Just a few days ago I was reading a very detailed survey that stated that one of biggest landlord worries is compliance; it was second after the COVID- 19 effects on rental industry, and I really understand where this worry is coming from.The safety of our tenants is extremely important and the government fines for noncompliance are very generous.
For example, as per HMO regulations you have to display your name, contact details and your address at your HMO property, failure to do so can earn you a £1000 fine from your local council. You also have to provide appropriate waste facilities, this includes a recycling waste bin in kitchen and clearly displayed instructions on waste management, and once again, failure to comply will result in a £1000 fine.
One of the most hefty fines that council can apply is a failure to maintain common parts and fixtures, fittings and appliances which can result in a fine of up to £19 000.
A simple and unintentional error could cost landlords a lot of money.
So here are a few tips from us that will help landlords ensure that their properties are in line with all of the latest regulations:
1. Read and familiarize yourself with the HMO license conditions of your property at least once every 3 months, make sure you have not missed anything and remind yourself of your obligations.
2. Carry out a full property inspection every 3 – 4 months ensuring you include the following most often missed out on questions:
- Are all the certificates and HMO license displayed?
- Is the tenant handbook in its place and is up to date?
- Are the fire alarm test sheets in its place?
- Are all fire alarms working and regularly tested?
- Are CO2 alarms present near the gas cooker and a heating boiler?
- Is the waste management information clearly displayed?
- Are fire exits clearly marked, safe and unobstructed?
- Are all automatic door closers working properly?
- Are there any signs of unauthorized overnight guests?
- Are all appliances working?
- Are all sockets working? (you can use small bedside lamp to test it)
- Any signs of mould or damp?
- Is the fuse board in proper order?
3. Read your councils HMO licensing website page once a month and subscribe to all updates. This would include:
- Gas certificate
- Fire safety certificate
- Electrical Certificate
5. Keep strict records and order with all of your inspection files.
6. Test your fire alarms every week or every second week depending on type of alarms. (Grade A alarms with control panel should be tested one a week). Keep records of all the tests. Identify if you can film a video when testing alarms using an app that shows date and address. (The most ideal solution) If not, photos and description log with signature is acceptable as well.
These are just few things that could help you make sure your property is in line with all of the regulations and HMO license conditions and save you from future worries about any potential fines.
If you are still concerned or unsure if your property is fully compliant and you think you might not be doing everything that your HMO license conditions require, please contact us and we will be able to help you put things right as soon as possible.
With Gratitude, Ilva Pam