Below are some of the most frequently asked questions:
Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate?
It is a legal requirement to have a valid EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) before you can market a property for sale or rent. Furthermore, since the 1 April 2020 the legislation requires all rented property to have a EPC rating of E or above. So if your property’s current rating is and F or G then you will be required to carry out work to improve the rating before you can let your property. There are some exemptions to this ruling. If after improvements have been made up to the cost cap ( £3,500 incl VAT), if your property’s rating still falls below an E rating then you will be required to register this exemption.
Do I need a Gas Safety Certificate?
By law you must ensure your tenants safety, therefore, all gas appliances and flues need to undergo an annual gas safety check, by a registered Gas Safe engineer. You will then be issued with Landlord Gas Safety Certificate.
Appliance owned by your tenants are not your responsibility, although it is still your responsibility to ensure the safety of any connecting flues.
Do I need an Electrical test?
New regulations came into force on 1 June 2020 requiring all landlords to have the electrical installation checked by a competent, qualified electrician every 5 years. You will then be issued with an Electrical Installation Condition Report.
Do I need to provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms?
It is a legal requirement to install a working smoke detector on every habitable floor of your rental property. It is your responsibility to ensure they are kept in date and working, however, it is your tenants responsibility to change the batteries and report any faults throughout the tenancy.
A carbon monoxide detector must be installed in every room with a solid fuel appliance, such as a wood burner. We strongly recommend that one is also fitted where you have gas appliances such as a gas boiler.
Do I need to carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment?
All landlords have a legal duty of care to protect the health and safety of their tenants. It is your responsibility to ensure that the water in your property is safe to drink and use. Therefore, a Legionella Risk Assessment should be carried out by a ‘reasonable competent person’ with an understanding and knowledge of Legionnaires disease.
Do I need to have an inventory?
We strongly recommend that you have a professionally prepared written and photographic inventory which will detail the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy. Our fully comprehensive inventory not only includes any items forming part of the tenancy but will detail the overall condition of every room from the skirting boards to the ceiling. Having an inventory greatly assists arbitrating any dilapidations at the end of the tenancy.
What happens to my tenants deposit?
All letting agents and landlords are required by law to register a tenants deposit. There are two kinds of schemes: custodial and insured. Under a custodial scheme the money is held by the scheme provider, whereas under an insured scheme a landlord or agent can retain the deposit in a secure client agent during the tenancy.
Regardless of the scheme used the tenant/s will be issued with a certificate of registration.
Westcoast Properties will ask for a deposit amount equivalent of five weeks rent (this is the maximum amount allowed under The Tenant Fee Ban June 2019 for rent under £50,000 per annum) and this will be held by us in a ring-fenced secure client account and registered with the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) Insured Scheme.
Will you take care of the Right to Rent checks?
All landlords have a legal obligation to check that their tenants have the legal status to live in the UK. This applies to all persons occupying the property over the age of 18.
We will perform these checks on your behalf which involves collecting and checking suitable identification, i.e a UK/EU passport, permanent residence card or travel card showing the indefinite or time-limited leave to remain.
Do I need to have Rent and Legal Protection Insurance?
Whilst comprehensive checks are carried out on all occupying tenants before the commencement of the tenancy, we cannot foresee the changes in your tenants circumstances, which subsequently might affect their ability to pay the rent.
Rent and Legal Protection Insurance therefore, gives you the peace of mind that should the unexpected occur you will still receive the rent and in the rare occasion where you need to regain possession of your property, your legal expenses will be covered in doing so.