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A Quick Guide to Landlord Legal Obligations

What are a landlords legal obligations?

What Are Landlords Obligated to Fix?   

Section 11 of the landlord and tenant act 1985 clearly outlines a landlord’s obligation towards repairing the rental property. The regulations state that a landlord must attend to matters relating to the external structure of the rental. Of course, tenants can make requests to their landlord for remedial work to be carried out, in which cases the owner must be afforded “reasonable time” to conduct the appropriate work, with consideration being given to the specific nature of the request and what the repairs involve.  

With this being said, tenants are responsible for bringing any urgent repairs to their landlord’s attention, as they cannot be expected to attend to matters they are not aware of. Naturally, the landlord will carry out periodic inspections of the rental property, however waiting until the landlord finds an issue can give it time to worsen, only making the costs and time needed for repairs greater.  

This only applies in England. It’s where landlords have to check a prospective tenants immigration status to ensure that they are able to rent in England. Landlords are obligated t conduct a right to rent check on any tenant that is over the age of 1, seeing the owner scrutinise a series of identification documents to verify the applicants right to rent within the UK. If a landlord neglects to carry out these checks and is letting to a tenant that does not possess the right to rent, the landlord could face a fine of up to £3,000.  

Is It Illegal for a Landlord Not to Protect Deposit? 

A Landlord’s obligations dictate they must enter their tenant’s security deposit into a deposit protection scheme within 30 days of the amounts being taken. If a landlord is found to have failed to protect the deposit, if legal action is pursued by the tenant they could be made to pay as much as three times the taken amounts back in compensation. After the introduction of the tenant fees act owners are also prohibited from requesting more than five weeks rent for the security deposit in most cases. However, if the amount paid by the occupants each year in rent surpasses £50,000, the landlords is permitted to ask for as much as six weeks rent for the security deposit.  

What are landlords obligated to fix? PropertyLoop

What Must a Landlord Provide by Law UK   

Tenancy Deposit 

The deposit your tenant provides must be paid into a government-approved deposit scheme within 30 days. Tenants must be informed where their money was deposited and when, along with a contact address. 

How to Rent Guide 

You must give a copy of the Government’s official How to Rent Guide to any new tenant. This document clearly outlines the entire renting process for tenants, offering them crucial support and allowing them to make informed steps when they need it most. 

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) 

You must issue tenants with an EPC when they move in. This gives them an idea of how environmentally-friendly the property is and how much, and how much tenants can expect to pay in utility bills.   

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Do Landlords Have to Do Gas Safety Certificate Every Year? 

An annual gas inspection must be held and the results shown to your tenants. In fact, they should be handed a copy of the gas safety certificate for their own records. The certificate is only valid if the safety check has been completed by a Gas Sure engineer. 

All appliances, such as the kettle, toaster, lights etc must be tested at the start of each new tenancy. All appliances must be in line with EU law – those that are will have a CE mark. Unlike with gas there is no need for an annual test, but appliances in HMOs (which have a high tenancy turn-over) must be tested every five years. 

Are Landlord’s Responsible for Fire Safety? 

All tenancies must be fitted with a smoke alarm on every floor and a carbon monoxide detector in any room where a fire or the boiler sits. There must also be escape routes and the fabric on any furniture, such as sofas and chairs, must be marked ‘fire safe.’ Regular fire drills must be carried out for a HMO property, safety blankets and fire extinguishers must also be provided in these larger rented houses. 

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