If a property you own satisfies any or all of the above criteria, then as a landlord you will need a licence, granted by the local authority. In order to be granted a licence you will have to satisfy a number of requirements, fire door provision, cooking facilities etc etc.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Who looks at these? However, you will have to have one. In fact, any property offered for rent after 1st October 2008 has required an EPC. They are basically a certificate, again supplied by a registered inspector, detailing the energy efficiency of your property. They should cost between about £80.00 and £150.00 depending on supplier and number of bedrooms, and last for 10 years.
Furniture Safety Regulations
All upholstered furniture that is included in rented accommodation has to comply with the ignitability tests contained in the Furniture (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. Furniture first supplied before March 1993 can be included in property rented to tenants who were in residence on 1 January 1997, but must be replaced when the property is let to new tenants. Furniture manufactured in compliance with these regulations will be marked with a permanent label stating that it has been tested.
Tenancy Deposit Rules
A good piece of legislation, designed to minimize landlord / tenant disputes over the refund of the security deposit. Until this legislation became law, landlords or their agents were able to simply retain the tenants' deposit and when it came for the tenants to leave there were many cases of unscrupulous agents and landlords unfairly witholding all or part of the deposit.
Since March 2007, if you let a property, you must do one of two things. Either you must place the tenants' deposit into one of the government's approved schemes, such as the TDS, OR insure the deposit with an approved insurer. In either case the people actually holding the deposit will act as arbitrators between landlord and tenant in the event of any dispute over the return of the deposit.
New Stamp Duty Land Tax increases for buy-to-let properties
From April 2016 George Osborne (remember him?) decreed that all properties purchased as additional homes or for investment carry an ADDITIONAL 3% on all the thresholds for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). For example, between £250,001 and £925,000 the marginal rate of SDLT due for first homes will continue at 5% but for buy-to-let and additional homes it will be 8%.
Reasons to follow all this nonsense
In the unhappy event that you need to evict a tenant and require a Possession Order to do so, if a judge sees you have not jumped through all these hoops, he or she is likely to refuse to issue you with a Possession Order.
For all up-to-date regulation check out the Government Website.