legal responsibilities

Weighty is the responsibility of being a landlord. We’ve put this useful guide together to lay out the key legal responsibilities of a landlord to help you cross every T. With our walk-through of the legal steps you should be taking, we’ll make sure you start any tenancy agreement off on the right foot and that both you and your tenant are protected. 

Now remember, The Rental Reform released by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2022, stated that tenants would have more rights and landlords need to be held more accountable for unfair evictions and living conditions. While we hold heartedly support this notion, we also understand that you as a landlord might be doing everything in your power to protect your asset and your tenants. 

By reading below, you get to grips with Tenant Fees Act, how to keep your property in a good state of repair as well as which energy certificates you need to have.

So let’s jump into your legal responsibilities as a landlord.

woman shaking hand with tenants

What are your key legal responsibilities as a landlord?

Your key legal responsibilities as a landlord will require you to stay up-to-date and assess the property’s condition every six months.

Keeping a safe and habitable property

You must ensure the property is fit for human habitation and free from hazards at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout.

Abiding by the provisions of the Tenant Fees Act 2019

The Tenancy Fees Act 2019 bans landlords from charging unfair fees to tenants in connection with a tenancy and also caps tenancy and holding deposits.

Protecting tenancy deposits in a government-approved scheme

It’s a legal requirement for you to hold the tenancy deposit in a government-approved scheme. At the end of the tenancy agreement, you’ll have to provide evidence that the tenant has caused damage to the property to the deposit holders in order to withhold funds. You’ll also have to provide the tenant with fair and reasonable deadlines to correct any damage in the first place.

Providing your tenants with an up-to-date copy of the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ guide. Click on the link to have a good read yourself.

Carrying out gas safety checks every year 

You should give a copy of the certificate to the tenant(s) before the start of the tenancy. In addition, make sure you have the gas check updated annually by a professional.

Getting an energy performance certificate

With the cost of living crisis, tenants deserve to know and understand how their bills will be impacted by the energy rating in your property. Give a copy to the tenant at the earliest opportunity (rented homes must meet the rating E or above). But since the rental reform set out in 2022, this grading has now changed to C as the mandatory grade. 

Having the electrical installations in the property inspected and tested at least every 5 years

Having a thorough electrical inspection will keep your mind at ease as well as the tenants. From badly fitted wires to old sockets, having a professional electrician to spot any concerns will help eliminate the risk of damage and harm.

Installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

Read our useful advice on how many alarms you need to install and where they should be placed. 

Ensuring your tenant has the “right to rent” in the UK 

Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”), a landlord should not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement, unless the adult is a British, or Irish citizen or has the “right to rent” in the England

Making sure that your tenant has the correct contact details for you 

Your tenants have the right to your contact information. If you have a managing company looking after your property, this contact information is perfectly fine to give to your tenants. 

You should include a telephone number they can use in case of an emergency. Under section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, you are required to provide your tenant with your name and with an address, which must be in England or Wales. Rent will not be ‘lawfully due’ until you have done so.

Get your insurance sorted today 

Instead of leaving things to chance, get in touch with our helpful team at CIA Landlords. We can help you find the right landlord insurance policy in no time at all. Contact us today and have peace of mind.

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