Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 Amended 1993
Applicable items include sofas, sofabeds, cushions and padded seat covers Beds, bedheads and pillows Covers for upholstered furniture Nursery furniture Garden furniture that may be used indoors
Non-applicable items - Antique furniture or furniture made before 1950 Carpets and Curtains Pillow cases, bed linen and duvets Mattress covers
Furniture should be checked for labels indicating their compliance. If the item was manufactured after March 1993 it is likely to comply, but if there are no labels the manufacturer should be contacted to confirm its status.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
All gas appliances and installation pipework must have a Landlord's Gas Safety Check carried out by a CORGI registered gas fitter prior to a tenant taking occupation and annually thereafter. An accurate record of these tests must be kept together with details of any work that has taken place.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
Currently there are no statutory regulations in force where a landlord is required to have items checked by qualified engineers. There are, however, regulations that impose an obligation to make sure electrical equipment is safe for tenants to use and as agents we recommend that electrical checks covering all sockets and appliances are carried out annually. Smoke Alarms Building Regulations dictate that all properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains supplied smoke alarms. There are no regulations in place for older properties, but in this case we recommend to all landlords that battery operated smoke alarms are installed.
HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY (HMO)
A house in multiple occupancy is a property which is occupied by 3 or more unrelated persons. The Scottish Executive has introduced a mandatory licensing scheme through Councils where HMO's must be registered to allow them to operate.
There are number of factors to be considered and we would recommend you contact the HMO Unit in Glasgow City Council for their advice.
Only certain properties will be granted licenses. Firstly the property must either have a main door with direct access to street level outside or must have been let out as multiple occupancy for at least 10 years.
If the latter is the case a Certificate of Lawfulness must be granted prior to application. If you still wish to proceed with the application there are basic works to be carried out in relation to fire safety. An integrated smoke alarm and emergency lighting system must be installed, and door closers fitted to all doors. The fire brigade will advise on exact requirements for each property.
Overall the flat has to be well maintained and the tenants must behave.
Glasgow City Council has set a fee of £887.00 to register a property which is valid for 3 years. This fee must be paid up front and is non-refundable should the property be rejected.
Failure to register will render the Landlord and their agent liable to prosecution and a fine up to £5,000.
Merchant Lettings are happy to deal with your HMO application, from the initial outset through to completion and the granting of a license. Our fee for such work is £500.00 + vat per property. £250 plus VAT for renewal.
Income Tax is payable on let property, but this can be reduced by setting expenses against your income from the property. An accountant should be employed to handle this issue as the Inland Revenue treat non-declaration very seriously. Miras Tax relief through MIRAS is a benefit landlords do not want to lose, but withdrawing from the scheme can mean you are better off. Advice should be taken from an accountant in this respect. Non-Resident Landlords Landlords who live overseas have the option to apply for self assessment of their income tax. If exemption is granted we are able to transfer rent without deducting tax first. It is important to advise your agent of your tax position as they are under an obligation to deduct tax at source.
After the 30th of April 2006, all residential Landlords must be registered with the local authority in which they own property. Registration is generally a simple procedure, which can be done either online at www.betterrentingscotland.com or by contacting your local authority direct. There is a 10% discount for applying online! If you are a registered H.M.O Landlord, you still must register those properties. When you register, you will be asked for your agents registration number and details. These can be obtained from Merchant Lettings on request. Finally, landlords must be aware that letting a flat or house does not always run as smoothly as we first anticipate. Appliances break down, extensive repairs are required and tenants circumstances change and they may be unable to pay rent on time. Therefore we would advise that landlords do not rely on rent for income or to pay the mortgage. Placing your property in the hands of a quality property management agent ensures that everything possible is done to maximise peace of mind and return on an investment.