Being a landlord in the UK comes with significant legal responsibilities. From ensuring the property is safe and habitable to protecting tenant deposits, there are many legal requirements that landlords must comply with. Here are a few of the key legal responsibilities of being a landlord in the UK:
- Providing a safe and habitable property: Landlords have a legal obligation to provide their tenants with a safe and habitable property. This includes ensuring that the property meets all health and safety requirements (Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2018), Landlords must also ensure that the property is free from hazards, such as mould or dampness, and that it meets the minimum standards for amenities and utilities.
- Conducting annual gas safety checks: Landlords are required by law to have an annual gas safety check carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This ensures that all gas appliances, fittings, and flues in the property are safe and in good working order.
- To serve the tenant(s) with a copy of the latest How to Rent Guide (last updated 24th March 2023), a booklet issued by the government detailing a checklist for tenants when renting, is one of the very first actions you must take before renting out a house in England.
- Protecting tenant deposits: Landlords must protect any deposits paid by their tenants in a government-approved deposit protection scheme within a certain timeframe. This is a legal requirement, and failure to comply can result in legal action and fines and the inability to legally remove a tenant.
- Carrying out repairs and maintenance: Landlords are responsible for carrying out repairs and maintenance to their properties, and for ensuring that any issues are addressed in a timely manner. This includes fixing any structural problems, repairing appliances, and maintaining the exterior of the property.
- Providing tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): Landlords are required by law to provide their tenants with an EPC when they move into the property. This certificate rates the energy efficiency of the property and provides recommendations for improving its efficiency.
- Provide the tenants with a valid Electrical Safety Certificate (EICR): Landlords are required by law to provide their tenants with an EICR when they move into the property.
- Conducting right to rent checks: Landlords are required to conduct right to rent checks on all tenants to ensure that they have the legal right to rent property in the UK. This involves checking tenants' immigration status and verifying their identity.
- Complying with fire safety regulations: Landlords are responsible for complying with fire safety regulations, including providing smoke alarms on every floor of the property, ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers) along with any solid fuel burning appliances (including open fire places) and ensuring that any furnishings and materials used in the property are fire-safe.
In addition to these legal responsibilities, landlords must also comply with various other regulations and requirements, such as providing tenants with a copy of the tenancy agreement and protecting their privacy rights. Failure to comply with these legal obligations can result in legal action, fines, and damage to the landlord's reputation.
Overall, being a landlord in the UK requires a thorough understanding of the legal responsibilities and requirements involved. By fulfilling these obligations, landlords can provide their tenants with a safe and secure place to live while protecting their own interests and investment, which is why using a trusted letting agent like Taylor Robinson to let and manage your property is vital.
If you have a property to let or are concerned that you may not be fully compliant on your current let please call Ben on 01293552388.