Buy to let red tape

Beset by a range of potentially, disastrous tax changes (primarily the withdrawal of finance charges as an allowable deduction – reduced instead to a basic rate tax credit), landlords of buy-to let residential accommodation also have to contend with a growing list of red-tape. We have listed below a number of compliance issues that are backed by legislation. Failure to comply with these can lead to penalties. Obligations include:


·         Building and landlord insurance

·         Gas Safety Certificates

·         Energy Performance Certificates

·         Electrical Installation Reports and Certificates

·         Smoke detectors on each floor

·         Carbon monoxide detectors if required

·         Copies of tenants references

·         Tenants agreement to receive communications by email

·         Proof that tenant has right to rent in the UK (copy passport for example)

·         Household inventory

·         Register your property business with HMRC

·         Tenants contact details

·         Protect deposit within 30 days of receipt

·         You are required to respond to written complaints within 14 days of receipt, in writing

·         Inform tenants prior to a property inspection

Provide tenant with:

·         How to Rent – the checklist for renting in England

·         Guarantors Agreement – if required

·         Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

·         Information regarding Deposit Protection Scheme

·         Serve the correct form of notice to end tenancy

·         Tenant should sign a list of deductions made from rent deposits

·         Return whole or balance of deposit at end of tenancy

This list is by no means complete. Landlords that use the services of letting agents will no doubt have these points covered as part of their contract with the agent.