As a landlord, or prospective landlord of a property to rent in West Midlands, you may have queries about the process. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Do I need to have a professional inventory done?
We advise that a professional inventory is done for every tenancy. This is so that the deposit can be released at the end of the tenancy. It should be a comprehensive list detailing the items and condition of the entire apartment. Should a dispute arise at the end of the tenancy, this document will be referred to. We have a recommended company that we use, please contact us for further details and costs.
What do I need to do about this EPC I have heard about?
From 1st October 2008, it will become necessary to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) completed on all property to rent in Birmingham. The EPC grades the energy efficiency of properties on a scale of A-G, with the most efficient homes in band A. The Certificate takes the form of a chart setting out the property’s energy performance and environmental impact, as well as any steps that could be taken to improve the property in this respect.
It will soon becoming Law that to let a property a EPC rating of E or above will be applicable.
We have a recommended company that will be able to perform these certificates, please contact us for further details and costs.
What should I do with the deposit?
Introduced in April 2007, it is now compulsory to adhere to government guidelines regarding the registering of the deposit in an approved scheme.
Properties Birmingham registers the deposits for all managed properties with Deposit Protection Service (DPS). Further information, terms and conditions can be found at http://www.depositprotection.com.
If you manage your own property, or properties, you will need to register the deposit yourself when the money is transferred to you by Properties Birmingham following the move in date of your tenant.
As a ‘let only’ landlord you have the choice of using the DPS or an alternative scheme that can be found by visiting the government website. Details of whatever scheme you use must be made available to your tenant.
Properties Birmingham will register deposits for ‘let only’ landlords if they request this service. Please contact our offices for further information and costs.
Will someone check my flat during the tenancy
Properties Birmingham will carry out inspections every 3-6months on properties that we manage to check that everything is in good order during the tenancy and that the terms of the tenancy are being adhered to.
We strongly advise that Let Only Landlords check their property during the term of the tenancy to clarify that everything is in order.
Properties Birmingham offers a separate service to Let Only Landlords whereby they can carry out one of these inspections for a separate fee. Please do not hesitate to contact our offices for further information and costs.
If you cannot find the answer to your question above, please do not hesitate to contact us for information.
Do I need a gas certificate
As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Landlords’ duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence, which includes, but not exclusively:
- residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels
- rooms let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels
- rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.
If you let a property equipped with gas appliances you have three main responsibilities:
- Maintenance: pipework, appliances and flues must be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available it is recommended that they are serviced annually unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Gas safety checks: a 12 monthly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue. A gas safety check will make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use.
- Record: a record of the annual gas safety check must be provided to your tenant within 28 days of the check being completed or to new tenants before they move in. Landlords must keep copies of the gas safety record for two years.
Properties Birmingham can arrange for the gas safety checks. Please contact our offices for further information and costs.