgement of this, Alice Blackett, Lettings Coordinator for H&H Land & Estates wants to outline key aspects to consider, including details from the newly updated ‘How to Rent’ guide, created by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), released in December 2020.

Expanding on factors highlighted within the guide, Alice details: “This document must be handed to tenants before they sign up to a new Tenancy Agreement or a Tenancy Renewal, and before serving a Section 8 or 21 notice. Failure to provide your tenant with this document will render you unable to serve notice.

“The following information must also be provided to your tenant upon signing of a new tenancy agreement or tenancy renewal:

  • A Gas Safety Certificate (where applicable).
  • An Energy Performance Certificate.
  • A Prescribed Deposit documentation from an accredited scheme (DPS/TDS/My Deposits).
  • An Electrical Installation Condition Report.”

Considering Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) within the private rented sector, Alice continues:
“As a landlord, you should be aware that there are many laws and regulations to follow in order to rent out your property. It is law that all rented properties must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate before they can be marketed and rented.

“Since 1st April 2018, any property with an F or G rated EPC cannot be legally let. As of April 2020, landlords are unable rent their properties to new tenants, nor can they continue to rent their property to existing tenants, if they do not have a valid EPC with a minimum rating of an E. If your property doesn’t reach the minimum efficiency rating, recommendations can be provided which, if carried out, will enable your property to meet the minimum standard.”

If such improvements cost £3,500 inc VAT or more, Landlords can apply for a 5 year exemption.  Additionally, if a property is in a conservation area in which certain changes are unable to be made to the property (e.g. double glazed windows), then this may qualify for an exemption. You can find out more information on exemptions by following the link further on in the article.

Considering breaches to these terms, Alice concludes: “If your property is currently tenanted and does not have a valid EPC, or does not meet the minimum standard, you may be subject to fines from your local authority. Enforcement officers are operating despite the COVID pandemic, and there are no exceptions on these certificates.

“The aim of an EPC is to bring overall cost of utilities down for your tenant; making sure they are not paying more than they need to, and most importantly, making sure your property is habitable and a safe environment for your tenant. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance, or if you would like some advice from our professional Lettings Team here at H&H Land & Estates, please do not hesitate to contact your local branch.”

With a highly specialised understanding of the property sector across the North of England and the Scottish Borders, H&H Land & Estates have a well-regarded reputation for selling all types of property across the region. The leading agency have a well-established client base across offices in Carlisle, Cockermouth, Durham, Grange-over-Sands, Kendal, Keswick and Penrith.