How To Avoid Letting Agency Fines: Landlord Laws Guide
According to Property 118, between August 2021 and August 2022, the UK government fined landlords and letting agents £8 million in London alone, a £1.5 million increase vs the year before!
With the government slamming letting agents who don’t comply with property legislation with bigger fines than ever, how can you keep your business protected against major financial losses?
In this blog, we’re discussing the potential fines you might face if your clients don’t follow UK landlord laws and obligations to the “t” and offering solutions to help you prevent getting fined in the first place.
Just keep reading!
What must a landlord and letting agent provide by law?
To avoid facing thousands of pounds in fines for non-compliance with the UK’s rules and regulations for landlords, here are the most important things you must provide tenants with by law.
How to rent guide
When your tenants move in, you must provide them with the latest version of the UK government’s “How To Rent Guide“. This guide ensures that your tenants are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities when moving into a property. If you don’t, you’ll be in breach of Section 21 and will have issues evicting tenants.
Tenancy deposit scheme
According to UK landlord laws, you must protect your tenant’s deposit through a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme and give your tenants a document that confirms this.
If you don’t do this, you could be fined 1x to 3x the deposit and be unable to evict the tenant if you need to.
Gas safety certificate
You must conduct safety inspections on all your property’s gas appliances every year to ensure and give them a copy of the completed gas safety certificate within 28 days of moving in.
Otherwise, you can receive unlimited fines and/or up to six months in prison!
Another legal landlord requirement is to provide your tenants with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every 5 years, which states the property’s electrical components are in complete working order.
You could be stamped with up to a £30,000 fine if you don’t (ouch!).
You must also ensure your landlord’s property complies with fire safety regulations by eliminating fire hazards. Each property must also have at least one fire alarm per floor, plus CO detectors in any room with an appliance that burns fuel.
You must do this at the start of each new tenant moving in or face unlimited fines. (A landlord in Reading was fined £177,000, so be careful!)
Ensuring each property you and your landlord meet the latest Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (Mees) is another critical aspect of meeting UK landlord requirements.
At the moment, each property must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate that states the property is rated E or above, with proposed legislation increasing this to or above by 2025. If you don’t, you could be hit with penalties of up to £5,000.
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How to stay compliant and prevent fines to your letting agency
#1 Regularly check legislation
Visit the UK government’s website to stay in the know about any changes or updates to letting requirements and legislation.
#2 Fix tenancy issues quickly
If a tenant has highlighted issues with the property, especially when these issues affect the safety of the property, make sure you attend to them as soon as possible.
#3 Hold onto your records
Should there be any potential claims made against you, to avoid a fine, make sure you keep all records of documents and certificates issued to your tenants, so you have the “receipts” to defend yourself.
#4 Automate your property certificates, and never get fined again!
One property certificate falling through the net and failing to get into the hands of your tenants can have severe repercussions for both you and the landlords you represent. An automation platform like Symple can help you avoid these risks altogether.
Symple is easy, fast, and built to make landlords’ and letting agents’ lives easier. Our platform makes it as simple as clicking a button to get your property certificates sorted from one place.
From managing tenant communications and keeping a digital record of all certificates to sending renewal notices and inspection reminders, Symple is your all-in-one solution to property certificate management.
Visit Symple to see how it works, and order your certificates online today.