What Do You Have To Include As A Landlord?

Being a successful landlord involves more than just owning a property; it’s about providing a safe, comfortable and functional living space for your tenants. 

From essential safety checks to responsive maintenance services, here’s a comprehensive guide to what you need to offer as a landlord in the UK.

What Safety Measures Do I Need To Provide as a Landlord?

The foremost legal requirement for landlords is to provide tenants with a safe and habitable living environment. This includes ensuring that the property meets health and safety standards, such as having adequate fire safety measures, functioning heating and hot water systems and secure locks on doors and windows. 

Some key checks by law include:

Gas Safety Checks

Landlords must ensure that all gas appliances and flues in the property are maintained in a safe condition and undergo an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A Gas Safety Certificate must be provided to tenants before they move in and renewed annually.

Electrical Safety Checks

Landlords in England are required to ensure that the electrical installation in their rental properties is inspected and tested by a qualified electrician at least every five years. A report must be provided to tenants and the local housing authority upon request.

Fire Safety Regulations

Landlords must comply with fire safety regulations, including installing smoke alarms on each floor of the property and providing carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with solid fuel appliances. Furniture and furnishings supplied by landlords must also meet fire safety standards.

Landlords are also obligated to comply with various housing standards and regulations, including the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This system assesses potential hazards in rental properties and requires landlords to address any risks to tenants’ health and safety. 

What Are My Requirements For Repairs and Maintenance For My Tenants?

Landlords have a legal duty to maintain the structure and exterior of the property, as well as installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity, heating and sanitation. This includes promptly addressing repairs and ensuring that the property is kept in good repair throughout the tenancy.

A responsive approach to repairs and maintenance is essential for keeping tenants satisfied and preserving the condition of your property. Establish clear channels of communication for reporting issues, and aim to address maintenance requests promptly. 

Whether it’s a leaky tap or a faulty electrical socket, proactive maintenance can prevent minor problems from escalating into costly repairs.

What Protections Are Needed For Tenancy Deposits?

Landlords are required by law to protect any deposit paid by the tenant in a government-approved tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. This ensures that tenants’ deposits are safeguarded and can be returned at the end of the tenancy, subject to any agreed deductions for damages or unpaid rent.

What Are My Rights To Access The Property As a Landlord?

While landlords have the right to access the property to carry out repairs and inspections, they must provide tenants with reasonable notice, usually 24 hours, except in cases of emergency. Landlords must respect tenants’ privacy and not enter the property without permission. Read more about the rights for a landlord here.

Other Important Checks to Note:

Energy Performance Certificate

Before letting out a property, landlords must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which assesses the energy efficiency of the property. The EPC provides tenants with information about the property’s energy performance and any potential improvements that could be made to reduce energy consumption and costs.

Right to Rent Checks

Under the Immigration Act 2014, landlords are obligated to conduct right to rent checks on prospective tenants to verify their immigration status and eligibility to rent property in the UK. Failure to carry out these checks could result in penalties for landlords.

Mold and Damp Prevention

Mold and damp can be significant concerns for both landlords and tenants, affecting indoor air quality and potentially causing health problems. Landlords are required to fix structural and faulty issues that cause mould, and must fix damp issues if the property becomes unfit for tenants.

Closing Summary

Being a successful landlord involves more than just providing a roof over your tenants’ heads. By carrying out essential checks, providing responsive maintenance services and a safe, comfortable living environment, you can attract and retain quality tenants while safeguarding the value of your investment.