Landlord Responsibilities – A Quick Guide
Do you own rental property and wonder what your landlord responsibilities are?
Knowing where you are accountable will help when potential issues arise. It can also give you peace of mind that you are doing everything you should to provide a safe, warm and comfortable home for your tenants. Remember that treating your tenants with respect should underpin your approach to being a responsible landlord.
Here is a handy list of the more formal responsibilities as a landlord renting out your property.
As a landlord, you should be ensuring that the property is safe and free from any hazards. With this in mind, you are responsible for most repairs, including utilities, structural issues and furniture. And it’s your responsibility to ensure you complete repairs in a reasonable timescale.
The only repairs where responsibility lies with your tenants are minor maintenance issues, such as changing light bulbs or smoke alarm batteries.
It is not your responsibility as a landlord to provide a garden fit for the Chelsea Flower Show. Equally, it’s not down to the tenant to undertake onerous levels of gardening.
When it comes to responsibilities in the garden, the aim is to keep the space safe and tidy. Your tenant’s role is to ensure the garden stays litter-free, neat, and not overgrown. There are then three main areas of responsibility as a landlord:
- Where there is a level of expertise required, for example, to prune tall trees.
- To maintain areas of a garden that would be unreasonable for a tenant to undertake.
- That you take action where a tenant has reported an issue that isn’t their fault.
Your Legal Responsibilities as a Landlord
As a landlord, you have specific legal responsibilities. At Prolet, we are always up to date on every legal aspect of being a landlord. Landlord regulations are periodically updated, and if you are in any doubt, we can go through all your legal obligations with you and any costs involved.
Current regulations include:
Energy Performance Certification
You will need to purchase an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to illustrate how efficient the property is.
Your rental property must have a minimum rating of E. Having paid tenants in your property without an EPC or an EPC with an F or G rating can result in hefty fines up to £4,000.
To keep your tenants and their home safe, you must fit a smoke alarm on each floor of your property. And carbon monoxide alarms must be placed in rooms with a wood-burning stove or open fire.
Gas and Electrical Safety Regulations
If your property has a gas supply, you must have an annually renewed Gas Safety certificate in place. And your check and certificate must be undertaken and issued by an engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ .
You also need to ensure you have electrical safety certificates for all electrical devices to show that your appliances are safe and working correctly. It’s wise to have an electrical safety check every five years undertaken by a qualified electrician.
Tenant Deposit Protection
You must put your tenant’s deposits in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDS) within 30 days of getting it.
At the end of the tenancy, you must return the deposit within ten days of both parties agreeing on how much will be returned. And you must return deposits in full unless there is damage or unpaid rent.
Right to Rent
You are responsible for ensuring your tenants have the right to rent a home in the UK. Penalties for renting to illegal residents are hefty, with unlimited fines and up to 5 years in prison.
Keeping your rental property clean, safe and habitable will go a long way to ensuring you play your part as a responsible landlord. And treating your tenants with respect and courtesy will foster a healthy relationship, making it easier to deal with problems as they arise.
There will inevitably be times you need to access your property for repairs or inspections. But these visits shouldn’t cause any unnecessary interruptions. Unless there is an emergency, you will need to give 24 hour’s notice in writing and arrange a mutually suitable time.
At Prolet, we know that there are always grey areas for who is responsible for what. We appreciate that it isn’t always easy, but we are always at the end of a phone to discuss any element of property management. From when to carry out property inspections to what to do in an emergency, we are here to help.
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