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Landlords Responsibilities

As a landlord renting out a private residential property you have many responsibilities both to the tenant, a managing agent (if using one) and the government:

  • You MUST provide your tenant with the government "How to Rent" guide before they occupy the property.
  • You MUST provide your tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property before the tenant occupies the property and should renew it every 10 years.
  • You MUST provide your tenant with an up-to-date gas safety certificate to ensure the gas equipment is safe before they move into the property. This should be renewed every year.
  • You MUST Protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme. If the deposit is not registered, the tenant can sue for a sum equivalent to 3 times the value of the deposit. Notice of where it is registered has to be served on the tenant(s) and whoever paid the deposit in the first place, within 30 days. The deposit cannot be more than five weeks' rent (where the annual rent is less then £50,000) or six weeks' rent (where the annual rent is more than £50,000).
  • You MUST conduct checks to establish that new tenants have the right to rent in the UK, according to the Immigration Act 2014. Failure to comply could result in a civil penalty up to a maximum £3000.
  • You MUST keep your property safe and free from health hazards, including checks for legionella etc.
  • You should provide a record of any electrical inspections (EICR's). All appliances must be safe and checks undertaken every 5 years.
  • You should provide evidence that smoke alarms and any carbon monoxide alarms are in working order at the start of the tenancy. Tenants should then regularly check they are working.
  • If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must obtain permission from your mortgage lender.
  • You’ll have to pay Income Tax on your rental income, minus your day-to-day running expenses.

If you fail to give the legally "prescribed" information to your tenants before they occupy the property, ("How to rent" guide, EPC and gas safety certificate and information on the tenancy deposit scheme used), it will result in a landlord not being able to serve a section 21 notice on tenants, if you want them to leave. This means you may not be able to evict them unless they break one of the terms of the tenancy document, when you can serve a Section 8 notice, .

This is a complex area of law and many possession claims fail because the correct procedures and notices are not given. If you need help setting up your tenancy documents or evicting tenants, contact us now on 01935 823883

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