Being a landlord requires you to be a jack of all trades. Yes, you will have several responsibilities and roles, and they will not just revolve around collecting rent. In most cases, landlords are repairpersons, conflict solvers, negotiators or even sales agents. Property owners should know how to handle angry neighbours, manage tenants, or even attract property inspectors.
What’s more, landlords must follow various laws enacted by the local and national governments. This involves rules for collecting security deposits, tenant eviction and following safety and health standards. In this post, you will find out more about the landlords’ responsibilities. So, keep on reading.
As a landlord, you can reclaim your building from tenants as long as you do it reasonably and rightfully follow the eviction guidelines. When evicting occupants, you have to serve them with a Section 21 Notice. Most landlords will enlist the help and expertise of an experienced tenant eviction solicitor to enforce the Section 21 notice.
This notice lets you terminate the tenancy two months after serving the occupants with the paper. The best thing is that you don’t have to give your eviction reasons as long as they fall within the law. All in all, there are conditions you need to meet to use Section 21 notice.
Assess the Tenants’ Right to Rent
The law states that landlords in the United Kingdom have to assess the potential occupants' rights to be in the nation. This means that landlords should evaluate the identity of all individuals who are above 18 years and want to occupy the house. Although the law requires you to perform the checks, you can outsource this service from a letting agent. During the checking process, the following tenant’s documents are thoroughly checked:
- The United Kingdom passport
- Travel document or permanent residence indicating indefinite leave to remain
- Identity card
- An immigration status document from the immigration office
- Naturalisation or certificate of registration as a UK citizen
Keep in mind that if you rent out your house to an ineligible tenant, you may get an unlimited fine or jail term.
Repairs and Maintenances
A landlord is liable for various types of repairs and maintenances in a rental home, such as:
- Electrical wiring and circuits
- Heating and hot water
- Gas appliances and gas works
- Drains guttering and external pipework
- Chimneys and ventilation
- Exterior and structure, including roof, windows, external doors, stairs, walls and bannisters
If it was written on the tenancy agreement, landlords might also be responsible for replacing and fixing white goods, such as washing machines, cookers and fridges. Moreover, they must make sure the property is fit and safe to live in throughout the tenancy’s stay, and it must not cause injury or affect the tenants’ health. Remember that occupants can take you to court if you neglect them. So, make sure you solve the following:
Mould and damp – you are responsible for fixing the problems that cause damps, like faulty guttering and leaking internal pipes. Also, you have to make sure there is a properly installed and functioning damp-proof course.
Pests and rodents – as a landlord, you have to undertake a couple of repairs to avoid mice, rats, cockroaches, ants and other types of pests from accessing your property.
Protecting Tenants’ Deposits
When it comes to protecting the deposits paid out by occupants, there is a law that indicates what landlords need to do. Since the law’s enactment, property owners in Wales and England must safeguard their occupants’ deposits in one of the three authorised TDP (Tenancy Deposit Protection) schemes.
Some of the approved schemes you can join as a landlord include the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the Deposit Protection Service and MyDeposits. You have the power to pick the scheme you wish to join. However, you have to notify your occupant within 30 days of getting their deposit about the scheme you are using to secure their funds.
Protecting the Tenant’s Personal Information
Introduced in Europe in 2018, GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulations) is an enactment to give people power and control over how their data is used. The law, therefore, classifies landlords as data controllers because they handle tenants’ data. Due to this, you have the mandate to handle the occupants’ data lawfully and appropriately. Moreover, you have to comply with GDPR.
Assess the Property’s Safety and Health Hazards
Landlords are legally required to perform various inspections and offer evidence to the occupants. Below are some of the things you need to do:
Get EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
As a landlord in the UK, you need to have an EPC. It evaluates your property’s energy efficiency and acts as an essential marketing tool. An EPC provides a building with energy efficiency that rates from A (most effective) to G (the least effective) and is valid for ten years. You can only obtain this certificate from accredited assessors.
Gas Safety Assessment
You must ensure the gas supply and gas appliances in the building are in the best condition. In general, a registered and certified gas safe engineer has to repair, fit and check them yearly. During this routine check, gas cookers, gas pipework, gas fires, gas water heaters and gas boilers need to be checked.
Check Electrical Installations and Appliances
Landlords must ensure that plug sockets, wiring, and electrical appliances are safe and work perfectly. It’s advisable to hire a certified and experienced electrician to perform standard safety checks before a tenant moves in.
The furniture and furnishings enactment requires landlords to give fire-resistant upholstered furniture. Also, electrical appliances and wiring need regular checks. Failure to follow fire regulations can make you get fined or even be sentenced to jail.