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New Obligations for Residential Landlords

New Obligations for Residential Landlords

From 1st October 2015 new regulations require that landlords in the UK private rental sector must ensure that:

• at least one smoke alarm is fitted on each floor of the rented premises;
• a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance (e.g. coal fire, wood burning stove);
• both types of alarms are in proper working order on the first day of any new tenancy (though after this first test, it is then the tenant's responsibility to test all alarms regularly to ensure they are in working order).

Should a landlord fail to comply with any of these three duties, they can face a penalty of up to £5000.

This does not apply to licensed Houses of Multiple Occupations as existing legislation imposes similar obligations, nor do they apply to social housing landlords and live-in landlords.

The Government have also announced that from 1 February 2016 all private landlords in England will have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property ('Right to Rent').

Private landlords (including those who sub-let or take in a lodger) will have to check the status of prospective tenants (and other authorised occupiers), to determine whether those parties have the right to occupy the premises before granting a tenancy. Landlords must also ensure that someone's right to occupy the premises does not lapse.

Landlords who fail to check will face penalties of up to £3000 per tenant.

To complete a check, a landlord must:

• check that adult tenant(s) will live in the property as their only/main home.
• ask the tenant(s) for the original documentation to show they have the right to be in the UK (e.g. passport or identity card, certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen).
• Check the documents are valid with the tenant present.
• Make and keep copies of the documents and record the date the check was made.

If a tenant has an outstanding immigration application or appeal with the Home Office, a right to rent check can be requested from the Home Office.

For more information about this or any other matter relating to landlords and/or tenants, please contact Shaun Burke on 01325 466461 or email him shaun.burke@close-thornton.co.uk

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