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What Are a Landlord’s Responsibilities?
Who Is Responsible for Right to Rent Checks?
As of February 2016 landlords across the UK have been legally required to examine each of their tenant’s right to rent. Owners are obligated to conduct these right to rent assessments prior to the aspiring tenant moving into the property, specifically within 28 days of the tenants moving into the property. After establishing which parties will be residing within the rental property the landlord must then be provided with original correspondence and documentation sufficiently proving the tenant’s right to rent within the UK.
With this being said it is sometimes the case that an aspiring tenant will only have a limited right to rent, meaning that the owner of the property will need to record the applicable date and carry out a follow-up check, either 12 months after their right to rent was originally assessed, or before the expiry date of their right to rent, whichever is the longer period.
Is It Illegal for a Landlord Not to Protect Deposit?
When moving into a rental property the new tenants will be expected to provide their landlord with a security deposit. Typically owners will request that their tenants pay them the equivalent of five weeks rent for the security deposit, with the 2019 tenant fees act preventing landlords from requesting their tenants pay over this amount unless the annual rental charge for the rental is over £50,000. Once the appropriate sums have been given to the landlord, they must enter them into a government-approved deposit protection scheme. This scheme will then hold onto the deposit until the end of the tenancy, whilst also mitigating any disputes that occur regarding any deductions proposed by the landlord.
Owners will have 28 days in which to enter the deposit into a valid protection scheme, confirming details of the sums being protected, the protection scheme, when deductions can be made and how to dispute deductions all being provided to the tenant.
If it is found that the landlord has failed to protect a tenant’s security deposit then if taken to court they could be ordered to repay each tenant as much as three times the amount that was originally provided for the deposit, alongside entering the sums into a scheme or simply refunding the tenant.
What Repairs Are Landlords Liable For?
Typically, landlords will be responsible for the repairs that concern the exterior and structure of the rental opportunity, seeing them conduct remedial work for aspects such as the roof, guttering, walls, doors and windows, alongside any boilers and heating appliances, electrical wiring, damp, mould and some fittings.
It is essential for the occupants of the rental property to note that whilst a landlord is legally obliged to handle to prementioned repairs, they are also afforded a “reasonable time” in which to carry out the appropriate remedial work. This is typically handled in a case-by-case basis, with a significantly damaged roof, taking a far longer time than a broken window, or updated locks. Further to this whilst the owner of the property may periodically conduct inspections of the rental, they cannot be expected to notice every bit of damage and deterioration across the property. With this in mind it is the duty of the tenants to bring needed repairs to the landlord’s attention, as leaving these to go unnoticed will often only make the risk to the resident’s safety more prominent and likely harder to amend.
Can a Landlord Let Themselves Into Your Property?
Naturally, as rental property will be seen as an investment by the owner it is sometimes easy to forget of the occupant’s rights to quiet enjoyment. This essentially means that once the possession of the rental property has been transferred to the tenants, they will be able to dictate not only which parties are able to access the grounds of the property, but when they will be permitted to enter also. This means that if the owner of the property, letting agents, or those wanting to carry out repairs will all need to first seek the explicit permission of the tenant in order to access the property. This request must be made in writing and granted by the occupants no later than 24 hours before the visit is intended to take place.
Pay Tax on Your Rental Income
The first £1,000 of profit you make on your buy to let property is tax-free and is your ‘property allowance’. You’ll have to pay tax on the rest of your rental income if it exceeds the personal allowance (currently £12,500). Your rental allowance must be added to any salary you receive and filed under a self-assessment form.
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