1. Regulations that Landlords are required to comply with
- The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
- From 31st October 1994, all landlords are required by law to ensure that gas appliances in the property to let are properly installed, used and maintained in a safe condition to prevent the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Gas safety must be checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure that all gas appliances and gas pipe works are installed properly. Such safety checks are to be carried out at least once a year during the tenancy.
Records of the safety inspection and any work carried out must be kept in the property and the valid safety certificate must be available for the tenant prior to his taking occupation of the property. At the commencement of every new tenancy, each tenant must be given a copy of a valid Gas Safety Certificate.
- The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
- These regulations also became effective in 1994 and set out the landlord’s obligations to ensure that all electrical equipment in the property to let is safe.
Electrical cables, fuses, sockets and plugs etc. must be inspected and replaced where necessary by a qualified electrical engineer. All electrical appliances are to be checked before the commencement of a tenancy and regularly thereafter and serviced where necessary.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- All landlords are now required by law from 1st October 2008 to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their property in the UK before marketing under the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
An EPC assesses the energy performance of the property on a scale of A-G and advises how it may become more energy efficient. An EPC is valid for a period of 10 years.
A property whose tenant moved in prior to 1st October 2008 will only need an EPC when it is let again to a new tenant. An EPC must be available to all prospective tenants. .
- Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
- A tenant’s deposit must be safeguarded by a Tenant Deposit Protection Scheme under the tenancy deposit protection legislation introduced on 6th April 2007. All deposits for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must be registered with a Government approved scheme.
These Government-backed schemes ensure that tenants will get their deposit back at the end of the tenancy if the tenants meet the terms of the tenancy agreement, do not damage the property as well as pay rent and bills.
Landlords and letting agents must use one of the following three approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes to protect tenant’s deposit:
The purposes of such schemes are:
- • Deposit Protection Service (DPS) - a free custodial scheme into which the tenant’s deposit is paid
- • MyDeposits – an insurance backed scheme available to both landlords and agents
- • Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – an insurance backed scheme which requires membership of specified organisations (such as ARLA) and annual membership fees to be paid by members
Japan UK Property is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) run by The Dispute Service Ltd as we are a member of ARLA and all our AST tenants’ deposits are registered with and protected by TDS.
- • To encourage landlords and tenants to draw up clear tenancy agreements and to have a correct and detailed inventory which both landlord and tenant accept at the commencement of the tenancy
- • Provide arbitration free of charge and resolve disputes over the deposit and the inventory between landlord and tenant
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) : www.tds.gb.com
Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) : www. arla.co.uk
- The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1993)
- These regulations were amended in 1993 and set new required levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings.
It is a legal offence to provide any furniture to the residential property to let which does not comply with the regulations.
The regulations covers soft furnishings such as bed mattresses, padded headboards, bed bases, armchairs, sofas, chairs, cushions, pillows, covers for furniture and garden furniture suitable for use in dwelling. The regulations do not apply to curtains, carpets, or bed linens such as duvets and mattress covers.
All furniture and furnishings must have a label attached and any items that do not comply must be removed and replaced. Please note a landlord cannot evade the regulations by selling, giving or leaving furniture for the tenant as this is still regarded as “Supply” of the inventory. Non compliance is a criminal offence and could result in a fine.
- Landlords are always required to check with their insurer before the tenancy starts in order to cover the property to let by a suitable insurance which includes the building, loss of rent and property owner’s liability. This is because standard homeowner insurance may not be necessary or suitable for the property to let.
Japan UK Property can recommend to landlords insurance companies who provide such specific and comprehensive insurance to cover the property to let.
- Consent to Let
- Where the property to let is mortgaged, the landlord may be required to obtain written consent to let from his mortgage lender and/or head lessor prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
- Smoke Alarms
- The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulatins 2015 which came into force on 1 October 2015. Landlords have to ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every flaoor of their property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. They will also have to to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fire. It does not include gas, oil or LPG.
- Landlords have to ensure that the alarms work at the start of every tenancy and are also required to demon strate that the alarms were working at the start of the tenancy. During the tenancy it is a tenant's responsibility to ensure the alarms work and it is their responsibility to change the batteries during the tenancy. However should the alarms become faulty during the tenancy landlords are responsible for repairing them.
- Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face up to a £5,000 penalty.
- Overseas Tax (Non Resident Landlord Scheme)
- Rental income from rental property in the UK is taxable, irrespective of whether the landlord is UK resident.
Where the landlord lives overseas, the rent-collecting agent on behalf of the landlord must be responsible for the payment of income tax. Unless we, Japan UK Property, receive a letter from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with an approval number for a Non Resident Landlord, we are obliged to retain an amount equal to the standard income tax rate and pay such tax to HMRC.
We, Japan UK Property, are happy to advise all Non Resident Landlords on the procedure for obtaining a Non Resident Landlords Scheme approval number from HMRC.
2. Fees - Terms and Conditions
1. Introduction and Rent Collection Service
- A fee of 10% + vat (12% inc vat) of the gross rental agreed for the full term of the letting for the first year
- A renewal fee of 10% + vat (12% inc vat) will be payable for the second year and each year thereafter
- In the event of the Tenancy Agreement being terminated before the date upon which it is due to expire, our fee will be returned on a prorate basis, subject to an administration fee of £96 inclusive vat
2. Full Management Service
- A fee of 5% + vat (6% inc vat) of the gross rental agreed for the full term
3. Non-Routine Management Service
- £48 inclusive vat per visit to a property by the request of the Landlord
- 10% + vat (12% inc vat) up to £500 and 5% + vat (6% inc vat) in excess of £500 of work for Insurance Claim
- 5% + vat (6% inc vat) of the total cost of work for providing estimates, instructions and supervising major works
4. Tenancy Agreement Preparation Service
- The basic cost of the preparation of the Tenancy Agreement is £120 inclusive vat each tenancy.
5. Inventory Check Service
- (1) Compiling Service: from £70 (depends on the size of a property)
- (2) Checking Service: from £50 (depends on the size of a property) by an independent inventory firm
- (3) Attendance Service: £48 inclusive vat per hour by Japan UK Property
- (1) Reissuing monthly statement: £18 inclusive vat per statemen
- (2) Issuing annual statement: £36 inclusive vat