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What are the Responsibilities as a Landlord in the UK?
2022-01-06

Health and safety standards for rented homes in the UK

    When renting a property in the UK, we should first ensure that the house meets certain safety standards, mainly including the following points.

  1. Alarms

    According to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, landlords in private lease must install at least one smoke alarm on each floor. If there are any electrical equipment burning solid fuels such as coal and wood in the house, carbon monoxide alarm must also be installed in the room with these equipment. Before renting the house to tenants, the landlord must check whether the alarm works normally and replace the faulty alarm in time.

  1. Fire safety

    According to the Regulations, all furniture in the rented home shall comply with the fire safety regulations, including beds, sofas, chairs and other items. The landlord can conduct an inspection by checking the product label or contacting the manufacturer directly.

  1. Gas safety

    The landlord should conduct a gas safety inspection every year, contact the local gas safety engineer for door-to-door service, and then repair as needed.

  1. Water safety

    According to relevant laws, in order to prevent infectious diseases caused by water pollution such as Legionnaire's disease, the landlord must evaluate the water safety of the house before it is rented.

  1. House inspection

    If the tenant requests, the local council may conduct house inspection through the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). If problems are found in the house during the inspection, the council will require the landlord to rectify or prohibit the rental of the house.

Maintenance and repair

    According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the landlord must not only ensure the safety of the house before leasing, but also bear the responsibility of repair and maintenance after leasing, which covers:

* Ensure that the house is not damaged and the structure is solid, such as no roof leakage, stair damage.

* Measures have been taken to protect the house from moisture.

* The house is bright and can be exposed to natural light during daytime.

* The house is well ventilated

* Water, electricity and heat offered.

* Appropriate indoor temperature, heat insulation and cold proof, and meet the requirements of environmental protection.

* Complete equipment and facilities, with sanitation, drainage, food processing and wastewater treatment facilities.

    Landlords who refuse to provide maintenance or don’t carry out such maintenance in time will also be subject to certain punishment. If the rep`air cost is less than £ 1,000, the tenant can file a claim in the small claims court or deduct the repair cost from the rent. Tenants can also ask the local council for inspection through the HHSRS. If serious problems are found, the landlord will be responsible for solving it. If the house is temporarily unfit for living, the landlord needs to carry out an overhaul. During the overhaul, the landlord can ask the tenant to vacate the house, but some local courts also require the landlord to provide or contact other accommodation for the tenant. However, the overhaul is not necessarily a bad thing for landlords. Many landlords will raise rents after house renovation.

Tax liability

    In the UK, rent as an income is subject to income tax. If the net rent income (excluding costs) is between £ 2,500 and £ 9,999, or the gross rental income (including costs) is more than £ 10,000, the landlord must make a tax declaration.

    Generally speaking, the tax to be levied is the net rent income which the maintenance and repaid are deducted multiplied by the tax rate applicable to the landlord. The costs that can be deducted include:

* House agent service fees

* Legal fees

* Accountant's fees

* Housing insurance

* Mortgage rate

* Maintenance and repair

* water and electricity bills

* Council tax

* Various service fees, such as cleaning or gardening

* Other costs arising from the process of finding tenants, such as telephone, advertising, etc

National insurance tax

    According to the requirements of the British government, if the landlord meets the following conditions, it is equivalent to what is call self-employed and needs to pay the second type of national insurance. Such conditions are:

* Income reach at least £ 5,965 a year

* Landlord is the main occupation

* Own and lease more than one property

* Plan to buy new houses to let in the near future

Rental rights

    According to the Immigration Act, landlords are responsible for checking whether tenants have the right to rent a property in the UK. Before letting the property, the landlord shall require the tenant to provide a copy of the ID card, and a visa if necessary. For tenants without rental rights, the landlord must take measures to move them out. It is generally recommended to negotiate first. If the tenant is unwilling to move, the landlord can notify the tenant 28 days in advance and request the court to take compulsory measures.

Houses in multiple occupation(HMO)

    If the landlord lets the house to five or more people, and they come from different families and share a kitchen or bathroom, the house is regarded as houses in multiple occupation (HMO). For HMO, the landlord must apply for HMOs license. If you violate the regulations, you may be fined up to £ 20000.