Private renting - general advice

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985   This link will take you to an external website... the landlord is responsible for repairs to:

  • The structure and exterior of the dwelling
  • Basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations in the dwelling
  • Heating and hot water installations.

The landlord is generally not responsible for repairs arising from damage caused by the tenant or for the rebuilding of the property in the event of fire, flood or any other inevitable accident.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

As of the 1 October 2015, private sector landlords are required to ensure that at least one smoke alarm (mains connected as referenced above for HMO’s) is installed on every storey of their rented property and that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. These regulations also require landlords to ensure that such alarms are in proper working order at the start of each new tenancy.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015: explanatory booklet  GOV.UK This link will take you to an external website... for local authorities.

Planning and Building Control

The use of a property for HMO may constitute a change of use for Planning purpose and may require Planning consent if six or more people are living there. Likewise, any improvements may require Building Regulations approval. It is the owner/landlords responsibility to ensure all necessary approvals are obtained and for this reason the owner/landlord should contact Planning and/or Building Control from the outset.

NB. We are due to provide further information on our web site concerning HMO and other Private Sector Housing matters, e.g. Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

Landlords in England and Wales must put a tenants deposit into a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme GOV.UK This link will take you to an external website... if you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 06 April 2007.

Energy Performance Certificates

From 01 October 2008 landlords are required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when they rent out a home.  An EPC gives information on the energy efficiency of a property you want to let.

You must make the EPC available free of charge to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity.  This should be when they are first given written information about the property or view it, and before any rental contract is entered into.

The Redress Scheme for Letting Agency Work and Property Management Work

Since 01 October 2014 it has been a legal requirement for all letting agents and property management agents to belong to a Government approved redress scheme GOV.UK This link will take you to an external website... . This means that tenants, landlords, leaseholders and freeholders in the private rented sector will be able to complain to an independent organisation about the service they have received. The intention is that the requirement to belong to a redress scheme will help to weed out bad agents and property managers, driving up private rented sector standards.

This requirement will be enforced by Local Authorities, who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 where an agent or property manager who should have joined a scheme has not done so.

The 3 schemes are:

Ombudsman Services Property This link will take you to an external website... Tel: 0330 440 1634

Property Redress Scheme This link will take you to an external website... Tel: 0208 275 7131

The Property Ombudsman This link will take you to an external website... Tel: 01722 333306

Last reviewed: 12 - 01 - 2016

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