8 Landlord Obligations You Need To Know

At Redstones, we are often asked about the checks and safeguards landlords must put in place to ensure the safety of their tenants and also comply with the law.

Most landlords are aware of the requirement for gas safety and electrical checks but here we’ve summarised some additional mandatory requirements that you may not be aware of.

Smoke Alarms

It is mandatory for any property built from June 1992 onwards to be fitted with smoke alarms on each floor of your property.  It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that these alarms are in working order before a tenancy agreement commences.

Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Every landlord must obtain a licence from the local authority for houses of multiple occupation, for example:-

  • Properties rented out to at least three separate tenants who share a kitchen or bathroom in the same property, typically student accommodation.
  • Properties which are three or more storeys high.
  • Properties let to over five people who are from more than one family or household.

Failure to obtain this mandatory licence can result in a fine of up to £20,000.

Landlords of HMOs are also required to provide smoke alarms, an electrical installation condition report, a portable appliance test and a carbon monoxide alarm (see below).

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

As we noted above, HMOs must be fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm. A growing number of landlords are fitting carbon monoxide alarms in their private rental properties regardless of this law in order to protect their tenants.

Oil &Wood Burning Stoves

Annual safety checks and services must be carried out on all oil, wood burning stoves and other similar appliances. Furthermore, wood burning stoves that were fitted after 2011 must also have a carbon monoxide alarm as well as a certificate with proof of the date of installation.

Legionnaires’ Disease

Landlords must carry out a risk assessment for all of their properties to ensure there is no adverse risk from Legionnaire’s Disease. Our previous blog provides more information on this issue.

Chimney Sweeping

Any properties with working chimneys, which includes gas fires, must be thoroughly cleaned at the beginning of a tenancy and ideally once every year to offer protection to your tenant. The only exception to this rule is if your insurance provider decrees otherwise.

Disabled Tenants

If your tenant has a disability they are entitled to request you, as the landlord, to make any necessary adjustments to your property to accommodate their needs. This may include, for example, providing a ramp for wheelchair access.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

In October 2008, a new rule came into effect which requires all prospective tenants to be supplied with an EPC from an accredited inspector when considering a rental property.  These certificates must last for 10 years and no property can now be marketed for letting without an appropriate EPC.

Thinking of letting your property and not sure where to begin? Talk to Redstones today about our range of property management services.

We look forward to hearing from you.