February 14, 2023
How to Rent Out Your House in the UK
Renting out your house can be a good way to generate extra income. But before you jump into finding suitable tenants, you’ll need to follow some strict rules to make sure that your property is ready and adheres to the many pieces of legislation. The regulations are ever changing, so it’s vital that you stay up to date. Here are the important things you to need to consider when looking at how to rent out your house in the UK.
Local authority licensing requirements
Every local authority has slightly different rules relating to renting property, so you will need to check the specific landlord licensing rules for your area.
The Housing Act introduced Selective Licensing in 2004 to make sure that landlords kept their rental properties to a good standard. If your local authority operates selective licensing, it will be illegal to operate without a licence.
If you’re looking at how to rent out your house in the UK, it is your responsibility to make sure that your property is legally safe for your tenants.
Electrical safety standards
You will need to ensure that all electrical cables and equipment have been inspected and tested by a qualified person every five years.
This includes equipment fixed directly to the electrical supply, such as showers or kitchen appliances. Once tested, you will be provided with an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which will need to be given to each new tenant, and copied to your local authority as required.
Fire regulations, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
All rental properties in England must adhere to The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations.
There should be at least one smoke alarm on every habitable floor of the property, and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that contains an appliance powered by gas, oil, coal or wood, such as a fire or stove. Alarms must be in full working order for the first day of the new tenancy.
You must also follow the specific fire safety regulations relating to your particular type of property, bearing in mind there are different rules for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Gas safety checks
As a landlord, it is your responsibility to arrange an annual safety check on all gas appliances and flues with a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
You must give a copy of the annual safety check (CP12) to your tenant either as they start their tenancy, or within 28 days of the check being completed.
Right to rent checks
Another thing that you will have to do when looking at how to rent out your house in the UK is to carry out Right to Rent checks.
As a landlord in England, it is your responsibility to check whether your tenants have the right to lawfully live in the UK in accordance with the Immigration Act. Failure to do this can result in fines or even a jail term.
Energy performance certificates (EPC)
As a landlord, you must arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you rent out your property. The EPC details the property’s energy use and typical costs.
It also makes recommendations about how to reduce energy and save money. The EPC will give the property an energy rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
To obtain an EPC, you’ll need to find an accredited assessor who will assess your property and produce a certificate. You can be fined for not having one.
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
In accordance with this Act, you must make sure that your property is “fit for human habitation,” which means that it is safe, healthy and free from risks that could cause harm or illness.
If, for example, your property is too cold, has damp or mould, is unstable, has problems with the drains, or does not have enough light or ventilation, then it can affect your tenant’s health and action could be taken against you.
Tenancy agreements and deposit protection
A tenancy agreement is legally required in Scotland and considered best practice elsewhere in the UK. This agreement outlines the responsibilities of all parties. In England, landlords must also provide tenants with a copy of the How to Rent Guide.
If you request a deposit from your tenant, you must protect it under one of the government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. These schemes ensure tenants’ money is protected for the duration of the tenancy, and that deductions can only be made for end of tenancy dilapidations with the approval of the scheme’s administrator.
In England, deposits are capped at five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, and six weeks’ rent where the annual rent is £50,000 or more.
How to rent out your house in the UK
If you’re looking at how to rent out your house in the UK, there’s a lot to think about. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to adhere to and keep up to date with all the relevant legislation to ensure your property is fit and legal to rent.
As well as this, you have the task of dealing with repairs and maintenance, organising interim inspections to make sure your tenants are taking care of your property in line with the tenancy agreement, collecting rent, sourcing tenants and covering the costs of any void periods.
The City Borough Housing guaranteed rent scheme, however, shoulders all of these responsibilities for landlords. We offer a fair rental rate in exchange for full property management, guaranteed rent including during voids, tenant sourcing, quarterly interim property inspections and a guarantee that your property will be returned to you are the end of the agreement in its pre-let condition.