Requirements to become a landlord in the UK in 2023: Everything you need to know
The UK rental market is booming in 2023. In 2001, there were around 2.3 million properties that were rented in the UK, whereas in 2023 this number has risen to a whopping 5.4 million. Market experts predict that the rental market will continue to grow in the coming years and that another 1.8 million properties are expected to be in the rental sector by 2025. Private renting has become very common in the UK in the past few years, especially due to the increase in property prices. If you own a property that you want to give out on rent, here are the requirements to become a landlord in the UK as well as a guide that will help you become a successful landlord in 2023.
Know the registration and regulation process
You need to follow a registration and regulation process depending on where your property is located. If you are planning on renting a property in England, then the rules and regulations that you need to follow will be set by your local council. If you are planning on renting your property in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales then the rules and regulations will be set by the local parliament. Essentially, landlord registration has been created to protect tenants from bad landlords. The process of landlord registration is basically used to obtain information about the landlord and their property. Since there are different rules and regulations for different landlords in England based on the area, you should always check with your local council or local authority regarding the requirements and registration process. According to Leicester letting agents, if your area does not require landlord registration then it is always a good idea to sign up for voluntary registration for landlord associations such as the National Residential Landlords Association or the Residential Landlords Association.
Obtain the required licences and certificates
In England, some local councils may require landlords to apply for a landlord licence. Without this licence, they will not be able to rent their property. Usually, this licence is renewed every 3 years. Another certificate that landlords need to apply for is the Energy Performance Certificate. The Energy Performance Certificate is basically a report that analyses the energy efficiency of any property. Properties are rated from A to G, with A being the highest energy efficiency rating and G being the lowest energy efficiency rating. As of 2020, the lowest energy efficiency rating that a landlord can have is E. Any property which receives an Energy Performance Certificate with a rating lower than E will not be allowed to enter the rental market until the rating increases.
Follow the safety and standard procedure
There are quite a few safety procedures that landlords need to follow before putting their property on the market. For one, a fully functioning smoke alarm has to be fitted on every floor of the property. A carbon monoxide alarm is also essential in every room, especially in rooms with fireplaces or wood burners. All the electrical installations in the property must be safe. While there is no mandatory requirement or check that landlords need to follow to ensure that all electrical appliances and equipment are safe, it is expected that landlords will have good electricians perform routine inspections. Landlords will also have to ensure that all their appliances are gas safe. This means that all the pipelines and gas appliances are in good condition and maintained properly. Landlords are required to hire a ‘Gas Safe’ engineer to check for gas safety annually.
Ensure the property is fit for habitation
After the registration process is complete, landlords need to make sure that their property is fit for habitation. In simple words, that means the property should be suitable for living. The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (England) Regulations 2005, has laid down 29 criteria for landlords which need to be met to ensure a proper standard of living. For instance, the building must not be in bad condition. The layout should be safe and there should be enough natural light entering the property. There should be no problem regarding hot or cold water. The property should have decent ventilation and there should be no issue with drainage. Overall, the property should be stable and should be habitable.