At the start of a new decade, many landlords are worried because of new regulations that make renting HMO harder. However, as long as you follow the rules you should be fine.
We have created the list of things you need to do before you start advertising for tenants:
1. Protect Your Property at the Land Registry
This might be probably the most important one. If you rent your HMO to tenants but the contact address for the property at the Land Registry is the property itself, it is easy for dishonest tenants to borrow money on the security of the property, or even sell it without your knowledge.
2. Have Permission to Let
There are a number of things to consider here:
- Check out if your mortgage allow renting;
- If you are planning on renting out a leasehold flat you need to check the terms of your lease. Some leases forbid subletting which means that you could be at risk of forfeiting your lease if you rent to tenants;
- Check if your insurance permits you to rent out your HMO. You need to be careful here as if you are using the wrong type of insurance your insurance company will refuse to pay out on claims;
- To rent your HMO you may also need to obtain an HMO license – and there are fierce penalties if you rent a licensable HMO property while it is unlicensed.
3. Make sure your HMO is in a proper condition
Once you are sure that you have all the necessary documents, you need to make sure that the property is in a fit and proper condition before advertising it to let.
Landlords now have to comply with the new legal obligations requiring the property to be ‘fit for human habitation’.
Here are some of the other things you need to do:
- If the HMO has gas you need to get it inspected by a gas installer registered with the Gas Safe Register. They will provide you with a certificate which must be given to residents before they move into the property;
- You need to have an Energy Performance Certificate which must be handed to your tenants before they rent the HMO.
- A fire risk assessment needs to be in place too.
- A working smoke alarm must be installed on every storey of your HMO and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room used as living accommodation where solid fuel is used.
- You need to have risk assessments for legionella disease and keep records to prove that this has been done.
- You must also make sure all furniture provided complies with the furniture regulations.
4. Make Sure You Comply With Data Protection Rules
Compliance is not hard though:
- All landlords need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office;
- Ensure that residents’ data is kept safely in compliance with the data protection legislation;
- Your tenants also need to be handed suitable data protection notices.
5. Make Sure You Keep Up To Date
Law and regulations are changing that’s why it is really important that you keep up to date with developments.