What are the Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords?
Renting out a property can be a great way to generate more income. Tenants move into your property, pay rent every month, and you collect it. With the right tenants that suit your home, both renters and landlords should be able to remain largely undisturbed unless there's a problem.
However, with a tenancy agreement comes certain rights and responsibilities that landlords must abide by. To achieve a harmonious partnership with your tenants, it's crucial that landlords know their rights, but also follow through on their responsibilities.
At A&S Properties, we provide a comprehensive and thorough property management service. If landlords work with us, we'll take on the majority of the responsibilities on your behalf, ensuring the most straightforward process for you.
First of all, if you're considering letting out your property, you must register as a landlord with your local authority. This will generate a registration number that validates your identity as a landlord in that area, which you'll have to include in all your property advertisements. This is so the authority has a record of who you are and where you're operating, as well as giving potential tenants peace of mind that you're being regulated.
If you miss this crucial step, you could be liable for a hefty fine that can amount to tens of thousands of pounds and even jail time.
Draw up the right tenancy agreement
Before a new tenancy, you'll need to draw up the correct written agreement for the property you're letting out. It outlines all the terms of the contract, from the type of tenancy (for example, a fixed-term tenancy) to the details of the tenancy deposit scheme.
For tenants' rights, a tenancy agreement will help protect from unfair rent and unfair eviction. For landlords, this will help outline what you expect from your tenants in terms of behaviour towards your property and rental payment.
Be careful not to use a blanket template every time, as each property is unique, and if you're letting multiple properties at once, the rules might change from area to area. Always be sure to thoroughly check this agreement before signing and sending it to your tenants.
Ensure that you continually update your tenancy agreement to reflect the current laws in the country. Private residential tenancies were introduced on 1 December 2017 as a replacement for assured and short-assured tenancy agreements.
If you were already renting to tenants under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement and choose to renew the contract, it will become a private residential tenancy.
As outlined in your tenancy agreement, it's a landlord's responsibility to regularly maintain and repair the property.
This means if a crucial appliance (such as water, gas and electrical appliances) breaks, you have a duty to quickly respond by either replacing or fixing them. Equally, if less urgent repairs arise, you will have still have to fix them in a timely manner or potentially face a fine.
You'll also need to provide your tenants with reasonable notice for someone to enter the property to conduct the repairs.
Landlord insurance can help you cover the costs of repairs, maintenance, and other expenses that come with renting out a property. Our advisors can help you further with this.
Comply with health and safety regulations
Every landlord must make sure that their property complies with the appropriate regulations, including:
- Smoke alarms and CO2 alarms
- Gas safety certificate
- Ensuring all appliances are safe to use
- Fire-resistant furniture
You are also prohibited from sharing personal or financial information about your tenants.
House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
If you are renting out multiple properties, you must obtain a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence. This allows the authorities to regulate your activities.
For a property owner to apply for an HMO licence, three main areas are considered:
- The suitability of the owner as an HMO landlord
- The management of the premises
- The physical condition and facilities of the accommodation.
Before a licence can be granted, these things will be examined.
Energy performance certificates
You must also obtain and provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to your tenants. This tells them how energy efficient your building is and how costly it's likely to be to heat and light your property.
Again, if you don't provide this vital document, you will be liable for a financial penalty.
Let us take care of your rental property
We work with landlords all over the country to ensure that their rights are protected and that they're following every above protocol that is required of them. From registration to tenancy agreements, to finding the right tenants, repairs and providing all the right documents, A&S Properties will take care of it all from start to finish. Our aim is to relieve you of the stress and effort it takes to fulfil all required standards.
We act as the middleman between you and your tenants, ensuring that all issues are dealt with swiftly and every right is being respected. We'll do it all, from organising repairs to enforcing notice periods.
Renting a property can indeed be a fruitful endeavour, and with our property management service you'll be able to sit back and allow the rental payments to come in.
Please get in touch with our friendly property team today, and we'll be sure to help and advise you as best we can.