Being a landlord comes with a number of responsibilities. These vary depending on your tenancy type but many of the basic rules remain the same, from supplying start of tenancy information to house repairing obligations. To get a good understanding of your responsibilities as a landlord, take a look at this helpful information from the authorised and regulated national charity, Shelter.
Check your tenant’s right to rent
Before tenants can rent a home in England, a private landlord or letting agent must check the tenant’s immigration status and the status of any adult who is living with them.
Provide start of tenancy information
At the start of a tenant’s contract you must provide:
- An Energy Performance Certificate for the property (EPC)
- A gas safety certificate (if your property has gas appliances)
- A copy of the latest government guide: How to rent – if you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015 It is harder for a landlord to evict an Assured Shorthold Tenant if the information required isn’t provided.
Protect tenant’s deposit
Landlords must protect a tenant’s deposit with a UK government-approved Deposit Protection Scheme. If your tenant’s deposit should have been protected but wasn’t:
They can claim tenancy deposit scheme compensation.
It can be more difficult for you to end your tenant’s contract.
Lodgers’ deposits don’t have to be protected.
Tenants and lodgers’ deposits should be returned to them after they leave, if they have paid all the rent and caused no damage.
Landlords are responsible for repairs to the exterior and structure of a property including problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains. Landlords must make sure the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity is kept in safe working order. If landlords need access to the property to inspect it and do repairs, they should give reasonable notice and arrange a suitable time to visit (unless there’s an emergency). The tenant’s contract should say how much notice to give. If your tenant’s Assured Shorthold Agreement started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, they have some legal protection against revenge eviction if they complain about repairs.
Health and safety obligations – Landlords must:
Have a gas safety check done every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer
Make sure any furniture provided meets safety standards
Ensure electrical equipment they’ve provided meets safety standards
A landlord must install a smoke alarm on each floor of the property and carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a coal fire or wood- burning stove. This doesn’t apply if you’re a resident landlord. Before tenants can rent a home in England, a private landlord or letting agent must check the tenant’s immigration status and the status of any adult who is living with them.
Allow tenants to enjoy their home
Landlords must let tenants live in their home without unnecessary interference. Landlords should not let themselves into a tenant’s home without permission. A landlord (or anyone employed by them) should not harass tenants in their home or make it difficult for them to stay there.
Follow eviction rules
Landlords needs to give tenants notice in writing and get a court order before court bailiffs can be used evict tenants from:
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy – the most common private tenancy type
- An Assured Tenancy
- A Regulated Tenancy
A court order isn’t needed for the eviction of lodgers. It’s illegal eviction if a landlord tries to force tenants to leave without following the correct procedure. This is a criminal offence.