Safety and Legislation
As members of ARLA we are governed by and adhere to a Code of Practice that provides a framework of professional and ethical standards at a higher level than the law demands. Our team regularly attends local and national meetings and seminars to ensure we remain up to date with regulatory matters.
Our Operations Manager is a Fellow of ARLA, (Association of Residential Lettings Agents), having successfully passed the Diploma in Residential Lettings and Property Management. Her specialist topic is letting regulation and legislation and she also holds a Distinction ARLA Level 2 Award. In addition, key individuals of our team are also ARLA members and receive weekly updates via ARLA on any proposed change to regulation.
The lettings industry is a regulatory minefield and we pride ourselves on staying abreast of any legislative changes. As part of our ongoing management we ensure that as well as notifying clients of any proposed or actual legislative changes, we verify our interpretation of the change and advise our clients not only of the new legislation, but also of any necessary changes to working practice.
The ability to robustly manage key regulations such as Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations. 1998, Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1993 and Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 was of paramount importance when building Quicklet. As well as being a property management system, our intelligent IT system, Quicklet has trigger points which will prevent a case handler either starting or renewing a tenancy unless there is evidence of specific compliance.
We understand that residential properties can present additional legal challenges and have significant experience and expertise to enable us to deal with properties that may have Environmental Health involvement due to maintenance issues identified under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Our case handlers have extensive knowledge of this difficult legislative area and can competently manage any such case through to a satisfactory conclusion. In addition our case handlers are experienced in managing Houses in Multiple Occupation and Selective Licensing to meet the extensive requirements detailed in the Housing Act 2004.
In addition, all of our Co-ordinators have access to a legal helpline with a firm of specialist landlord and tenant solicitors to discuss any legal queries that they may have.
We have a regulatory focus to ensure our compliance as a third party supplier to you and we enforce the same tough line with our own suppliers (agents or contractors). Our aim is to demonstrate transparency and evidence in everything we do and as such this is integral to our processes, systems, and extends to our culture and the people we employ.
LSL CCD has a dedicated Quality Assurance Team which is responsible for the auditing and monitoring of staff performance and processes in our business.
At LSL CCD we enjoy the fact that we’re experts in the area of legislation. As a landlord there are some key legislative obligations you have to your tenant. We’ve pulled together a handy summary of these regulations. Please click on each key area to find out more. If you have any further questions please contact us.
The key areas are
Gas Safety (Installation and use) Regulations
Every let must have a Gas Safety Record carried out by a qualified Corgi engineer, this is in place to ensure all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order before your tenants move into the property. This must be checked every 12 months, and we can remove this worry by arranging these checks for you.
The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire Safety) Regulations
This legislation applies to all domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings, and sets out the level of fire resistance if you are planning to let your property on a fully furnished basis. We can give advice on the regulations and items which may not be compliant. All compliant furniture must display standard labels and these must be attached to the furniture in a prominent position.
These mainly apply to the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations and The Plug and Socket (Safety)Regulations. All electrical equipment must be safe for use, and we recommend either an Installation Survey or a Portable Appliance Testing to ensure you are compliant.
Building Regulations part P
We only use qualified electricians who have the Part P qualification. This means that any domestic installation work such as new wiring or electrical work in the kitchen or shower can only be certified by an approved Part P qualified electrician.
Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
As part of the Housing Act 2004, a new method of assessing the condition of a property was introduced. It enables local authorities to apply a risk assessment based on types of hazards, and the aim is to maintain good standards in the private rented sector. LSL CCD can help you understand how this legislation may apply to your property, and ensure that it is compliant to rental purposes.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Where there is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, in England and Wales, all security deposits must be protected by an approved scheme. We have subscribed to The Dispute Service; we will handle the administration of the protection of the security deposit and provide your tenant with all the details of the scheme and a copy of the certificate of protection. Failure to protect a security deposit in accordance with the legislation can mean that the landlord may have to pay compensation to the tenant, together with a delay in the possession of the property. Come to the experts - our tenancy agreements automatically include the wording to reflect not only this legislation but also the Dispute Scheme's rules.
To download leaflet on the Tenancy Deposit Scheme please click here.
In an attempt to reduce CO2 emissions legislation has been passed that an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required for every new let as from 1st October 2008. This has to be available for the tenant before they view the property. The good news is that an EPC is valid for 10 years and there is a tax free allowance of up to £1500 for any recommendations carried out by the landlord. Making your property 'greener' will demonstrate lower running costs for your tenant.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
Part of the Housing Act 2004, is aimed at maintaining the safety standards of properties of a certain criteria, particularly those properties which may typically appeal to a group of professional people on a shared basis, or students. Depending on the criteria of whether the house is set over 3 storeys and let to a group of 5 or more, or even a property with shared facilities, the landlord will need to apply for a mandatory License. LSL CCD can help guide you through this legalisation as failure to comply can result in significant penalties. For more information contact your local authority on their specific requirements as this can vary across the country. Income tax is payable on rental income irrespective of where you live. Landlords must declare this income on a Self- Assessment Tax Return and have a legal responsibility to notify the Inland Revenue of any liability.
- In cases where properties are jointly owned, each party is liable to pay tax. Both the income and expenditure will be split equally between the individuals.
- A Non-Resident Landlord is a person who has UK rental income and whose 'usual place of abode' is outside of the UK.
- Individuals who are outside the UK temporarily (less than 6 months) are not Non-Resident Landlords.
- Non-Resident Landlords include members of HM Armed Forces and other Crown Servants who are outside the UK for over 6 months.
- If we receive rent on behalf of a Non-Resident Landlord on a Comprehensive or Premier service, we have a statutory obligation to deduct 20% of the net income and make payments to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis.
- When a Non-Resident Landlord on a Standard service receives rent direct from the tenant, the Tenant has a statutory obligation to deduct 20% of the net income and make payments to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis.
- Non-Resident Landlords can apply to the Inland Revenue for approval that will permit us not to deduct tax at source by completing an NRL1 form. However, approval of an NRL1 does not mean that the rent is exempt from UK tax.
- In cases of a jointly owned property, each owner must complete their own NRL1 application form.