My landlord obligations: what are they?
Introduction to your landlord obligations
Landlord obligations can be tricky. To help, online estate agent easyProperty has gathered this list of crucial landlord obligations.
This list covers:
- Landlord obligations: safety
- Landlord obligations: paperwork
- Landlord obligations: admin
- Landlord obligations: condition and repairs
- How easyProperty can help.
Landlord obligations: safety
Legally, landlords must have a gas safety inspection each year if there’s a gas supply. A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be given to tenants.
Appliances, installations, pipework, and air vents must be checked to ensure they’re safe to use.
Only a Gas Safe-registered engineer can do inspections and repairs.
Meet your landlord obligations and get a Gas Safety Certificate today. Or read The Landlords’ Guide To Gas Safety for more advice.
All electrical fittings (sockets and lights) must be safe throughout a tenancy. Devices must have a CE mark, too.
A CE mark is the manufacturer’s declaration that the product meets European law.
If your rental is a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), landlords must have an electrician perform tests every five years.
Take a look at The Landlords’ Guide To Electrical Safety to learn more about your landlord obligations.
When it comes to fire safety, it’s best to be cautious with your landlord obligations. By law, rentals must have:
- Access to escape routes at all times
- Fire-safe furniture and furnishings
- Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (a fire extinguisher is a good idea, too).
A smoke alarm must be on all floors of your rental. Carbon monoxide detectors must be in any room with fuel-burning devices.
Check out The Landlords’ Guide To Fire Safety to learn more about your landlord obligations.
Landlord obligations: paperwork
If landlords take a deposit in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), legally they must protect it in a government-backed scheme. This stops rogue landlords and agents keeping funds when they shouldn’t.
You must protect deposits within 30 days to avoid a fine of up to three times the amount. Tenants need a copy of the deposit registration certificate, as well as the Prescribed Information.The Housing Act 2004 states landlords must give tenants information about their deposit protection. This is known as the Prescribed Information, and will change with each deposit protection scheme.
Landlords can’t serve a Section 21 Notice if the deposit isn’t protected.
Meet this landlord obligation with our Deposit Protection and AST bundle. We can register the deposit and send you a comprehensive, ARLA-accredited tenancy agreement. All for just £24.99.
Landlords need a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to legally let a property in the UK.
EPCs look at the energy efficiency of a property, and advise how to improve it. Tenants need a copy when they move in.
Avoid a £200 fine. Meet your landlord obligations and get a valid EPC for your rental. Or read The Landlords’ Guide to EPCs to learn more.
‘How to Rent’ guide
Landlords must give tenants the government guide, ‘How to Rent’, before they move in. It lists landlord obligations and tenants’ rights.
Landlords can’t serve a Section 21 Notice if they haven’t given tenants this guide.
Right to Rent
Legally, landlords in England must not let to anyone without the ‘Right to Rent’. Landlords who do face a fine of up to £3,000 per tenant, or even imprisonment.
The Government has issued a list of commonly available documents landlords can check. You should keep a copy of any document to prove your tenants can live in the UK.
For more about your landlord obligations, check out The Landlords’ Guide to ‘Right to Rent’ Checks.
Landlord obligations: admin
Landlords must declare rental income to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This means they may have to pay tax. Landlords can be fined if they don’t declare this income.
Note the self-assessment deadlines and set up reminders.
If you live abroad, you still have to pay tax on your rental income unless you have an exemption certificate. To apply for an HMRC exemption certificate, click here.
A lot of landlord expenses are tax deductible. For advice on how to be tax efficient, check out The Landlords’ Guide to What Can You Claim on a Buy-To-Let.
Licensing and permission
You must have the freeholder’s consent to rent out the property if you own the leasehold.
If the property has a mortgage, you must let your lender know you will rent it. You need landlords’ insurance, too. Find out more in The Landlords’ Guide To Understanding Landlord Insurance.
Some districts have started licensing schemes. It’s important you check if your council needs you to be licensed.
If the property is a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), you may need an HMO licence.
Landlord obligations: condition and repairs
To meet your landlord obligations, rentals must:
- Be structurally sound and free from major disrepair
- Be free from damp that could harm health
- Have a water supply, good drainage, and a suitably located toilet, a bath or shower, and a wash basin
- Have proper lighting, heating, and ventilation.
There are some repairs landlords must always do:
- The property’s structure and outside
- Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings (pipes and drains, too)
- Heating and hot water
- Gas devices, pipes, flues and ventilation
If tenants complain, councils can force landlords to make repairs under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
If you visit the property to assess damage or make repairs, you must give tenants at least 24 hours of notice.
Landlords can’t serve a Section 21 Notice within six months of getting an improvement notice.
How easyProperty can help with your landlord obligations
Or look at our lettings products for huge savings.
This blog serves as a guide to your landlord obligations. If you’re not sure what to do, please speak to a legal expert.