Legal Requirements Checklist for Landlords in England

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Being a landlord in England comes with a range of responsibilities to ensure the safety, well-being, and legal compliance of your tenants. Navigating these requirements can be overwhelming for landlords, but this checklist serves as a guide to get you started:

Before Letting the Property:

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): Provide an EPC to all new and prospective tenants during the viewing or before signing the tenancy agreement. This document assesses the property’s energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Right to Rent Checks: Ensure your tenants have the legal right to rent in the UK. You can conduct these checks yourself or use a government-approved service.

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Before Tenants Move In:

  • Electrical Safety:

    • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR): Arrange for a qualified electrician to conduct an EICR, ensuring electrical installations are safe. Provide a copy to the new tenant before they move in.
    • Portable Appliance Test (PAT): Regularly test portable appliances supplied with the property using a qualified tester. Maintain records of these tests.
  • Gas Safety:

    • Gas Safety Certificate: Obtain a Gas Safety Certificate by a registered Gas Safe engineer for any gas appliances in the property. Provide a copy to the tenant before they move in and obtain new certificates annually.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms:

    • Install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the property.
    • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a fixed combustion appliance (e.g., gas boiler).
    • Ensure all alarms are in working order and test them regularly.
  • Deposit Protection:

Protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving it and provide them with prescribed information about the scheme.

  • “How to Rent” Checklist:

Provide your tenant with a copy of the government’s “How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England” document, either in hard copy or electronically with their consent.

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During the Tenancy:

  • Repairs and Maintenance:

Maintain the structure and exterior of the property and deal with any problems with the water, electricity, and gas supply.

  • Legionnaires’ Disease:

Conduct risk assessments for Legionnaires’ disease if the property has a complex water system. Manage the risks as identified in the assessment.

  • Access:

Provide reasonable access to the property for repairs and emergencies.

  • Tenancy Deposit and Records:

Return the deposit to the tenant at the end of the tenancy, minus any deductions permitted by law, and keep records related to the deposit for six years.

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Additional Considerations:

  • Selective Licensing:

Depending on your location, you might need a selective licence to rent out your property. Check with your local council for requirements.

  • Tenancy Agreements:

Use a clear and up-to-date tenancy agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

  • Landlords Insurance:

Consider obtaining landlord insurance to protect yourself against potential risks associated with renting out your property.

Staying Informed:

Landlord laws and regulations can change, so it’s crucial to stay informed. Click here to sign up to our monthly newsletter.

By following this checklist and staying informed, you can ensure compliance with legal requirements and provide a safe and secure living environment for your tenants.

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