Landlord Legal Responsibilities

JonSimon Estate and Letting Agent

There are many laws, rules and guidelines a landlord must abide by to be able to legally let a property in the UK. A comprehensive list of your legal obligations as a landlord can be found in The Housing Act 2004 and in the Renting out your property guidance provided by the government. Both of these resources are packed with information, but may take you some time to read through.

So, the team here at JonSimon Estate Agents have created this concise guide to your legal obligations as a landlord, so you understand everything you need to know. We’ll discuss what you need to provide by UK law and answer some frequently asked questions around the topic. Let’s start by talking about what you need to do and provide by law…

What Must a Landlord Provide By UK Law?

Documentation

In terms of important and legal documents, you will need to provide:

 

Tenant Safety

  • To ensure tenants are safe and all safety standards are met:
  • There must be a smoke alarm installed on each floor
  • There must be carbon monoxide detectors installed in rooms with a wood burning stove or coal fire
  • You must ensure the furniture within your property meets fire safety standards
  • You must ensure all electrical equipment is installed safely and regularly maintained

The water supply must be working properly to avoid Legionnaires disease.

 

Is Your Property up to Standard?

A huge responsibility for you as a landlord is making sure your property is up to the correct standard and stays that way. This means more than just fitting smoke alarms on every floor and installing carbon monoxide alarms. It means more than just making sure the property meets minimum energy performance standards at the moment your tenants move in. You may have to go a bit further and adjust your property for other reasons, say for example, if your tenant is disabled or has special needs. This is a requirement under the ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’ section of the 2010 Equality Act.

 

How to Maintain Your Property

You must also make sure your property maintains the standards you set, and avoid becoming complacent. To do this you should:

  • Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms regularly
  • Employ an engineer to test your appliances at the correct intervals of time
  • Make sure the paintwork is maintained and features are decorated annually
  • Hire a professional cleaner in-between each tenancy
  • Regularly test any fire safety equipment and replace if necessary

 

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 gives tenants in England the power to take legal action against you if you do not take your legal obligations as a landlord seriously. This law came into place on the 20th of March 2019, to make sure that any rental property in the UK is ‘fit for human habitation’. This means they must be safe, healthy and free from risk of serious harm. It is the courts that will ultimately decide whether or not your property is fit for human habitation, should a tenant take legal action against you.

 

Is Becoming a Landlord Worth it?

The biggest attraction and incentive to becoming a landlord is the opportunity to make money and the potential for a substantial income. This is especially true if you have a portfolio of properties. Your tenant will pay the rent which will cover your mortgage payments, any money you wish to put aside for maintenance and repairs, and agency fees if you choose to use a lettings agent or property management company.

The money that is left is profit. The more properties you have, the more income you will make. If you do not have a mortgage on your property, you will make a lot more money as profit. Of course, how much profit you make will depend largely on how well you maintain your properties, and how well your tenants look after them. If you have a reliable and respectful tenant that pays the rent on time and does not break things within your property, then you will not miss on mortgage payments or need to lay out any expenditure on repairs.

To sum up, if you conduct yourself in a business-like manner and do things properly, then being a private landlord is totally worth it. If you get a little help from a local lettings agency, you won’t have to put as much work in and it becomes even more worth it!

 

Landlord Legal Responsibilities FAQs

 

Do I Need Landlord Insurance?

Landlord insurance will protect your property against accidental damage, from fire and flooding as an example. It will not protect your tenant’s contents. They will need to sort out their own contents insurance if they want to protect their possessions. Most mortgage companies will expect you to have insurance in place before allowing you to apply.

Should I Let Furnished or Unfurnished?

This is a personal choice and isn’t something you need to consider in terms of abiding by law. However, if you do choose to provide furniture and appliances with your rental property, you must keep them in good condition. You may need to fix or replace items from time to time, or hire an engineer to do it for you, if it is in relation to the fire or heating, gas appliances or electrical equipment.

Do I Need to Credit Check My Tenants?

Most landlords that we work with here at JonSimon usually want to carry out a basic credit check on tenants before allowing them to move in. This is a form of security to ensure the tenant is able to keep up with rent payments. It may provide a warning sign and allow you to avoid the hassle of collecting debt or trying to evict a tenant. It is not a legal requirement to run a credit check, but it is certainly a good idea.

 

Contact us for Help or More Information

We can help you run a credit check on your potential tenants and help with all other matters of making sure you abide by your legal obligations as a landlord. For more information, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk!

Meet The Team

Dramatically reinvent market-driven relationships vis-a-vis customer directed e-business. Monotonectally incentivize distributed e-markets through high standards in.

Simon Morris

BA (hons) PGCE, MARLA, MNAEA

Company Director

Jonathan Morris

MNAEA

Company Director

Jackie McLeod

MNAEA

Sales

Liam Pope

Lettings

Ryan Dillon

Lettings

Hailey Edwards

Lettings

Julie Yeomans

Lettings

Michael Greenhalgh

Company Director

Andrew Collins

Sales

Christopher Eastwood

Sales

Gareth Dooley

MNAEA

Company Director

John W Dinsdale

FRICS

Consultant/Charted Surveyor

Laura Stockdale

Lettings

Office Locations

What our clients say

We pride ourselves on exceptional customer service. Here’s what our clients say about their experience when working with us:

Our Services

Financial Advice

Dramatically reinvent market-driven relationships vis-a-vis customer directed e-business. Monotonectally incentivize distributed e-markets through high standards in. Interactively transform clicks-and-mortar e-commerce...

Read More

Mortgage Advice

Interactively transform clicks-and-mortar e-commerce without maintainable platforms. Seamlessly strategize web-enabled niche markets after backend partnerships. Enthusiastically strategize mission-critical models rather...

Read More

Advice

Interactively transform clicks-and-mortar e-commerce without maintainable platforms. Seamlessly strategize web-enabled niche markets after backend partnerships. Enthusiastically strategize mission-critical models rather...

Read More

Reviews

Interactively transform clicks-and-mortar e-commerce without maintainable platforms. Seamlessly strategize web-enabled niche markets after backend partnerships. Enthusiastically strategize mission-critical models rather...

Read More