As a landlord, there are legal responsibilities you need to comply with when renting out your property – here are the responsibilities you need to know about to ensure you’re not breaking the law.
Landlords must meet safety standards
Landlords must meet safety standards and undertake any major repairs required in their property/ies.
In addition, all soft furnishings must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations and be fire safety compliant.
Landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for tenants to use and that annual safety, installation and maintenance checks are carried out by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. Tenants must be given a copy of the Gas Safety certificate stating that everything is in good order. Even when renting out to short-term tenants, landlords must ensure they are in compliance with gas safety responsibilities.
Landlords must make sure that electrics are safe and supply operating instructions and safety notices to their tenants.
If a tenant is disabled, a landlord is responsible for making ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their property to accommodate the tenant.
Some shared houses require special licensing to ensure the property meets extra fire and electrical safety standards and a landlord can check whether or not they need a license with their local council.
Landlords must undertake major repairs
When it comes to repairs to the property (exterior and structural, including roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains), the landlord is responsible for carrying out the repairs. Landlords do not usually need to handle minor repairs like changing bulbs, internal decorating or garden work.
In addition to keeping property/ies safe and free from health hazards and following fire safety regulations, landlords need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for their property.
Landlords must protect the tenant’s deposit
Landlords must also protect the tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme (depositing the funds within 30 days of receiving the deposit). Provided that the tenant meets the terms of their tenancy agreement, doesn’t damage the property and pays the rent and bills, the landlord must return the deposit back to the tenant within 10 days of agreeing how much the tenant will get back.
After a landlord has received a tenant’s deposit, within 30 days they must: provide the address of the rented property, tell the tenant how much deposit they’ve paid and how that deposit is protected, provide details of the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme and give the contact details for themselves or their letting agency.
Within 30 days, the landlord should also provide information on the name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit, give reasons that they would keep some or all of the deposit, explain how to apply to get the deposit back, inform the tenant what to do if they can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the tenancy, as well as what to do if there’s a dispute over the deposit.
Landlords are subject to financial obligations
Landlords are also subject to financial obligations and required to pay income tax on rental income, minus day-to-day running expenses. If the property a landlord wants to let out is mortgaged, they will need special permission from a mortgage lender.
Don’t miss our flashare glossary of terms to know on flatsharing in the UK.