Legal Requirements Landlords

Being a landlord isn’t as simple as owning a property and charging someone to live in it. You have legal responsibilities to your tenants to ensure their safety and well-being whilst living in your property.

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Whether you’re a Buy-To-Let landlord or current circumstances (whatever they may be) have led you to become a landlord, there are ten legal requirements that you must be aware of when renting out your property.

1) Unfair Eviction/Harassment

Unfair eviction or harassment is an offence, and you must follow the legal procedure when evicting your tenant – which will depend on the type of tenancy in place.

2) Electrical Appliance Safety

It is your legal responsibility as the landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances that you have supplied (such as cookers and kettles) are safe to use.

3) Electrical Inspections

The property’s electrical system must be inspected by a competent electrician to ensure safety. If the property is a HMO, you must have an electrical safety check once every five years.

4) Fire Precautions

You must provide the property with fire alarms. If the property is a large HMO, then you may also have to provide fire extinguishers. All furniture and furnishings that you have supplied to the tenant must also be fire safe.

5) Licensable HMOs

If the property is a HMO (house in multiple occupation), a HMO licence may be required from the local authority. To be classed as a HMO, a property will be rented out by a least three people who are not part of a single household (or family), though they may share facilities. Bedsits and house shares are examples of a HMO. A “large HMO” is defined as a HMO that rented to at least 5 people who form more than one household, the building is at least three storeys high and the tenants may share facilities.

6) Fire Safety Order

There must be a fire risk assessment in place and in writing to comply with the Fire Safety Order, for flats, bedsits and hostels. Check that your tenants have access to escape routes in case of emergency.

7) Gas Safety

If you have provided the property with any gas appliances, you must ensure that annual gas safety checks are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You should also give your tenant a copy of the gas safety check records before they move in or within 28 days of the check.

8) Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Before a tenant moves in, you must have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) in place for the property, and this must be made available to the prospective tenant or tenants.

9) Payments of Rent

It must be made clear to any prospective tenants what the rent payments and administration fees are and not to confuse them with deposits.

10) Tenancy Deposit Schemes

Any deposit collected from a tenant must be protected by a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of you receiving it.


Residential Landlords Association


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