If you rent a property, or part of a property, to someone else, this makes you a landlord, even if you also live in the property. There are different types of tenancy depending on your arrangements with your tenant, and each type has its own set of responsibilities. You can find out more about tenancy types from the Shelter website. There is also a How to Let booklet provided by the government.
Being a landlord gives you significant responsibilities. Even if you employ a letting agent to manage your property, it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure your property is suitable for tenants according to the law. The most important things to ensure are:
- Your property is free from health and safety hazards. This is determined by the
- Housing Health and Safety Rating System
- All gas and electrical appliances you supply in the property are safely installed and maintained and have the proper checks carried out
- The property meets fire safety regulations
- The property has an energy performance certificate (EPC) - Please note that new legislation has been introduced relating to the minimum EPC rating required in rental properties. This is outlined on our Energy Efficiency page.
- Your tenant’s deposit is protected in a government approved scheme
For tenancies which started on or after 1 October 2015 you must also provide certain information to your tenant at the beginning of the tenancy:
- A valid energy performance certificate
- A valid annual gas safety certificate
- A copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”
You can find more information about your responsibilities and what you need to do to let a property from the Shelter and Gov.uk websites. You could also consider becoming a member of the National Residential Landlords Association, which can offer support, advice and guidance to landlords.
New guidance has been released to advise landlords on the minimum standards required to let out a private domestic property.
The person you rent to also has certain responsibilities as a tenant.
Where landlords are not fulfilling their responsibilities, the council will consider using legislation available to take enforcement action to ensure properties are safe. This can include a number of options. To see more information, we have a revised Housing Enforcement Policy.
Ending a tenancy
In order to gain possession of a tenanted property you must follow the correct legal procedure. The exact process you need to follow depends on the type of tenancy. If you don't follow the correct procedure you could be committing an illegal eviction, which is a criminal offence. You must not pressurise your tenant to leave, do anything which you know is likely to make them leave. This includes things like repeatedly disturbing them, disconnecting utility supplies, creating noise or preventing them from accessing the property. Actions like this constitute harassment, which is a criminal offence.
You can find more information on the process you must follow on the NRLA website or the Gov.uk evicting tenants page.
Where the tenant has abandoned the property/tenancy, there is a slightly different process to follow than above, which was introduced by the Housing and Planning Act 2016.