10 buy-to-let obligations that could cost errant landlords thousands

Don’t let ignorance or neglect cost you your buy-to-let business

As a buy-to-let landlord, you’ll understand that you have many obligations. You’ll need to vet tenant applicants and keep your property well maintained. You should ensure that the tenancy agreement is fit for purpose. However, this is not the beginning, middle and end of your responsibilities as a landlord. Here are 10 that, if you neglect, could cost you thousands of pounds, and more.

1.    Electrical safety

You should ensure that electrical appliances supplied by you are safe. No frayed cables, no cracked casings. Have an electrician undertake the inspections and keep all records.

Read our article “Are you ready for new electrical safety laws in the UK buy-to-let sector?”.

2.    Landlord licensing

Local authorities have been given the authority to designate areas for selective landlord licensing. If your property isn’t licensed when it should be, you could be fined as much as £20,000.

Read our article “How to avoid a hefty fine from selective landlord licensing”.

3.    Landlord laws

There are many laws that could affect you as a buy-to-let landlord. If you break them or breach landlord regulations, you could be fined or banned from being a landlord, or worse.

Read our article “178 reasons the law causes buy-to-let landlords such stress”.

4.    Gas safety

If your property has a gas supply, you must have it checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer, as well as have appliances checked to ensure they are safe to use.

Read our article “Gas kills London landlord – why you need the gas safety certificate”.

5.    Fire safety

You must have working smoke alarms in your buy-to-let property, at least one on each floor. You may also need carbon monoxide alarms.

Read our article “How buy-to-let landlords can avoid being smoked with a £5,000 fine”.

6.    Protect your tenant’s deposit

By law, if letting under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, you must hold their deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. If you don’t, you could face crippling fines; and if you need to evict a tenant, you may not be able to do so.

Read our article “Everything a landlord wants to know about tenancy deposit protection but is afraid to ask”.

7.    Energy performance

Your property must comply with the MEESs (that’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) and the Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015. If you don’t fancy a fine of as high as £150,000 (yes, you read that right), you’ll make sure you have your property assessed and certified with an Energy Performance Certificate.

Read our article “The buy-to-let landlord’s SWOT analysis of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards”.

8.    Right to Rent

If you rent to an immigrant who doesn’t have the right to rent in the UK, then you could find yourself landed with a fine of £3,000. You’ve been warned!

Read our article “Avoid buy-to-let landlord fines by knowing Right to Rent rules”.

9.    Tax

You must complete a tax return by Self Assessment. You should keep all your receipts and other paperwork to support the expenses side of your buy-to-let business.

Read this article for more info: “Get your tax return in or face huge financial penalties”.

10. Mortgage

Your mortgage must be a buy-to-let mortgage. A normal residential mortgage will not suffice. If your mortgage lender discovers you are letting your home without the right mortgage in place, they could repossess.

Of course, make sure you keep up with your mortgage payments.

We help all our landlord clients keep on top of their landlord obligations. To find out how to get in touch with the team at Ezytrac on +44  0 1522  503 717.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

About the Author:

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Ezytrac. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids. Brett holds both the Level 3 Property Mark Qualifications for Property Sales and Property Lettings and Management.