How to maintain your tenant’s safety in your rental property
Landlords, regardless of size of property or number of homes managed, must all comply with certain legal requirements in order that they are kept safe and hospitable. Not only that, there is a duty of care from the landlord to the tenant to ensure that safety is a priority at all times.
If you are new to being a landlord, or don’t have the time to adequately manage your property/ies, there is another solution. You can employ a company offering a Fully Managed Letting Service and that way, you will have the ultimate peace of mind that all of your obligations are being met and even exceeded in terms of the management of the property. They will be able to advise you on everything you need to cover or complete all of it for you, depending on your needs. The following areas will need to be taken into consideration:
- Tenant finding – this will involve marketing the property, hosting viewings, interviewing potential tenants, credit checks and handling all the legal paperwork (tenancy agreements etc) including providing them your name and address. Property management companies tend to have large databases to draw from, as well as the time and expertise to handle everything else
- Financial security – you will need to place their deposit money into an approved tenancy deposit scheme to protect both sides in the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy
- Energy Performance Certificate – you will need to provide one of these for the property in question which will help utility bills to be planned etc
- Health and safety – there are many legal requirements for this in order to ensure your tenants and the building is kept as safe as possible. They include:
- Gas – if the property has a gas supply, you will need a Gas Safe engineer to complete an Annual Landlord Gas Safety Record check
- Electrics – have the electrics checked by a qualified electrical professional who will be able to provide you with an EICR or Electrical Installation Condition Report to reassure
- Repairing standard – the property must meet this, proving that is it wind and watertight, has water, gas, electricity and heating and is in a reasonable state of repair. These checks must be made prior to a tenant moving in
- Tolerable repair – the landlord is responsible for repairing any issues and the tenant needs to make you aware of this by letter or email with evidence eg photos. Amends must be made within a reasonable amount of time
- Furniture – if you are supplying any furniture, it must meet the necessary fire regulations
- Fire safety – the property must have smoke alarms, a heat alarm and fire extinguishers installed and all the alarms should be linked together
- Inventory – you should always have a complete and accurate view of everything included in the home at the start of the tenancy as well as a full appraisal of the condition of the property, ideally with photos
- Meter readings – to avoid either you or your tenant paying more than they should do, meter readings should be taken at the start and end of every tenancy
A professional organisation will be able to help manage your property on an ongoing basis, providing full end-to-end support when you need it the most. If this would help you provide the service you need to for your tenants, get in touch with Thistle on 0141 428 4422.