What Are Your Responsibilities as a Landlord (Before the Tenant Moves in)?
Landlord life rocks, right?
Rent Guarantee Insurance for £299
- ✓ Covered for £2,500 per month
- ✓ Claim up to £25,000
- ✓ Free access to legal advice
You’ve let your property, the rent is flowing in, and you are sitting back with your feet up. Your investment is paying off, literally. While the previous statements are indeed correct, there is a smidgen of effort that goes into being a successful landlord, and it’s not all plain sailing.
Many landlords aren’t entirely aware of their obligations to a tenant once the deal has been struck and the new renter has the keys to the home. But before they have even moved in, landlords have a set of specific responsibilities that need fulfilling.
Whether you’re new to the landlord game or are a seasoned vet who wants to brush up on their skills, you’ve come to the right place.
And where is that place, you ask?
It just so happens to be mashroom’s guide to helping you understand your responsibilities as a landlord.
A pair of safe hands
Tenant safety is kind of a thing. Actually, it’s the most important thing. Your first responsibility as a landlord is to make sure the condition of the property you are letting is in tip-top shape. It legally has to be safe for the tenant to inhabit.
Here are some of the things you need to check before they move in.
(Don’t) bring the heat
If you have let the property fully furnished with snazzy couches, tables, chairs and all those other delightful pieces of furniture, it is important that you make sure they meet fire furnishing safety regulations. Check for safety labels, which should be easily detectable on the items, before buying. If you are unsure, check with the manufacturer or company selling the items.
Ring the alarm
2015 saw the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations come into play. Landlords must legally equip their property with a minimum of one smoke alarm on each floor. It is also a requirement to have a carbon alarmin any room that burns solid fuel. Every alarm needs to be checked to see if it’s in working order before any tenancy commences.
Do you feel the electricity?
A Gas Safety engineer will need to visit the property to make sure that all appliances are in working order. You will also need to make sure that electricity is working correctly and doesn’t pose any type of hazard. Finally, an EPC (energy performance certificate) is required before the property can be officially let.
Drip, drip, drip
There are many aspects you might not consider before letting your property. One of those is Legionnaires disease. By law, a water safety check needs to be performed to make sure the property is free of Legionnaires disease bacteria. And if you’re wondering exactly what Legionnaires disease is, here’s the lowdown.
Keep it safe. Keep it moving
Once all the safety checks have been carried out and the property is ready to go,, the new tenant(s) can move in. Any further checks that need undertaking while the tenant lives in your property require you to give them 24 hours notice (unless it’s an emergency. Then you can *break the door down Rambo style).
*Please don’t break the door down Rambo style. You will need to buy a new door and your tenant won’t be best pleased.
Your tenant also has the right to call the local council to carry out any inspections if they believe they are in danger from something not working in the home. If the council finds any issues with your property, they may decide to fix the problem there and then (depending on severity) and bill you later. Even worse, they could deem the property not fit for purpose and stop you from letting it out while also making it your responsibility to re-house the tenant.
Of course, such a situation is a worst-case scenario, and a good relationship with your tenant should stop anything that drastic from happening.
Can you fix it? Yes you can
Wear and tear is bound to see the minor issue arise here and there, including things like appliances breaking down. Fixing boilers, a broken washing machine and any plumbing issues all fall under your jurisdiction, which means you need to repair them if there are any issues. However, if it’s not a natural break and the tenant has caused the problem through negligence, they will be responsible.
As a landlord, you have a responsibility to make sure the property is kept in good repair and is structurally sound. The property should also be damp free, allow natural light, be well ventilated, have water and electricity, be insulated, and have facilities for personal hygiene, such as good drainage and sanitation, food cooking capabilities and preparations and suitable water disposal.
In other words, you can’t rent out your shed and claim it as a classy pied a terre with all the bells and whistles.
Know your role and prosper
Your responsibilities as a landlord might seem somewhat daunting at first. But once you start checking everything off, you will find that it’s all fairly straightforward. Of course, if you do have any question or there is anything you’re not sure about, get in touch with one of our mashroomer’s, who will happily assist and advise on what needs to be done before handing the keys over to your brand new tenant.