Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities
Landlords Rights and Responsibilities
As a landlord, you must know and fully understand all of your rights and responsibilities. Your tenancy agreement which will be signed by both you and your tenant will detail the majority of your obligations some of which will include.
- Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
- Access to the Property
- Safety and Maintenance
- Other Responsibilities
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME (TDS)
You will be required to place your tenants deposit in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme. This is a legal requirement to ensure that the deposit is returned to the tenant at the end of the agreed tenancy.
As your letting agent we will place the deposit in such a scheme on your behalf.
In the event of a dispute at the end of the agreed tenancy the deposit will be held by the scheme until the issue has been resolved.
ACCESSING YOUR PROPERTY
Your tenant has the right to enjoy the use of the property without frequent visits from the Landlord. If you wish to access the property you must provide your tenant with the notice agreed in the tenancy agreement.
SAFETY & MAINTENANCE
Your tenant has the right to live in a property that is both safe and secure. It is the Landlords responsibility to make sure that the property is in a good state of repair and meets these standards.
Gas Safety – It is imperative that you have an annual inspection of gas supply and gas appliances if you have any. This must be carried out by a Registered Gas Engineer.
It is the responsibility of you as Landlord to arrange for these checks to be carried out. Both the Landlord and the tenant should each have a written report on the condition of each appliance. You must keep records of the safety checks and issue a copy of them to new and existing tenants.
Electrical Safety – An electrical safety check must be commissioned prior to the commencement of a tenancy, and must be carried out by a competent person.
Landlords have a legal obligation and a duty of care to tenants to ensure that the electrical installation and the electrical equipment supplied is safe. If any defects to the properties structure or integral elements develop including toilet, shower, heating, wiring or water pipes it will be the landlords responsibility to ensure that all repairs are carried out in a timely fashion.
If a tenant requests an inspection on health and safety grounds, a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) inspection may take place. This could also happen if other properties in the area have failed to meet the required standards and the council suspects that your property may be in a similar condition.
After the inspection, there may be a list of actions that you are required to complete in order to bring the property up to the required standard.
If the property is furnished, the furniture must meet the guidelines set under the Furniture and Furnishings Fire and Safety Regulations 1988 (as amended 1993).
EVICTING TENANTS AND TAKING POSSESSION
In the case of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the tenant has the right to remain in the property for six months, unless they break any major terms of the agreement. The tenancy can be terminated by either party after this time without providing a reason for termination, if the tenancy agreement allows for this.
If the tenant is in breach of the tenancy agreement, then the landlord may be within their right to apply to the courts by a serving the tenant with a section 8 notice of seeking possession. This is a formal procedure and landlords must outline the specific terms the tenant has breached.
Landlords are entitled to dispose of any belongings left in the property two weeks after the tenancy has terminated, but endeavours should be made to have the tenants retrieve their left property.
ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES SUFFERED WITHIN THE PROPERTY
Landlords are strongly advised to take out letting specific buildings contents insurance cover against any personal injuries claims by tenants, their visitors or tradespeople while in the property.
ADDITIONAL LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES
In addition to the above, the following responsibilities are also applicable:
- You cannot discriminate against tenants because of their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
- Pregnant and disabled tenants must receive fair and equal treatment.
- You must abide by the terms outlined in the tenancy agreement.
- You must provide your contact details to your tenants.
- You must supply an up to date EPC.
- Locks cannot be changed without informing the tenant.
- Maintain the property in line with statutory requirements.