Ashley King: Guide to Creating Successful Tenancies
The key to successful tenancies is getting the fundamentals right, be that making sure your property is legally compliant, to managing every day aspects such as rent collection, tenant issues and keeping on top of repairs and maintenance.
Ashley King is here to guide you through the process and help you get your tenancies off to a great start.
In our guide below, we outline landlord responsibilities and steer you through the letting process. Many of the responsibilities listed also fall under our landlord services, so, if it all or any of it sounds a little bit like too much hard work, we're here to lift the burden from you at any time.
HHSRS and Licensing
All residential rental properties must meet mandatory Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) requirements and be licenced by the local borough council where applicable.
During your Rental Appraisal, we can help you identify any areas that may need attention in order to meet requirements, and any licensing requirements.
Should your property be Fully Managed by us, we can apply for a license on your behalf and assume responsibility for adhering to its conditions.
Please read your full HHSRS responsibilities HERE.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act of 2018, requires private rental homes to meet living standards that create a habitable environment for tenants.
This includes providing natural light and ventilation in every room except for bathrooms, the prevention of health hazardous such as mold, including provision of an extractor fan in bathrooms.
You can read your full HFHH responsibilities HERE.
Right to Rent
Before letting your property, you must check that any tenant over the age of 18 can legally rent in England.
Find out what it entails HERE.
Alternatively, we can carrry out Right-to-Rent checks on your behalf as part of our Tenant FInd Service.
In the UK, landlords and agents are required to conduct detailed and stringent Anti-Money Laundering checks to ensure they are not exposed to Money Laundering risks. Letting agents are required to conuct ID chrcks on all landlords, and on tenants should rental payments amount to over 10,000 euros per month for a single property.
This responsibility falls to landlords when a letting agent isn't providing a Tenant Find service. At Ashley King, we provide dilligent AML checks to ensure all transactions are fully compliant.
Repairs and Maintenance
Landlords are responsible for repairs and maintaining their properties to the standards outlined above. Repair and maintenance requests must be dealt with swiftly and effectively within reasonable timescales. In extreme cases, failure to do so can result in legal action, compensation claims, large fines and even a ban from being a landlord altogether.
Many of our landlords make the most of our Full Management Contracts and hand over repair and maintenance responsibilities to us.
Electricity and Gas
Valid Gas and Electrical Safety Certificates must be provided with every residential rental property.
Gas Safety Certificate must be renewed every 12 months where a gas boiler is present, whilst an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) requires renewal every 5 years. r
To help you keep on top of this, we can organise certificate renewals and boiler servicing within our Full Management Contracts.
A smoke alarm must be installed in all rental properties and be tested and functional upon tenant check-in. We can arrange installation of smoke alarms, both battery operated or hardwired as part of a Full Management Contract.
If the smoke alarm is battery operated, the tenant is responsible for replacing batteries during their tenancy, unless requested as part of your Repair and Maintenance schedule.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If a combustion appliance, such as a gas heater or boiler is present at the property, a Carbon Monoxide Alarm is required in every room with an appliance.
we can arrange installation of CO2 alarms if required. Please request and quote.
General Property Condition
Unless tenant misuse is identified, landlords are responsible for ensuring that the following items are in good condition and working order:
- Central heating
- Hot water systems
- Sinks and bathroom fixtures and fittings (sealants must be in good working order to prevent water damage)
- External windows and Doors (must be in good working order and secure with working door locks)
- Roof and guttering
- External Walls
- Boundary walls, fences and hedges/trees
For your peace of mind, and to ensure your property is secure at all times, as part of our Full Management Service, we can provide emergency locksmiths, and repair and maintenance contractors 24/7.
Should you provide any electrical appliances such as kitchen white goods and table lamps, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) tests must be carried out on an annual basis.
We can arrange for this to be scheduled into your maintenance plan as part of a Full Management contract with us. This will also be quoted for separately as it is dependent on the quantity of items and accessibility.
Tenants are responsible for making sure any electrical items they bring into the property are safe to use.
We recommend interiors are decorated in neutral tones with easily wiped clean or washed finishes.
On letting, all walls, ceilings, floors, and carpets, must be in good condition and clean and free of mould and damp. We recommend regular inspections to ensure tenants are maintaining their properties and this is built into our Managed Services.
We can also arrange for professional pre and post-tenancy deep cleaning, general painting and decorating with our trusted local contractors who are experienced in the needs of landlords and rental properties. Please contact us for a quote.
The majority of rental properties are let unfurnished, however, should you provide furniture and upholstery for your tenant, then they must meet fire safety standards
There are specific requirements for furniture and upholstery items in furnished properties which were set in 1988 by the The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations.
All furniture and equipment must be manufactured from fire resistant materials. Otherwise they must be treated with fire retardant coatings from the manufacturer. Check the manufacturer’s label on items of furniture. All items must have one permanent manufacturer’s label, which cannot be removed. This will give you information on the materials used to make the item. Any upholstered items must have a filling which is fire resistant. All furnishings must pass the ‘match resilience test’ and the ‘cigarette test’. Mattresses and bed bases must have a label that shows that they meet BS7177 – a safety standard set down by law.
- Sofas, three piece suites, futons, sofa beds, arm chairs and all convertible furniture
- Furniture for a nursery
- Beds, headboards, divans, bed bases and pillows
- Any garden furniture that could be used inside the property
- Scatter cushions, pads for seats, stretch covers, loose covers and fitted covers for items of furniture
Items not included:
- Any furniture or antiques which were made before 1950.
- Loose mattress covers, sleeping bags, pillow cases, curtains, bed covers, duvets and carpets
- Any furniture, upholstery or equipment that is property of the tenant
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
Before a property can be marketed for either sale and let in England, an EPC must be obtained, with only a few applicable exceptions.
EPCs are valid for ten years, and in England, rental properties must achieve a minimum E rating.
You may already have an EPC for your property. If you can't locate it or want to check online for a copy or see if your property is exempt, click HERE.
If you don't have a current EPC for your property, we can arrange for an assessment. Please ask us for a quote.
How to Rent
By law, all tenants must be provided with a copy of with the Government's own How to Rent guide, as per insert.
As a landlord, you will need to make your own tax arrangements and we recommend speaking to an independent tax advisor who specialises in property and landlords.
Although we don't provide accountancy services, we provide annual management accounts to help you or your accountant quickly and easily asses your liabilities. We can also recommend local independent financial advisors who have helped many of our existing landlords. Please let us know if you would like more information.
Ashley King strives to make the letting process smooth and uncomplicated, and help landlords meet their legal requirements. Whether you're an overseas or local landlord, we ensure that all your obligations are fully met, so contact our Canary Wharf, or Northwood offices to arrange a FREE, No-Obligation chat about your landlord options.