Legal advice for landlords
Landlords and agents play a vital role in providing housing for residents. The information provided is to help you manage a tenancy in the correct way.
You’re a landlord if you rent out your property. As a landlord you must:
- keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
- make sure all gas (Gas Safe Register website) and electrical equipment (HSE.GOV.UK) is safely installed and maintained
- provide an Energy Performance Certificate (GOV.UK) for the property
- protect your tenant’s deposit (GOV.UK) in a government-approved scheme
- check your tenant has the right to rent your property (GOV.UK) if it’s in England
- give your tenant a copy of the 'How to rent' (GOV.UK) checklist when they start renting from you (you can email it to them).
You can find out more information about landlord responsibilities at GOV.UK.
It is good practice to have a written tenancy agreement, but this is not essential to create a tenancy. If the tenant pays rent weekly the landlord must supply a rent book. If a tenant pays rent in cash, the landlord must provide the tenant with receipts.
When creating a tenancy, take care to ensure it is the correct type to suit your plans for the property. The most common is an assured shorthold tenancy. If you are unsure which type to create, you should seek legal advice.
If the agreed tenancy period is for less than seven years, there will always be obligations to repair the structure, fixtures and fittings in the property.
Obtaining legal possession
A notice to quit must be served to end any tenancy. If you are unsure how to serve a valid notice, you should seek legal advice.
For all possession actions, the landlord must get an order for possession from a county court before the tenant can be lawfully evicted. The landlord cannot apply for such an order before the relevant notice has run out.
The court order will specify a date by which the tenant must leave, and if they don’t, the landlord must ask the court to appoint a bailiff to carry out the eviction.
Landlords are responsible for repairs to the exterior and structure of a property including problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains.
Landlords must make sure the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity is kept in safe working order.
If a landlord needs access to the property to inspect it and do repairs, they should give reasonable notice and arrange a suitable time to visit (unless there's an emergency). Your tenancy agreement may say how much notice you should give.
If your assured short-hold tenancy started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, you have some legal protection against revenge eviction if you complain about repairs.
For more information visit GOV.UK or use the contact details below to get in touch with us.
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