What are your Responsibilities as a Buy-to-Let Landlord?

As a buy-to-let landlord, there’s far more to consider than simply finding the right tenant at the right price. Renting out a property comes with all sorts of legal obligations, and here at Belvoir Birmingham, we’ve put together a short guide to the top 8 things you need to consider.

1. Tenancy agreement

While it’s not a legal requirement, a tenancy agreement is always a good idea in case of disputes.

2. Deposit Protection Scheme registration

If assured shorthold tenancies are your thing, all tenants’ deposit money must be registered with a deposit protection scheme, and details provided to your tenants.

3. Gas Safety Certificate

Landlords of all rental properties with a gas supply must give tenants a copy of the gas safety record. A gas safety check should be completed once each year, and all gas appliances serviced at least this often.

4. Electrical safety inspections

These are required by law in houses with multiple occupants and need to be conducted at least once every five years. In Scotland, inspections must be carried out before each new tenant moves in, and a record provided to the tenant.

5. Fire safety requirements

Rental properties are required to have a smoke alarm on every floor, and a carbon monoxide alarm should be present in rooms with a wood burner or fireplace that is usable.

6. Energy Performance Certificate

When you put a property up for rent, you must ask a qualified assessor to measure the energy efficiency of the property, and give a copy to both your letting agent and your tenants.

7. HMO licence

If you’re renting out multiple rooms in a house individually and some spaces are shared (for example, a student property where bedrooms are let separately but the kitchen and bathroom are used by every tenant), you will need to register the property as a House in Multiple Occupancy. An application can be made online, and it determines whether the property is suitable and safe for multiple occupants.

8. Landlord insurance

If your property is mortgaged, your lender will require that you take out suitable insurance – it will give you peace of mind too.

When renting a property, it’s important to do things by the book. If you have any questions, contact us to find out how we can help.