Five landlord's responsibilities you may not be aware of
Every landlord has a long list of responsibilities for the properties they let. These include everything from issuing rental agreements to making sure properties are safe. But there are a handful of other legal landlord duties that aren't as obvious, so let's take a look at five of them.
1. Organising annual gas inspections
Its common sense that landlords are responsible for making sure gas and electrical equipment is tip-top. However, what you might not know is that they have to arrange an inspection every year with a Gas Safe registered engineer. A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be given to tenants after every inspection.
2. Producing a valid EPC
Landlords also have a legal duty to produce an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for all properties before renting them out. An EPC analyses the energy performance of a house and offers tips on how to improve energy efficiency.
The law changed in April this year for new lets and tenancy renewals, making it a legal requirement for properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E. It's due to be rolled out to all existing tenancies from 1st April 2020.
3. Carrying out immigration checks
Tenant screening is key to stress-free tenancies. An important part of this involves landlords carrying out a 'right to rent' check on a tenant, which is pretty much what it says on the tin: making sure the tenant is allowed to live in the UK and therefore, has a right to rent from you. As the Gov.UK website states, this process involves asking for documents proving they can live in the UK, checking they're genuine, producing copies and dating them.
Landlords are advised to familiarise themselves with the exact right to rent requirements and code of practice. And a word of warning – it's illegal to only check people you believe aren't British, and failing to carry out checks could result in an unlimited fine or prison sentence.
4. Securing tenants' deposits
Landlords are legally required to safeguard their tenants' deposits by placing the money in a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS). These schemes are backed by the government and will make sure tenants receive their deposit back at the end of agreement, provided they have met the agreed terms, haven't damaged the property, and have paid the rent and bills.
5. Bathroom repairs
If the bath's leaking or the toilet's flush gives up, the landlord has to fix it. The same goes for any other sanitary fittings, as well as heating and hot water systems. Also, any other issues with the structure of the property falls on the landlord to put right; they must give 24-hour's notice, though in emergencies they may be able to gain access immediately.
Do any of these come as a surprise to you?