As a landlord, you have certain legal responsibilities and rights.

The following information applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies:

Rental worthiness

You must ensure that all locks and catches on doors and windows are in good repair and working order, that all appliances (where applicable) such as a cooker, refrigerator, washing machine, hot water/central heating system etc. are in working order and that all fixtures, fittings and contents are in a state of good repair and in an acceptable level of hygienic cleanliness.

Access to the property

You must provide the tenant with at least 24 hours’ notice if you wish to access the property unless it’s an emergency and you need immediate access. The tenant has the legal right to enjoy the property during the tenancy without frequent visits from the landlord.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

You must place your tenant’s deposit in one of the Government approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes. These schemes ensure that the deposit is protected and fairly returned to the tenant at the end of the agreed term. You or your letting agent will need to place the deposit in a scheme within 30 days of being paid by the tenant. If there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy, the deposit will be held until the issue is resolved. If the issue is not resolved, each scheme offers free independent adjudications to settle the matter.

Sebastian Roche uses the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) which is an insured option.

Insurance

You must make sure that the property and contents are adequately insured. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own belongings.

Furniture

You are expected to ensure that all upholstered furniture provided complies with the Fire and Furnishings (fire)(safety) Regulations 1988 and the Fire and Furnishings (fire)(safety)(Amendment) Regulations 1993.

Gas appliances

You must ensure that all gas appliances are checked once a year by a gas safe registered engineer. and keep a record of any defects found and the remedial action taken under the Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998. A Gas Safety Certificate for all gas equipment must be given to the tenants.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors

You must ensure that there is a smoke alarm on every floor in the property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where solid fuel is used.

Electrical appliances

You must ensure that any electrical equipment supplied at the property complies with either the Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1989 or the Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994. Since 1st January 1997, all new electrical equipment must comply with 1994 regulations and carry the appropriate CE symbol affixed by the manufacturer.

Other landlord responsibilities

  • You cannot discriminate against tenants or treat them differently because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or disability.
  • Pregnant tenants should also receive fair and equal treatment.
  • You must keep to the terms outlined in the tenancy agreement
  • You must supply your contact details to your tenants
  • You must supply an up to date EPC
  • Locks cannot be changed without informing the tenant
  • You must obtain all necessary consents from your lender, freeholder and insurer (where applicable)

Serving notice

There are 2 main routes private landlords can take to regain possession of their property under the Housing Act 1988:

  1. Section 21 gives a landlord an automatic right of possession without having to give any grounds (reasons) once the fixed term has expired
  2. Section 8 allows a landlord to seek possession using grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15 or 17 listed in Schedule 2 to the Act. These include rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.

In all cases you must give your tenant written notice, usually at least 2 months, of your intention to regain possession.

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