Landlord Responsibilities

If you already are a landlord or are thinking of becoming a landlord, it’s, of course, important for you to be aware of all the legal landlord responsibilities associated with this.

In our article below, we’ve put together a collection of responsibilities that are very useful to know.

We explore property maintenance, landlord responsibilities for keeping tenants safe, the needed documentation, protecting the tenant’s deposit, advice about landlord taxes, and advice on starting a tenancy.

If being a landlord in York is something you’re interested in and you’d like some support either through managed property services or through York estate agent experts, then give our team at Quantum a call.

In the UK, landlords are bound by several laws and legal requirements. If you’re looking into becoming a landlord for the first time, it can be a bit daunting when first confronted with all these requirements. To make things a little easier, we’ve highlighted some of the most important ones below.

Property Maintenance

property maintenance

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that any rented property must be fit for human habitation.



For landlords this means:

  Making sure gas, water and electricity supplies are all working properly

(hiring qualified engineers to provide official certification)

–  Check the property is secure and free from health hazards – this includes ensuring the heating is up to the right standards, all furniture meets current fire legislations and all sanitation is in proper working order (sinks, baths, toilet etc.)

–  Checking all portable electrical items have undergone a PAT test (portable appliance test)

You can find some useful FAQs here

–  Maintaining or repairing the outside of the property including the walls, roof, guttering and paintwork

–  If you’re letting a block of flats or house converted into flats, you’ll need to check it conforms to fire safety regulations. Official and useful guidance for this can be found through the Local Government Association and via the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health


Keeping tenants safe

tenant safety–  Ensure there’s a smoke alarm on each floor

–  Place a carbon monoxide detector in rooms with a coal fire/wood burner

–  Regular water maintenance checks to prevent Legionnaire’s disease. More detail on landlord responsibility’s for Legionnaire’s disease can be found on the UK Gov’s Health and Safety Executive website

–  Ensuring that the premises remains safe. One such responsibility is, of course, performing an annual gas safety check. The annual check must be performed by an engineer, who is on the Gas Safe Register


Provide the right documentation

Tenants must receive:

–  The landlord’s name and address (or the details of their letting agent)

–  A copy of the UK government’s How to rent checklist

–  The property’s Energy Performance Certificate and Gas Safety Certificate

–  A record of the most recent gas safety check


Protect the tenant’s deposit

Landlords in England and Wales must place a tenant’s deposit in one of the following government-approved schemes within 30 days of receiving it:

–  Deposit Protection Service

–  MyDeposits

–  Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Landlords in Scotland and Northern Ireland use different schemes, namely:

Scotland –

 Northern Ireland

Tenants are entitled to their deposit upon their departure as long as they paid rent and bills on time, avoided damaging the property and met the terms of their tenancy agreement.

At the end of the tenancy, landlord and tenant agree on the deposit amount and landlords must repay this within 10 days. In any landlord/tenant dispute the deposit is protected in the scheme until the dispute is settled. Your estate agent can support you in the scenario of any dispute, or just look after all the administration of a tenancy end for you.


Pay your taxes

A landlord must pay income tax on their rental income minus their day-to-day running expenses.

You may also need to pay Class 2 National Insurance if all of the following apply to you:

pay your taxes icon

–  Your profits from renting are over £5,695 a year

–  Being a landlord is your main job

–  You rent out multiple properties

–  You’re buying new properties to rent out


Give reasonable notice of your arrival

-Landlords must tell tenants they are visiting the property 24 hours in advance. This applies regardless of the reason for their visit.

-This notice must be given via a letter or email. Text messages are not acceptable.

-Landlords don’t have to give notice if they’re dealing with an emergency, or if a clause in the tenancy agreement grants access for a room cleaning service.


Check the right to rent

Landlords must check a tenant can legally rent a UK property before their tenancy starts.

–  It is illegal to let a property to an illegal migrant.

–  It is also illegal to perform checks selectively. Check all prospective tenants regardless of nationality or ethnicity.

You can confirm if a tenant can rent in the UK if they produce:

A passport from the UK, Switzerland or the European Economic Area

 Certificates of naturalisation and registration as a British citizen

–  A UK immigration status document endorsed with unlimited leave

A tenant can also rent in the UK if they have any 2 of the following:

–  A full or provisional UK driving licence

–  A UK birth certificate

–  Evidence of service in the UK armed forces (current or previous)

–  A letter from a UK government department or local authority

When you receive documents from a prospective tenant, look out for:

–  Photos that are a true likeness of them

–  Dates of birth that are credible and consistent

–  Obvious forgery or tampering of a document.

If the documents satisfy these requirements, you’ll need to:

–  Make copies of all the documents

–  Keep these documents on file

–  Note the date of when you checked them

The above is an overview of responsibilities a landlord has to give you an idea of what to expect as a first-time landlord. For full and official guidance, please read through the Right to Rent Guidance of the Home Office.

The Quantum team can also help you with any rent queries you may have. Being a landlord needn’t be complicated, but it’s important to be aware of regulations and useful to have an expert estate agent to support you. If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord in York and would like some advice from property experts, give us a call today.

To help make the decision of letting easier, we’ve put together a collection of different letting guides for anyone thinking of becoming a landlord.

You can explore our supporting guides here.

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