A landlord owns a house, flat or rental property that is rented or leased to a tenant for a fee. If this description fits you as you’re a landlord already, or you’re planning to become one but don’t know exactly what responsibilities you’re required to perform, this article is for you. We cover some of the key responsibilities you have as a landlord in the UK.
You’re Responsible for Repairs to the Structure of your Property
A landlord must ensure the property’s structure, interior and exterior are maintained in good condition. The Housing Health Safety Rating System (HHSRS) governs property safety. The HHSRS is supervised by local authorities and allows them to inspect the property, to require landlords to repair their property, and to prosecute in serious cases.
In property inspection. The Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) enables local authorities to assess property condition and any potential hazards. The goal is to maintain the private rental section to high standards.
Thankfully, some of these expenses can be handled when you have comprehensive landlord insurance in place, especially when damage is caused by factors covered by your policy.
Ensure your property meets the Required Safety Standards (Gas, Electricity and EPC)
As a landlord, you must ensure your rented property is safe and free as possible from any hazards to health. There should be a smoke alarm installed on every floor of your property, carbon monoxide detectors in rooms having a wood or coal burner and gas safety certificates for every gas-using appliance present within your property. In addition, all furniture must meet the safety standards, and there should be regular maintenance for all the gas and electrical equipment which must have been safely installed.
All the electrical equipment and devices in your property must be safe and in good working order. Where necessary, they should be tested regularly by a qualified individual. You need to ensure the earthing and insulation of your building is sufficient to prevent electrical overloading.
You also must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property at the time of renting. An Energy Performance Certificate contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and recommends how the best practices would help save money whilst reducing energy usage.
Provide Clear Rental Obligations in the Tenancy Agreement
A tenancy agreement is a contract between you, the landlord and a prospective tenant. The tenancy agreement, either oral or written, stipulates every necessary rule, responsibility and right, including paying the specified rent when due, that the tenant has to follow to continue living on the property. It’s more like the tenancy’s terms and conditions.
The obligations regarding the tenancy should be included in very clear terms in the tenancy agreement to prevent misunderstanding and to aid in solving disputes that may arise later. The agreement must be fair to both parties and should be in line with the law.
Protect your Tenant’s Deposit.
A tenancy deposit is a sum of money (typically a month’s rent) a landlord is lawfully allowed to ask from the tenant to hold on to in case of non-payment of rent, damage to property or any other issue that may occur during the period of the tenancy.
However, demanding a deposit is not all there is to it. This sum of money has to be kept in a government-backed protection scheme and should contain every necessary detail relating to the deposit and the scheme available to the tenant. The tenant can collect not more than ten days after their tenancy expires, part, all or none of the deposit, depending on any expenses they may have incurred (such as damages or unpaid rent).
Check your Tenant’s Right to Rent.
As a landlord, you are required to check if a tenant has the legal right to rent your property. You have to check EVERY new tenant’s documents (as long as they are over 18 years of age) and not only those you think are not British citizens.
These documents must prove that they can live in the UK and have the right to rent a property. You can check with the Home Office through the Landlord’s Checking Service if they don’t have the necessary documents, but still have the right to live in the UK.
If you do rent out your property to someone who doesn’t have the right to rent a property or stay in the UK, you may get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison.
Being a landlord is no walk in the park. Just like with any other job, you have rights and responsibilities. Keep on top of them, and you will be a successful landlord in no time.