As a landlord you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. It is important to know what your responsibilities are to both your tenants and your property.
Landlords are responsible for:
All repairs and maintenance to the property
It is important to ensure a property is fit for living in. If there is any damage the Landlord must ensure it is repaired as soon as possible. If the damage was caused by a tenant, they can be charged for it, although this excludes everyday wear and tear.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to make sure that all utilities are in good working order such as plumbing and heating. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. The landlord is responsible for the maintenance and repair of flues, appliances and pipe work which they own and have provided for their tenants use by a Gas Safe registered engineer. There is no legal timeframe for these duties, but as a matter of good practice it is recommended that regular, annual maintenance checks and subsequent repairs are carried out. You are required to keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
Make sure the property is fit for purpose and safe
This covers a multitude of things that need to be in place before a tenant moves into the property and maintained during their tenancy.
A landlord should ensure that:
- The property is clean and safe when a tenant first moves in.
- The property is safe and secure with all locks and alarms installed and in full working order.
- The building is safe and sound.
- Any fabrics or furnishings in the house meet any fire or safety regulations e.g. that they are fire resistant.
A landlord should return a tenants deposit at the end of their tenancy agreement. If the landlord has not suffered any financial loss then the deposit should be returned in full.
Under new laws which came in into force in April 2007 all deposits taken by landlords in assured short hold tenancies must be protected by the new Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Read more about tenancy deposits.
Give tenants due notice for eviction
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant without giving notice. If you need to evict a tenant for any reason we advise you seek legal assistance to make sure you do so within the boundaries of the law.
Give notice for property visits
A landlord is able to do property visits, but should give at least 24-48 hours notice, and should not visit too often. In other words he or she should leave tenants to live in their home in peace.