The latest of the legal requirements in the private renting sector (Legislation as of February 2014) States that all landlords who rent property under a private tenancy must now be registered and provide accurate and up to date information about yourself and your property. For further information go to NI direct landlord registration.
Any deposit taken on or after 1st April 2013 must be registered with an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme administrator. then you are required to protect the deposit within 14 calendar days of receiving it using either an insurance or custodial based protection scheme. You must also provide certain information about which Tenancy Deposit Scheme is protecting it and you must serve this on your tenants within 28 calendar days of receiving the deposit - this is called "Prescribed Information".
There are three organisations set up to administer these schemes in Northern Ireland are:
As of December 2008 it became a requirement that all properties on the market for sale or to let must have available a valid Energy performance certificate (EPC). An energy performance certificate contains information about how energy is used in a, along with details of how much the energy used actually costs. An EPC is carried out by a accredited domestic energy assessor and should be available to the public to check on the energy performance certificate register. www.epcregister.com
Under current gas safety legislation landlords have three main areas of responsibility
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.
It is important to note that if a landlord does not comply with these regulations you can incur heavy fines and even risk imprisonment.
Under the private tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 all landlords shall provide free of charge a rent book. According to the Order a rent book:
A rent book must contain the following information
Source: NI housing executive
As well as this tenants must also receive a written statement of tenancy terms this should include the following:
Next time I will look at landlord's legal obligations during the tenancy and ending a tenancy including repairing obligations, inspections of premises and notices served. If you have any further questions pleas email them to email@example.com
The landlord must ensure that the property is suitable for human habitation. All properties that are paid for by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (via housing benefit) must be inspected by the local district council to ensure that the property meets the basic standards fit for human occupation and if the property meets the standard a certificate of fitness is issued by the local council.
Tenants obligations should be clearly set out in the terms and conditions of the leased agreement here are some examples of tenants terms and conditions that relate to the upkeep and repair of the property during the tenancy.
The tenant has the right to lawfully enjoy the possession of the property during the term of the tenancy whist adhering to the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement. In other words that tenant who is paying rent on time and looking after the property should be able to peacefully enjoy the property without any interference or intrusion from the landlord. Landlords must seek permission from the tenant to access the property even to carry out repairs (except in the case of an emergency). Repairs must be carried out at reasonable times during the day and with prior notice. If a landlord enters the property without permission or prior notice this behaviour can be deemed as harassment.
Both landlords and tenants can lawfully end a tenancy at the end of the tenancy term by giving either party 28 days notice. However if the tenant has failed to keep the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement the landlord can issue the tenant with the 28 days notice to quit before this. During the 28 day notice period the landlord cannot
After the 28 day notice period has lapsed if the tenant has not moved on the landlord can then start court proceedings for a possession order.
If you have any questions or require any further information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02890747300.