Renting Out Your Property – What Are Your Responsibilities As A Landlord?
3 minute read
When you buy a property to let, or decide to rent out your existing property, and become a landlord for the first time there are a few rules and obligations that will apply to you. You should be aware of your responsibilities way before investing in a buy to let property so you know what to expect. You must make sure that the following key aspects of renting out a residential property are covered and adhered to:
Your tenants deposit is stored safely in an approved scheme, not kept by you, and your tenants are notified of what scheme you’re using.
The house is completely safe and free of any hazards.
Fire safety precautions are taken for the property. First alarms should be installed and functional, one on each floor of the property. You should also ensure that there is a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket installed in the kitchen area of the property.
The tenants are provided with an energy performance certificate for the property.
Electrical and gas equipment are inspected and deemed safe and maintained throughout the tenancy. You will need to have all the relevant certification from a qualified plumber or electrician to prove that everything has been tested.
You are responsible for arranging insurance policies for the building, and if the property is being provided as fully or partly furnished, the contents too.
If there is a buy to let mortgage on the property, you are responsible for ensuring that the mortgage payments are made.
You are also responsible for providing a correctly drawn up and legally binding tenancy agreement which specifies the obligations and responsibilities of both yourself as the landlord and your tenants.
As a landlord you’ll have to pay income tax on any rent you receive and it’s your responsibility to declare that to HMRC.
As a residential landlord you’ll also be responsible for making any property repairs. The property should always be kept in a good condition for any prospective tenants. If you need to make repairs, you must give your tenants at least twenty four hours’ notice before you or the people carrying out the repairs turn up at the property. If a tenant finds that a repair has not been carried out properly and the house is unsafe as a result, they do have the right to take you to small claims court. Always make sure that you commission a reputable company to carry out any repairs.
If you feel it’s fair that your property’s rent should be increased, the amount you increase it by will depend on the tenancy and what the tenant agrees to. If you find yourself in a dispute, there are several actions you can take to try and resolve it, including talking to your tenant and providing them with a formal and detailed letter. More often than not, this will resolve any issues.