As a landlord you have certain obligations, including -
Respecting your tenants' right to privacy
You may need to access a property to inspect it and to carry out repairs but you must let tenants live in their home without unnecessary interference. You must give proper notice if you want to enter a property you are letting.
All landlords have to give their tenants their name and a UK contact address. You must respond to your tenant's written requests within 21 days of receiving their letter.
You have to give written notice and get a court order if you want to evict your tenants.
Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior and structure of a property. This means that problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, lintels, windows, doors, guttering and drains are your responsibility. You are also responsible for keeping the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity and heating systems in safe working order. All maintenance work to gas appliances, flues and pipes must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Cleaning/wear and tear
Tenants are only required to clean any items soiled above normal wear and tear. You cannot keep deposit money because of general wear and tear to the property. Photos should be taken of the condition of the property at the start of a tenancy.
You are legally obliged to ensure the safety of your tenants. You have a duty of care implied by the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure persons affected by your business, but not employed by you, are not put at risk by the operation of that business.
You must -
• carry out an annual gas safety check and obtain a gas safety certificate for every gas appliance in your property. These must be issued by a Gas Safe (previously CORGI) registered engineer and renewed each year
• ensure that any work identified by gas engineers is carried out
• ensure that all furniture meets the fire safety standards
• ensure the electrical installation is safe
• ensure electrical equipment provided is safe
• ensure that premises you let are in all respects safe for the occupation of your tenants and any visitors.
Landlords of certain buildings occupied by more than one household (for example, houses split into bed sits, shared houses, flats, hostels) have additional legal obligation's to comply with housing management regulation's which require the maintenance of, amongst other things -
• fire precautions and means of escape from fire
• shared kitchens and bathrooms (including keeping these clean),
• yards, forecourts, shared gardens, out buildings and boundary walls and fences
You will also need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate for your property when letting.
You must inform your tenants when the rent is to be paid and how you want it paid. You can't refuse to accept rent from your tenants. Rent can be increased but only at certain times during the tenancy and only in certain circumstances. This will depend on the type of tenancy and what the tenancy agreement says about rent increases. If rent is paid weekly, private landlords have to provide a rent book.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
All deposits/bonds taken for an assured short hold tenancy must be protected by a government authorised scheme.