The Legal Responsibilities of a Landlord

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There are legal responsibilities that must be adhered to if you would like to become a landlord. This brief article will outline these responsibilities, for those of you who are in this position as a check list and for those of you who are currently renting a property and believe that your landlord has breached or is breaching any of these responsibilities.

In a world where house prices are rising rapidly, more and more people are turning to renting and letting as it is a more cost effective solution. It is partly because of the rising numbers of tenants now privately renting that the regulations have increased over the past few years.  You, as the landlord need to be confident that you are acting within the law.

Most of this is fairly apparent and landlords do it automatically, but it’s good to know what the legal requirements are.

Repairs

The law states that a landlord must maintain the property to its proper standard which means that any and all major repairs must be seen to. If you’re not entirely sure what is meant by this see the list below for some examples:

  • Exterior Structural Damage
  • Electrical Issues
  • Boiler Issues
  • Sanitary Concerns

These are the main four; however it could concern a whole plethora of things. In a related note, it might be wise to check this site out about fire safety. All soft furnishings must comply with the 1988 Fire Regulations law.

Gas and Electric

Along with making any necessary repairs to gas and electric issues you must make sure that these facilities are safe for your tenants. There were Gas Safety Regulations set up in 1998 that must be adhered to which include an annual check by a Gas Safe-registered gas installer.

For electrics you don’t have to have an annual check of electrical works; however it is highly recommended that you get them checked regularly by an electrician because if you don’t and something should go wrong and endanger someone’s life then you may be liable.

Disability

If you have anyone living in one of your properties who happens to have a disability it is a legal requirement that any and all of their requirements are met. They must be made comfortable and any impediments to their safety have to be seen to.

There are the top legal requirements we’d like to bring to your attention, but for more information, check out the government’s website

Extra Help

If you are a landlord with a portfolio of properties, it is worth investing in a letting agent to manage the legal and financial of your business.  Most letting agents will use software, such as CFP Software to help with the property management. You can never use the fact that you have too many properties / residents as an excuse for negligence.  It is of the utmost importance that you give each and every one of your tenants the re-assurance that their safety is paramount and that you can demonstrate you comply with all landlord requirements.

Hopefully this article has been of interest to any landlord or tenant who has needed some clarification of the laws around renting out property. As I mentioned above, if you are in need of more information then check out the government’s website which has all information required in much greater detail.

 

Written by Julie Hanson

Julie is passionate about property – development, investment and portfolio planning. Along with husband Alec, Julie is actively building a property portfolio while helping others to do the same.

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