Landlord Legal Requirements

As a landlord in Belfast there are many strict legal requirements and regulations that you must follow to ensure your property is up to current standards. It is important that you take these seriously as failure to comply can lead to large fines and even imprisonment!

Using a managing agent like ourselves can help you to have peace of mind in this area as they will assist you to keep track of the ever-changing requirements – and also ensure that your property has all the up to date paperwork it needs to be lettable, prior to a new let and during each tenancy.

With over 100 pieces of legislation to comply with, choosing our managed service means we will take full responsibility for the time-consuming burden of arranging, tracking, managing, and keeping records of all these required tasks and checks, so you don’t have to worry.

Below are some of the current legal requirements your property must adhere to before it can be let out:

Safeagent

The Safeagent Scheme (Safeagent) is a government backed, accreditation scheme for lettings and property managing agents. This helps to offer peace of mind to both tenants and landlords, by assuring them they are dealing with a regulated firm who is held accountable to the following criteria and requirements;

  • A customer complaints procedure
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Client Protection Cover
  • Registered to Tenancy Deposit Scheme(s)
  • Standard of Service to be met – e.g. gas/electrical safety checks (where required)
  • Aware and able to inform tenant and landlords of rights and responsibilities
  • Advise clients in regards to protection and insurance – both buildings and contents
  • Ability to create and produce correct and valid legal documentation

At Belvoir Belfast we are proud to be an accredited firm with Safe Agent Scheme, so our landlords and tenants can feel safe in trusting us and our services. You can be sure you are choosing an agent who not only values your property, your money, but also the standard of service you receive whilst dealing with us.

In all industries there is a possibility that a company may cease trading. If that was to happen to your agent… what happens to your money? If your tenants rent or deposits haven’t been registered or passed on correctly, you could not only be out of pocket, but also liable to pay back any missing money yourself! We understand that application fees, deposits and rent are all relatively large sums of money and we strive to ensure that they are protected, as are you.

In order to display a ‘safe agent’ logo we have had to take out Client Money Protection Insurance (CMP) – this then pays out should any monies have been mishandled by your agent, as well as accounts that are regularly externally audited.

The Property Ombudsman

All agents are required to register with an Estate Agent Redress Scheme – this provides an independent and unbiased platform where customer complaints can be dealt with. As seen above, having this scheme and system in place is also a requirement in order to be registered with the Safeagent accreditation scheme.

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is one such approved scheme. In order to be allowed to advertise membership of TPO and display the logo on documentation and in branch, an agent must follow the guidelines set forth in the Code of Practice for Residential Estate Agents. This includes additional customer protection, which goes above and beyond the minimum that is required by law. An agent may still be registered to the scheme, but may not display the logo if they do not choose to follow these additional measures.

Belvoir Belfast voluntarily subscribes to The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice, and in all areas aim to provide a comprehensive service and level of protection to both our landlords and tenants.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme/Deposit Protection Service

Any Assured Shorthold Tenancy that is entered into after 6th April 2007, is required by law to have its deposit registered into a regulated deposit protection scheme. Belvoir Belfast works with – TDS

If you choose a managed service with Belvoir Belfast for your property, not only will we take responsibility for collecting the deposit prior to the tenants moving in, we will register this to the relevant government approved scheme. At the end of the tenancy, we will also carry out a final inspection of the property and inform yourself and the tenant of any claims we will be proceeding to make from said deposit. We will also deal with any mediations that are needed during the claim process.

Arrange a free market appraisal

Whether you’re a landlord, you’re looking to sell or you’re just interested in how much your property might be worth, the best way to get an accurate and detailed understanding is through a free one-to-one appraisal with one of our experienced local agents. Request an appraisal with your local office using the form below.

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