As a landlord you need to be fully aware of your obligations. There are a number of responsibilities and regulations, which can change at any time. You must be aware of your responsibilities because failure to comply can lead to prosecution.
· Landlords must give their tenants their name and address, or that of their letting agent.
· It is common for this information to be in the tenancy agreement.
· At the start of a tenancy, you must protect your tenant’s deposit in one of the government-backed Tenancy Deposit Schemes(add link to this page).
· The landlord is responsible for repairing and maintaining the property.
· Minor day-to-day maintenance, such as unblocking toilets, changing light bulbs and keeping the garden tidy, are usually the tenant’s responsibility.
· Landlords are always responsible for repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, including the roof, guttering and drains, and to toilets and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains.
· The landlord is also responsible for repairs to heating and hot water.
It is also down to the landlord to provide tenants with a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and they must follow the correct legal procedure if they want the tenants to leave the property.
Landlords’ safety responsibilities
One of the main responsibilities of the landlord is to ensure that the property is safe and free from hazards.
· All landlords of residential properties are obliged to ensure that all gas appliances and flue are safe in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
· It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that your property/ies have a valid Gas Safety record, approved appliances and pipework and an annual Gas Safety check.
· Your tenants must be given a copy of the Gas Safety record and you must keep the records for at least 2 years.
· There is no legal obligation to have an annual electrical safety check, however, landlords are responsible for ensuring that the electrics on the property are free from hazards.
· The wiring, sockets and light fittings must be safe, and any electrical appliances supplied to the tenant must be safe to use.
It is advisable to have appliances checked by electrician.
If your rental properties were built after June 1992, it is the law to have mains operated smoke detectors on each floor. In ordinarily tenanted properties, there is no legislation requiring smoke detectors but it could be classed under ‘duty of care’, meaning that a landlord may be held responsible should there be no smoke detectors fitted and a fire causes injury.
Family Homes are letting agents with offices in Sittingbourne and Faversham. We have been in business for over 25 years and are the leading and largest independent specialists in property lettings and management in the area. We also have a comprehensive property maintenance service and can arrange competitive gas and electrical tests on your behalf. Should you wish to learn more about landlord responsibilities, please contact us.