The private rental market is governed by almost 200 pieces of legislation so it is essential that we provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to rent out your house legally and compliantly.
At LetsRent Bristol, we are aware that some of our landlords may be hesitant to rent out their homes without the help of a letting agent because they are intimidated by the intricacy of the renting laws and don’t want to break any rules. Since the private rental market is governed by almost 200 pieces of legislation, it is essential that we provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to rent out your house legally.
Consider renting out your home to make money. There are no secrets to compliance, best practices, or making expensive errors. For your entire peace of mind, everything is laid out in a simple, step-by-step manner for you to follow.
Your property will be classed as a mandatory HMO if:
You should check with the local authority to see if this would be considered an obligatory HMO or if you need a selective licence or Article 4 planning authorization – which is applicable in certain areas of Bristol for properties housing less than 5 unrelated people.
You must constantly make sure that two sharers do not suddenly ask their partners to “move in,” turning the property from a residential to an HMO status and subjecting you to a fine of up to £20,000 for breaking the House in Multiple Occupation legislation.
HMO properties need a lot more maintenance, and there are more rules in place for:
If the annual rent is LESS than £50,000 pa it is likely that you will take a security deposit equivalent to 5 weeks’ rent. If the rent is more than £50,000 pa you are legally allowed to take a 6-week deposit. To calculate the deposit, divide the annual rent by 52 weeks x 5 (or 6 if applicable). There are also ‘no-deposit’ schemes available for those landlords who are willing to take an insurance policy instead of a cash deposit.
You will need to secure the security deposit into a Government plan within 30 days after you receive it (not from the commencement of the tenancy).
You must provide your tenants with the following information once you have secured their security deposit:
If a third party (such as parents or a guarantor) has paid the deposit, make sure that they also receive this information and that they understand what to do if there is a dispute over deductions at the end of the tenancy, and who to contact if they are unable to reach you for any reason.
You have a responsibility to check that the CO and smoke alarms are operational in front of the tenants on day one of the tenancy. If you have employed an inventory clerk or managing agent, they can do this on your behalf. Thereafter, it is the tenant(s)’s job to make sure the alarms continue to function and that the batteries are changed (if they are not mains wired). We suggest using a smoke alarm tester spray, which can be purchased from major supermarkets for about £6.
You must give the following papers to your tenants:
Under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, you have a responsibility as a landlord to keep the building’s exterior and structure in good condition. Once your tenant has given you notice that repairs are necessary, you have a reasonable amount of time to complete them. All repair requirements must be in compliance with the Homes (Fitness for Habitation Act) and the Housing Health and Safety grading system.
You must also: