Being a landlord is not as simple as just letting people move into your property in exchange for payment. You need to ensure that any property you let is safe and in good condition; as a result you have a number of responsibilities to your tenants.
Before you rent out a property, you will need to carry out certain checks on it to ensure that it is safe for tenants to occupy. You are responsible for the following areas:
Your property needs to be free of avoidable fire risks and there must be an escape route in case a fire does break out. You should also ensure that fire alarms are fitted and in some cases provide fire extinguishers (depending on the size of the property).
You must also provide a smoke alarm on each storey and provide a carbon monoxide alarm in any room that has a solid fuel burner. You will also need to have a risk assessment carried out to ensure that your property is fully compliant with the necessary fire safety regulations, as well as making sure that the furnishings and furniture is fire safe.
You are responsible for arranging an annual inspection of any gas equipment or appliances you provide on the property and ensuring that any necessary maintenance is carried out. These tasks will need to be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You will need to provide a copy of this gas safety check to your tenants before they move in, or within 28 days of the safety check being carried out.
You must ensure that the electrical system of the property, as well as any electrical appliances you supply, are safe to use.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
As well as the above safety checks, you will also need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which provides information about the energy efficiency of the property.
Landlords are responsible for arranging an annual inspection of any gas equipment or appliances you provide on the property and ensuring that any necessary maintenance is carried out.
To get one, you need to arrange for a domestic energy assessor to visit the property and carry out an evaluation. They will then provide an EPC, which you should show to your tenants at the outset of their tenancy and on each renewal.
Please also note that as of 1 April 2018, you will be required to ensure that all private rental properties have an energy efficiency rating of “E” or above before granting a new tenancy or a renewal of a tenancy. As of 1 April 2020 all existing tenancies must have an energy efficiency rating of “E” or above.
The legal advice in this article was provided by DAS Law, part of the DAS UK Group. This information is for general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities and is not formal legal advice as no lawyer-client relationship has been created.