What are your legal responsibilities as a landlord?

Many people around the UK choose to invest in property with the aim of renting it out. With the chance to make a steady return on your investment over time, it is clear to see the attraction. Being a landlord is a serious responsibility though and one that should not be taken lightly. As a landlord, you will have certain legal requirements placed on you to take care of. Knowing about these in advance is key so you do not fall foul of any legislation.

But what are the responsibilities UK landlords take on when renting a property out?

Ensuring safety standards are met

As a landlord, you must understand safety standards in order to keep your tenants safe. But what are these standards? Firstly, a working smoke alarm needs to be installed on every floor in your property. If you have any rooms with a coal-burning fire or stove which burns wood, you must place a detector for carbon monoxide in them as well.

Landlords also have a legal responsibility to obtain a valid gas safety certificate for every gas appliance in their property. To protect your tenants from serious water-borne diseases, you must also make sure your water supply is operating as intended. Any furniture in the property must display the relevant labels and meet safety regulations to reduce fire risk. Lastly, you must ensure that any electrical device in your property can be used safely.

HHSRS and energy performance details

The Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) enables local authorities to make decisions as to the state your property is in and also any hazards it may potentially contain. This legislation is another key requirement to know about and helps keep up high standards for private rental properties.

You will also have to buy an Energy Performance Certificate for your property under law before you will be allowed to rent it out. As from 1st April 2018, your property must have a rating of at least E if you are to legally lease it to a third party.

Right to rent and tenant info

Landlords also bear legal responsibility for ensuring illegal immigrants do not rent their houses. This means you must check someone is allowed to reside in the UK by law before renting your property to them.

There are also certain requirements around information your tenant is legally allowed. You must, for example, give them your address, full name or the letting agency details if applicable. Tenants should also be given the UK Government's 'How to Rent' pamphlet. If you take a tenancy deposit off a tenant, you must look after it with an approved deposit protection scheme. In addition, landlords should return the full deposit at the end of the tenancy period, unless you are owed rent or the property has been damaged.

Repairs and access for landlords

Under UK law, landlords are accountable for the majority of repairs to the structure or exterior of their property. Landlords are also legally responsible for keeping any kit which supplies gas, water or electricity in good working order. With this in mind, you may wonder about access to your property when you have a tenant. When you need access, you should give your tenant plenty of notice and arrange it at a time which is convenient for you both.

Contact Williams SW Ltd for help with repairs or installations

Whether you are preparing a property to rent out and need a gas boiler installing safely or need a problem with your electrics fixing for a tenant, Williams SW Ltd can help. Based in Bristol, we cover the surrounding area and have been trading for over 10 years. Call today on 0117 287 2811 for more details on how our gas, electric and water services can help you as a landlord.

– What’s the new legislation?

You’ll find the full details of the new legislation in a draft legislation document.

The upcoming legislation includes requirements to:

– Have a qualified professional carry out tests at least every five years
– Supply a report of inspection results within 28 days of the testing
– Provide the local housing authority with a copy of the report within a week
– Supply a copy of the latest report with all new tenancy packages
– Supply reports within 28 days of a request from prospective tenants
– Fix any problems found during the inspection within a maximum of 28 days

Breaching the new legislation could leave you open to receiving fines of up to £30,000. The new legislation aims to improve safety standards, whilst being easy to follow. As a landlord, you only need to schedule checks and submit the right reports.

– How can you follow new electrical checks regulations?

You may already voluntarily carry out electrical checks. If you’re not sure you’re following legislation, now is the time to make sure.

We have a team of NICEIC electricians available in Bristol to assist you. As qualified professionals, we can carry out inspections and safety checks. You’ll be provided with a thorough report that you can keep for your records, as well as copies provided for the local housing authority and tenants. We’ll ensure that you have your report quickly so it’s ready to go, giving you plenty of time to submit the results to the relevant people.

For more information about electrical safety checks, why not contact us now?

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