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Some questions answered..

Whether you’re new to being a landlord or an experienced investor, there are a series of common pitfalls that are easily avoided. Below, we discuss some of the most common topics we’re asked about and share our tips for success.

Should I allow my tenants to have pets?

It’s estimated that more than half of UK adults now live with a pet, so for landlords, this issue is more prevalent than ever. Currently, less than 10% of private landlords offer pet-friendly homes, leading to many tenants struggling to find a suitable residence. This presents a great opportunity if you decide to cater for this market.

If you’re keen to welcome pet-owners, the Standard Tenancy Agreement is the Government’s recommended contract for landlords. It will protect you and ensure your tenants have a legal duty to repair or cover the cost of any damage to the property. Also, a thorough inventory is advised – a good agent will help you to create this. If you are not keen on having pets, you must object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason*.

Gas and Electrical Certificates Explained

According to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations Act 1998, a landlord’s duty is to arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe registered engineer for all pipework, appliances and flues on the property.**

There is also an obligation to arrange a gas safety check every 12 months by a registered engineer. Standard practice is to keep a record of the safety check for 2 years, issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check and issue a copy to any new tenants.

For electrical installations, the latest regulations require landlords to have properties tested by qualified inspectors every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and if requested, to the local authority.^

What insurance do I need as a landlord?

As a landlord, you’re responsible for taking out buildings insurance to cover the property’s structure, fixtures and fittings. You’re also responsible for fixing the washing machine, central heating, water systems, baths, toilets and any electrical appliances if they break. This is according to Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. In order to protect yourself properly, it’s essential to take out insurance.

If a tenant is responsible for any breakages, it may be appropriate to pass the cost on to them. It’s also a good idea to recommend your tenants take out Tenants Liability Insurance or Tenancy Liability Insurance. This will protect their possessions against any mishaps that happen on the property