Wondering what a landlord is expected to provide when they let out an unfurnished property in the UK? Even if your property is listed as unfurnished there are still a few things you’re expected to provide for your tenants. Some items you’re expected to provide are legally enforced government policy while others are simply expected in order to make your property more appealing to potential tenants.
In the UK private landlords are legally required to ensure their properties meet the following requirements:
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- One smoke alarm install in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes.
- One smoke alarm in every circulation space on each story, such as hallways and landing.
- One heat alarm installed in every kitchen.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors to be fitted where there is a carbon fueled appliances (boilers, fires, heaters and stoves.)
All alarms are required to be ceiling mounted & interlinked.
These regulations are already in force in some parts of the UK including England, they do not come into force in Scotland until February 2021. So if you’re a landlord you still have some time to install these alarms and detectors. You can find more information on Scottish regulation from gov.scot and English regulation from gov.uk.
Safe Water Supply
It’s a landlords responsibility to asses the safety of the water in their property. Landlord’s are able to preform the assessment themselves however if you’re unsure on how to do this you might be better of hiring an assessor.
Gas & Electrical Safety Documentation
When you’re property gets new tenants you are required to provide them with both Gas & Electrical safety certification to prove that you’ve had your property inspected by fully qualified Gas Engineers and Electricians. These documents will prove that your property meets health and safety guidelines. You can find read more about Gas and Electrical Safety from British Gas.
When dealing with a tenants deposit it is required by law that all landlords use one of the available deposit protection schemes. The type of scheme available to you will depend on which part of the UK your property is located. All schemes offer landlords two options:
- The scheme hold onto the deposit for free.
- The deposit is held by either you or the agent and you pay the scheme to insure it.
Right to Rent Check
In some parts of the UK when a landlord takes on a new tenant they are legally required to preform a Right to Rent Check. This ensures the tenant is legally able to rent. Failure to do this could potentially see a landlord hit with a hefty fine or even a prison sentence. The gov.uk website have an in-depth guide on the Right to Rent Check.
For landlords with property in the UK their tenancy agreement is the legally binding document which gives the tenant the right to live in the property they are renting. The agreement can be either written or oral and it gives certain rights to both you and your landlord (such as the right to receive rent etc) the agreements must not be in conflict with law. The conditions for how a Tenancy Agreement is present can vary depending on where the property is based. For example in England and Wales visually impaired tenants must be given their agreement in large print or Braille and a tenancy isn’t always required to be in writing. You can find more detailed guidelines on Tenancy Agreements on the gov.uk website.
There are a things that potential tenants might come to expect from landlords in unfurnished properties, however the landlord is under no legal obligation to provide these & it is entirely up to them if they wish to provide them (unless they promise them in the tenancy agreement).
The term ‘White Goods’ is used to describe household appliances that are usually finished in white enamel such as fridges, washing machines and dish washers. These types of products are often considered to be basic amenities and failure to provide them can often turn off several viewers. If a landlord is to provide these types of products then it’s usually recommended to include who is responsible for repairing them in the tenancy agreement. For landlords that do provide these goods to their tenants it’s usually worth taking note of the condition of them during property inspections. To have your properties inspected by professionals Hubl provide a high standard of inventory and property inspection services.
Blinds and Curtains
Blinds are another item the landlord is not obliged to provide blinds or curtains for their properties. However, it is worth noting that not providing them could turn off many potential tenants, many tenants do not want to purchase these items for properties they are renting as curtains and blinds will usually have to be made to measure.
Landlords aren’t legally required to change the locks between tenancies however, for security reasons it’s often better taking the precaution of getting the locks changed. There’s no guaranteed way to make sure former tenants haven’t had an extra set of keys cut, so changing the locks is by far the safest measure to take whenever a tenant leaves.
If a landlord has any preferences as to which trades people do work on their property then they should consider giving their tenants an emergency contact list. Over the course of a tenants stay in a property there is bound to be certain types of emergencies that will pop up, these emergencies can range from plumbing problems to them losing their keys. Regardless of the emergency a landlord should be concerned with the people working on their property and the easiest way of ensuring any repairs are carried out by the best professionals possible is by providing the tenants with an emergency contact list.