My landlord obligations: what are they?

landlord obligations

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 blog serves as a guide to your landlord obligations. If you’re not sure what to do, please speak to a legal expert.

This list covers:

Landlord obligations: safety

Gas 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 every year.

Appliances, installations, pipework, and air vents must be checked to ensure they’re safe to use.

Take note
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.

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Electrical safety

Landlords must have an electrician perform tests every five years and a record of electrical inspections should be kept.

Take a look at The Landlords’ Guide To Electrical Safety to learn more about your landlord obligations.

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Fire safety

When it comes to fire safety, it’s best to be cautious with your landlord obligations. By law, rentals must have fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors (a fire extinguisher is a good idea, too).

Take note
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.

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Landlord obligations: paperwork

Deposit protection

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.

Take note
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.

This is covered in our easy Let Plus package along with advert creation, advertising on Rightmove and a tenancy agreement.

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Energy performance

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.

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‘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.

You can give your tenant a hard copy or attach the guide in an email.

Take note
Landlords can’t serve a Section 21 Notice if they haven’t given tenants this guide.

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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.

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Landlord obligations: admin

Paying tax

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.

Top tip 
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.

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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.

Take note
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.

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Landlord obligations: condition and repairs

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
  • Electrics.

If tenants complain, councils can force landlords to make repairs under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Take note 
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.

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How easyProperty can help with your landlord obligations

Our easy Let Plus package is designed for landlords who want to take a less active role in the tenant find process. You will receive a pre-marketing consultation from your local property professional, who will take photos, create a floorplan and write the description. Once you’ve approved your advert they will upload it to Rightmove and install your To Let board. You will have your own dashboard to manage tenant enquiries, viewings and offers 24/7. It also includes 2 x tenant referencing checks, 2 x Right to Rent checks, tenancy agreement and Deposit Protection Scheme Registration.

This blog serves as a guide to your landlord obligations. If you’re not sure what to do, please speak to a legal expert.