Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
From October 1 2008, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive became effective across the private rented sector. This legislation states that all residential rental properties must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for tenants to view before contracts are signed.
EPC tells you and the prospective tenant/s how energy efficient your property is; the impact the property has on the environment and includes recommendations on ways to improve the property’s energy efficiency. The EPC must be made available to all prospective tenants. Your local letting agent can arrange for an EPC to be prepared on your behalf.
Before your property is marketed it must have a current Energy Performance Certificate. New regulations came into force on the 1st April 2018, requiring let residential property to have a minimum rating of an “E”. If below an “E” the property must be brought up to standard prior to marketing the property to let.
Currently there is a proposal to see the raising of the energy performance standard to an energy efficiency rating of C, for new tenancies from 2025 and all tenancies from 2028.
Furniture and Furnishings
To minimise the risk of fire, the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 set out requirements for soft furnishings, such as cushions, beds, sofas and pillows. It’s illegal to provide furnishings that do not comply.
Furniture and upholstery covered by the regulation includes:
- beds, headboards of beds, mattresses (of any size);
- sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles;
- nursery furniture;
- garden furniture which is suitable for use in a dwelling;
- scatter cushions and seat pads;
- pillows; and
- loose and stretch covers for furniture
Furniture and upholstery not covered by the regulation includes:
- sleeping bags
- bed-clothes (including duvets)
- loose covers for mattresses
- antique furniture
- furniture made before 1950
How can the Landlord tell the furniture complies?
Furniture that complies with the regulation should display a permanent label – this label should be displayed on both new and second-hand furniture; examples of labels can be found below. Landlords should only purchase furniture and furnishings that carry a permanent label and/or ensure that the furniture complies with BS7177. If a Landlord is unsure, they should contact their local trading standards department for advice.
Should a label become detached from the furniture it is recommended that the Landlord retains it in a safe place, to ensure that they can prove the furniture complies with the regulation. It may be prudent to retain receipts proving purchase of the furniture or furnishings.
As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government introduced tenancy deposit protection for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy should be protected within 30 calendar days of receipt by the landlord.
The legislation aims to ensure that tenants who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent and are entitled to receive all or part of it back at the end of that tenancy, actually get it.
Kings & Co are registered with the Deposit Protection Service whose funds are secured with UK Government approved banks.
Kings & Co Lettings are members of:
- The Eastern Landlords Association
- Client Money Protection with Lonsdale Insurance Brokers
The Property Ombudsman
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme provide a free, fair and independent service for dealing with unresolved disputes between registered agents and tenants or landlords of property in the UK. The TPO is a member of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association and follows the standards and rules of the Association. The Ombudsman is totally independent of TPO registered agents and reports directly to the TPO Council, which has a majority of non-industry members.