Advice for private landlords
By law, any property you let must meet certain standards. You should make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. You should read the advice and information GOV.UK and the National Landlords Association offer. You may also find the information offered by the Eastern Landlords Association useful. (Please note GYBC has no connection with the Eastern Landlords Association and therefore takes no responsibility for any of their website content.)
We also have pages covering Houses in Multiple Occupation and Safety, Standards and Security in Private Rented Housing.
On 1 February 2016, as part of the Immigration Act 2014, the Government made it a requirement for landlords to check the right to rent of prospective tenants.
As a landlord you must:
- Protect any tenancy deposits in a Deposit Protection Scheme
- Repair and maintain gas pipe work, flues and appliances
- Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and keep a record of the checks
- Ensure furniture meets fire safety standards
- Give adequate notice if you need to visit the property
- Ensure repairs to the exterior or structure of the property (for example, roof, drains, chimneys) are carried out
- Ensure the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity are in safe working order
If you want a tenant to leave your property you can either serve a:
This gives you an automatic right of possession without having to give any reasons once the fixed term of the tenancy has expired. You cannot use Section 21 during the fixed term. If your tenant paid a deposit then you must have protected it in a Deposit Protection Scheme. If you haven't you have committed an offence and you will not be able to ask you tenant to leave using Section 21.
This allows you to seek possession using grounds 2, 8, 10 to 15, or 17 as listed in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act. This can be done at any stage of the tenancy, but if you are seeking possession during the fixed term you can only use Section 8 if the tenancy agreement mentions the grounds you are stating.
It is a legal requirement for all private sector landlords to install a smoke alarm on every storey of their rented dwellings and to ensure that these alarms are checked between tenancies. Landlords with solid fuel appliances must now also install a carbon monoxide detector.
To assist landlords and managing agents in compliance, the government has produced a Smoke Alarm Q&A on the requirements of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This should be read in conjunction with the Council's own guidance on Fire Precautions in Dwellings
As part of the Immigration Act 2014, the Government is making it a requirement for landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants. This Law means that from 1 February 2016, landlords with property in England will have to carry out quick and simple checks, to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK. If a landlord rents to an illegal migrant and has not carried out a correct right to rent check, they could be liable to a civil penalty. This penalty is up to £3,000 per tenant.
The roll out of Right to Rent has been informed by input from a panel of experts from trade bodies, local authorities and housing charities and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and backed up by stakeholder events with landlords and agents.
Landlords need to check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. A wide range of documents can be used for the checks, and the Government has worked closely with housing and homelessness charities to design a document list which can accommodate different individual circumstances. This includes where people do not have traditional identity documents such as a passport.
There are resources available to help landlords comply with the new rules, including an online checking aid which landlords can use to guide them through the process and to request a check on anyone who has an outstanding case with the Home Office.
More information about making the checks is available on GOV.UK.