Ryedale District Council

 

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Private landlord support

Information and guidance for anyone who is providing property for rent in the local area.

View our short animated video for advice and help if you think you have any problems with damp, mould, or condensation. For further information, please submit an Enquiry Form.

Our leaflet Dealing with damp and condensation (PDF, 11 pages, 711kb) has useful advice and tips that may help.

 

From 2008 all private rented properties require an EPC certificate which should be made available from the start of each tenancy. New regulations came into force on the 1st October 2015 affecting tenancies that are commenced after this date. If a landlord is serving a Section 21 notice the tenant must have been issued which a copy of the EPC certificate.

The Council cannot recommend an energy assessor but you can search online at EPC Register.

 

From April 2018, both domestic and non-domestic rented properties will have minimum energy efficiency standards which need to be met.

Landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. The regulations apply for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1 April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1 April 2020.

Each property is required to have its own EPC, which will last for 10 years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property. Property owners can voluntarily get a new certificate after installation of energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating. If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten year period, only the most recent one is valid.

Our Officers will conduct inspections and enforcing this regulation. Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a financial penalty of up to £5,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency grade. Guidance on this; how to register an exemption and details of enforcement action was released in October 2017.

In order to prepare for the changes it is recommended that landlords consider taking action to ensure their properties comply with this regulation. For some this may mean minor improvements or no change at all however for others this may have severe cost implications from both identifying the properties and carrying out major improvements works.

Accepted exemptions

New guidance has been issued regarding the definitions of the exemptions that are available to landlords of properties of an EPC rating of F and G. Further information can be obtained from the Residential Landlords Association or the National Landlords Association.

For detailed guidance about your responsibility with regard to energy efficiency please GOV.UK - guidance for domestic landlords and tenants.

 

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for domestic private rented properties.

From April 2018, landlords will be required to achieve a minimum rating of E on the EPC for their rental property. The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1 April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1 April 2020.

Each property is required to have its own EPC, which will last for 10 years unless major renovation work is carried out on the property. Property owners can voluntarily get a new certificate after installation of energy efficiency measures – particularly if these improve the energy rating. If a newer EPC has been produced for a home within the ten year period, only the most recent one is valid.

Unless there is an accepted exemption, landlords face a financial penalty of up to £5,000 for failure to meet the minimum efficiency grade. Guidance on this; how to register an exemption and details of enforcement action was released in October 2017.

In order to prepare for the changes it is recommended that landlords consider taking action to ensure their properties comply with this regulation. For some this may mean minor improvements or no change at all however for others this may have severe cost implications from both identifying the properties and carrying out major improvements works.

Accepted exemptions

New guidance has been issued regarding the definitions of the exemptions that are available to landlords of properties of an EPC rating of F and G. Please see GOV.UK for further information.

Further information can be obtained from the Residential Landlords Association or the National Landlords Association.

For detailed guidance about your responsibility with regard to energy efficiency please GOV.UK - guidance for domestic landlords and tenants

 

It is recommended that you take photographs of your property and produce an inventory prior to moving in a new tenant. If the landlord and tenant check the inventory together and both sign it, disputes can be avoided when the tenancy ends.

 

Under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, the Landlord is responsible for the following repairs:

  • The structure and exterior of the property
  • Bath, sinks, basins and other sanitary installations
  • Heating and hot water installations
  • Water, gas and electricity supply and meters
  • Common parts
  • Other repairs as agreed by Landlord and Tenant

Under the Housing Act 2004 there is a legal obligation for landlords to ensure that their properties are free of category 1 hazards as specified in the Act and to ensure that their properties are free from any risk of harm to the health and safety of an actual or potential occupier of a dwelling.

For advice and guidance on how to prevent condensation and how you can keep it to a minimum to reduce the risk of dampness and mould growth in your property, please download the booklet Dealing with damp and condensation (PDF, 13 pages, 871kb) (for information only).

 

It is recommended that you inspect your properties periodically. When you have new tenants you may want to arrange an inspection after a couple of months to ensure that the tenants are maintaining the tenancy correctly and looking after the property. You should contact your tenant in advance and arrange a mutually convenient time where possible. You have a legal right to enter your property to inspect it or carry out repairs. You must give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice.

 

Health and safety considerations

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, as amended:

  • Landlords must ensure that gas fittings and flues are maintained in a safe condition (note: this does not apply to flues and chimneys solely connected to an appliance owned by the Tenant)
  • An annual safety check of each gas appliance/flue must be carried out by an installer registered with the Gas Safe Register
  • Issue a copy of the safety check record to each existing Tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to any new Tenant before they move in
  • Keep a record of each safety check for two years
  • Safety checks also apply to portable appliances such as LPG (Calor gas) heaters

If an appliance fails a safety check you must carry out any of the remedial action necessary or replace it. A safety defect must be rectified by a Gas Safe Registered engineer before the equipment is used again.

It is an offence to use or allow the use of a gas appliance you know to be unsafe and in no circumstances should it be reconnected until the fault has been rectified. To do so will risk prosecution. Landlords should contact the Housing Options Team at Ryedale District Council if a resident is unable to continue occupation because of the risk posed by a faulty appliance or a supply fault.

Landlord Loans are discretionary forms of assistance designed to provide practical help by means of a loan for renovation/repair work to ensure the property complies with the Decent Homes Standard and for the installation of fire precautions or the provision of the required amenities.

Mandatory Gas Safety Certificate

From 1 October 2015 regulations state that prior to serving a Section 21 notice, a gas safety certificate must have been given to the tenant at the start of the tenancy.

Details on current guidance is found in the LACORS fire safety guidance.

North Yorkshire Fire Safety Guidance (PDF, 24 pages, 583kb) simplifies this information for you.

Fire safety and furnishings

All upholstered furniture which is included in the letting and hiring out of residential accommodation must comply with the requirements of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, as amended.

The regulations require:

  • Furniture to pass a cigarette resistance test
  • Cover fabric, whether for use in permanent or loose covers, to pass a match resistance test
  • Filling materials for all furniture to pass ignitability tests as specified in the regulations

These regulations apply to any of the following that contain upholstery:

  • Beds, headboards, mattresses, sofa beds, futons
  • Garden furniture which is suitable for use in a dwelling
  • Scatter cushions and pillows
  • Loose and stretch covers for furniture

All new furniture (except mattresses, bed bases, loose and stretch covers) manufactured since 1988 is required to carry a permanent label providing information about its fire retarding properties.

 

Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations (1994) any portable electrical appliances (e.g. refrigerators, lamps, vacuum cleaners, televisions) which are provided as part of the Tenancy are to be safe to use and in proper working order.

As a minimum, appliances should be visually inspected for any faults or damage and ideally should be periodically tested by a qualified electrician (PAT Testing).

There is a legal obligation for a landlord to ensure that electrical installations are safe and are maintained in a safe condition. It is recommended that they are inspected every 5 years by a qualified electrician.

 

Landlords have responsibility under Health and Safety legislation to ensure that their properties are safe for tenants.

For detailed information please visit the Health and Safety Executive website.

Legionnaires presentation March 2016 (PDF, 9 pages, 171kb)

 

Types of property

Please visit our HMO webpage.

 

If you already have a lodger or are thinking about letting furnished rooms in your home, you can receive up to £4,250 of rent a year tax-free. The Rent a Room Scheme applies to owner-occupiers and tenants who receive rent from letting furnished accommodation in their main home (the one you/your family live in most of the time).

You can take advantage of the scheme if you let furnished accommodation in your family home to a lodger. A lodger can occupy a single room or an entire floor of your home and he or she will pay to live with you. Lodgers often share family rooms and may or may not take meals with you.

The scheme does not apply if your home is converted into separate flats that you rent out.

You can take advantage of the Rent a Room scheme whether you own your home or rent. If you are renting, you should check whether your lease allows you to take in a lodger.

If you're a mortgage payer it's best to check whether taking in a lodger is within the terms and conditions of your mortgage lender and insurer.

More information on renting a room for tax free income can be found at Rent a Room at GOV.UK. It is mandatory to carry out Right to Rent checks when taking in a lodger.

If you would like help finding a tenant to rent your room please complete a service enquiry form or telephone 01653 600666.

Financial and legal considerations

Under the Housing Act 2004, deposits taken by Private Landlords are subject to Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation. The legislation applies to:

  • Any Assured Shorthold Tenancy beginning on or after 6 April 2007 for which a deposit is payable is subject to this legislation
  • If a Tenancy started before 6 April 2007 and you have renewed the Tenancy or continued it as a Statutory Period Tenancy since that date, then the original deposit paid by your Tenant needs to be protected otherwise you will not be able to legally issue a Section 21 notice

For further information visit GOV.UK

The “Bond Guarantee Scheme” being offered by Ryedale District Council falls outside of the Tenancy Deposit Protection legislation.

All deposits taken that fall under this legislation must be protected by way of using either the custodial scheme or one of the insurance based schemes. Under the custodial scheme, the deposit must be paid within 14 days of receiving it, in full to the Deposit Protection Service who will hold the deposit for the duration of the Tenancy. At the end of the Tenancy, Landlord and Tenant should decide on how the deposit should be split and notify the scheme who will then pay it back to the parties. In the event of a dispute, both parties will be asked to provide evidence and it will be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for a decision. The custodial scheme is a free service.

There are two insurance based schemes, MyDeposits and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If covered by one of these schemes the Landlord is allowed to retain the deposit but must pay fees to the “insurer”. The deposit must be protected within 14 days of receiving it. At the end of the Tenancy, Landlord and Tenant should decide on how the deposit should be split and the Landlord should pay the money back to the Tenant. In the event of a dispute, both parties will be asked to provide evidence and it will be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for a decision.

If a Landlord fails to protect the deposit, any Section 21 notice served to end the tenancy will be invalid and the landlord may also be liable to pay the Tenant three times the deposit amount in compensation.

 

The landlord should keep all documents including records of rent received, certificates and letters or copies. This will serve four purposes:-

  • To make the letting of property a more professional operation
  • To make it easier for accurate advice to be given, should any difficulties arise
  • To ensure that the landlord is able to prove compliance with legal requirements
  • To ensure that all new tenancy agreements include your contact details so that tenants can contact you if any repairs are required

 

The tenant may be eligible for housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. Housing Benefit is claimed through the Council, contact 01653 600666 Ext 600 for advice, Universal Credit is claimed through the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) tel 0345 6000 723. The tenant should make direct contact to make a claim.

 

Please complete a service enquiry form for advice and assistance before taking any action, as we may be able to offer tenancy support, mediation or assist your tenant to maximise their income and deal with any debt.

By law there are certain circumstances when landlords cannot ask tenants to leave rented accommodation.

For all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) created on or after 1 October 2015, a 'notice seeking possession' or a 'section 21 notice to quit', may not be given:

  • during the first four months of a tenancy
  • where the landlord is prevented from 'retaliatory eviction' by law
  • where the landlords has not provided the tenant with an energy performance certificate, gas safety certificate or the booklet 'How to rent'
  • where the landlord has not complied with the tenancy deposit protection legislation
  • where a property requires a HMO licence, but is unlicensed

Landlords who are unsure about any of these exemptions should seek specialist advice.

Landlords giving a "notice to quit"

Landlords who aren't affected by the rules above must now use (Housing Act) form 6A if they wish to follow the 'section 21 notice to quit' procedure. Use of this prescribed form is a requirement for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) created on or after 1 October 2015.

For more information, please visit GOV.UK for template forms.

De-regulation Act 2015, ending a tenancy, retaliatory eviction (PDF, 6 pages, 219kb)

The council are not able to recommend any specific insurance companies or products but we strongly advise you to consider specialist insurance as a standard insurance policy may not provide sufficient cover. Many products are available including cover for buildings and contents and malicious damage and it is even possible to take out an insurance policy to guarantee your rent and cover legal expenses.

 

Right rentFrom 1 February 2016 landlords have had to carry out simple checks on all prospective tenants and lodgers to ensure they have the 'Right to Rent'. This responsibility can be passed onto a managing letting or estate agent by written agreement. All adults using the property as their only or main home should be checked, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement. This rule applies to all new tenancies and licences created from 1 February 2016 onwards other than a few specific exemptions; tenancies created before this date are not affected.

Original ID documents should be checked in the presence of the prospective tenant and the landlord must scan or photocopy the documents and keep records to prove that they have completed the checks. Full details of the documents required and process to be followed are available online www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents. A dedicated helpline is available for landlords to query the immigration status of a particular person on 0300 0699799.

Watch the Home Office Guide on YouTube.

 

Many landlords and agents already carry out thorough checks when considering whether a tenant or lodger will be suitable but this legislation has now made this a mandatory requirement. If a landlord rents to an illegal migrant and has not carried out a correct right to rent check, they could be liable to a civil penalty which could be as much as £3000 per tenant.

Penalty amount  Level 1 (first breach - minimum)  Level 2 (second breach - maximum) 
Category A (lodgers in a private household)  £80  £500
Category B (tenants in rented accommodation)  £1,000  £3,000

 

For information about how letting out a property affects your tax liability please visit GOV.UK.

 

Useful information

If you have a specific query the Housing Options Team may be able to advise you - please complete an enquiry form or tel 01653 600666 and ask to speak to the duty officer.

We recommend that you join a landlord organisation, there are several national organisations that provide regular newsletters, advice, training and support for landlords, they may also host events and provide templates of useful forms.

 

There is a wealth of assistance and support from our Housing Services team, available to landlords of private rented properties including landlord improvement loans and grants.

If you wish to discuss any of the options below please complete an enquiry form or telephone 01653 600666.

A summary of the services:

  • Tenant sourcing
  • Review a tenants suitability (reference)
  • Landlord improvement loan
  • Landlord improvement grant
  • Financial incentives if you are looking to create a further House in Multiple Occupation
  • Assistance with administration in relation to statutory requirements
  • Trouble shooting as and when required

 

The Council organises Landlord Forum events approximately every 6 months. If you would like to be involved in any forthcoming events please complete an enquiry form and provide your contact details.

Past events have included presentations and stalls by North Yorkshire Fire Service, the National Landlords Association, the Council's Private Sector Team, Housing Options, Housing Benefits advisors, a Legionella expert, an insurance expert, energy efficiency advisors, etc.

The last Forum event was held in November 2017. The next event is planned for November 2018.

 

 

Contact us


Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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