A picture of a gavel ontop of books with a book titled 'Landlord tenant law' in front of it.

Navigating the world of property rental in the UK can be both rewarding and challenging. While it’s important to protect your investment, it’s equally crucial to understand the boundaries of your role. 

Here, we explore the key things that you, as a landlord, should steer clear of to foster a healthy relationship with your tenants. 

Laws that dictate how to be a landlord

Before we get into the things that landlords can’t do, be sure to make yourself familiar with the different laws that dictate this, such as: 

By reading through these laws, you will become familiar with what is expected of a landlord, ensuring confidence in the process of leasing your property to tenants. 

The importance of setting boundaries

​​Maintaining certain boundaries with tenants is crucial for landlords for several reasons, striking a delicate balance between professional oversight and respecting tenant privacy. Setting boundaries fosters a healthy, respectful relationship, ensuring both parties feel comfortable and secure. 

Here’s why landlords should be mindful of maintaining these boundaries.


Establishing clear boundaries helps maintain a professional relationship between landlords and tenants. This professionalism reassures tenants that they are engaging with a serious and respectful business, not just a temporary arrangement. It sets the tone for all interactions and helps in managing expectations.

Respect for privacy

Tenants, like anyone else, value their privacy. By respecting this fundamental need, landlords demonstrate respect for their tenants’ rights and personal space, which is essential for building trust. Intruding on a tenant’s privacy without cause or proper notice can lead to tension and legal issues.

Legal compliance

The law provides tenants with certain rights, including the right to quiet enjoyment of the property. Landlords must navigate these legal waters carefully, ensuring they do not overstep their bounds and risk legal repercussions. Understanding and adhering to these laws protects landlords from potential lawsuits and penalties.

Conflict avoidance

Clear boundaries help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. When both parties know what to expect from each other, it reduces the chances of disputes over privacy, repairs, and other responsibilities. This makes the tenancy smoother and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Tenant retention

A respectful and professional relationship, underpinned by clear boundaries, can lead to higher tenant satisfaction. Satisfied tenants are more likely to take good care of the property, pay rent on time, and stay longer, reducing turnover rates and the costs of finding new tenants.

Property respect

When landlords respect tenants’ space and privacy, it sets a standard of mutual respect. Tenants are more likely to reciprocate by taking care of the property, reporting maintenance issues promptly, and respecting the terms of their lease.

Stress reduction

Maintaining boundaries reduces stress for both landlords and tenants. Landlords can manage their properties more effectively without micromanaging, and tenants can enjoy their homes without feeling watched or judged. This positive environment can make property management a more pleasant experience overall.

Reputation building

Landlords known for being fair, respectful, and professional are more likely to attract quality tenants. A good reputation can be one of the most powerful tools in a landlord’s arsenal, helping to ensure that properties are rarely vacant and that the tenant pool is of high quality.

So, as you can tell, there are numerous benefits to maintaining boundaries with tenants, and in the end, it will only benefit your business!

What landlords can’t do

Now, let’s take a look at what landlords should not be doing when leasing out their property. 

Entering the property without permission

Privacy is a big deal. As much as it’s your property, once it’s rented out, it’s the tenant’s home. You cannot just pop in for a visit whenever you fancy. You need to give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice and obtain their permission before entering, except in emergencies.

Evicting without proper procedure

You can’t just evict someone on a whim or without following the correct legal procedures. This includes serving the proper notices and, if necessary, obtaining a court order. Tenants have a lot of security when it comes to renting a property and it is important to abide by these. 

For more information on evicting tenants, read through Gov.UK’s Section 21 and Section 8 notices. 

Unfairly withholding the deposit

The deposit isn’t a slush fund for wear and tear or minor issues. It’s there to cover significant damages or unpaid rent. Withholding it unfairly at the end of the tenancy is definitely against regulation

Remember, deposits should be protected in a government-approved scheme, and disputes can be resolved through them.

Ignoring repair requests

When it comes to repairs, dragging your feet isn’t just frustrating for tenants; it’s against the law. You’re responsible for keeping the property safe and in good repair. Ignoring or refusing reasonable repair requests can land you in hot water.

Harassing your tenants

This one should go without saying, but any form of harassment is out of bounds. This includes turning up unannounced frequently, cutting off utilities, or threatening tenants. Always approach interactions with professionalism and respect.


Equality is key. Discriminating against tenants or potential tenants based on race, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic is illegal. Ensure your property is a welcoming space for all. 

Refusing to allow disability adjustments

Tenants have the right to request adjustments to the property to accommodate disabilities. While you don’t always have to make structural changes, you should accommodate reasonable requests and can’t flat-out refuse without a very good reason.

Increasing rent illegally

Fancy a rent hike? Make sure you’re doing it by the book. There are rules about when and how you can increase rent, especially during a fixed-term lease. Any rent increase must be fair, reasonable, and agreed upon with the tenant. Make sure that you know your responsibilities as a landlord when it comes to rent increases. 

Ignoring safety regulations

Safety first, always. You must comply with all safety regulations, including gas safety checks, electrical inspections, and providing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Skimping on safety is not only dangerous but also illegal.

Using misleading or false advertising

Finally, honesty is always the best policy. When advertising your property, ensure all information is accurate and not misleading. False advertising can lead to legal trouble and will damage your reputation as a trustworthy landlord.

Being a landlord comes with its set of responsibilities and boundaries. Staying informed and respectful of your tenants’ rights makes you a stellar landlord and ensures a smooth and lawful rental experience. 

Remember, fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship is key to a successful rental business. For more information on how to be a good landlord, read our complete guide to being a landlord.

Also, if you want to find out more information about buy-to-let insurance, make sure to contact us at CIA Landlords at 01788 818 670.

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