Entering into a rental agreement there are certain responsibilities that Tenants and landlords need to obide by. There is often a lot of confusion surrounding this which can lead to disagreements between landlords and tenants. It is a good idea to ensure you educate yourself as a Landlord as to what these responsibilities are and ensure your tenants are aware of these too. This can help you avoid any misunderstandings and potential disputes.
The rental agreement should outline all of these duties but it is always good to have a written contract in place as a safeguard. It may also be helpful to explain to your tenants what they can expect from you and what you expect from them.
In general as a landlord you have these main responsibilities:
- Ensure the property you let out is habitable and safe
- Protect your tenant’s deposit, by putting it into a deposit protection scheme and swiftly return it at the end of the tenancy following an inspection of the property
- Repair the structure and exterior of the property when needed
- Repair any issues with heating and hot water installations, sinks, baths and electrical wiring
- Ensure that gas and electrical appliances are regularly checked and that you obtain the necessary safety certificates
- Ensure that any furniture you provide is fire safe
- Provide locks and keys in good working order
- Provide new tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), Gas Safety Certificate and and How to rent: The checklist for renting in England
- Follow all fire safety regulations
- Ensure carbon monoxide alarms are fitted in every room with a solid fuel burning source
The responsibilities of a tenant include:
- Pay rent on time, even if you’re having problems with your landlord
- Pay utility bills, such as gas and electricity, telephone, broadband and so on unless agreed otherwise with the landlord
- If you are away during a period of cold weather, ensure the water is turned off at the mains
- Pay council tax, water and sewerage charges in a sanitary condition
- Damages caused by you or your visitors professionally repaired, unless you obtain permission from the landlord to do it yourself
- Don’t sublet, unless it has been previously agreed with the landlord
- Ensure the home is well ventilated to help avoid condensation and damp
- Do minor maintenance such as check smoke alarms are working, change light bulbs
- When you wish to move out, be sure to give the appropriate amount of notice, this is usually outlined in the rental agreement
- On moving out, clean the property and restore it to the condition it was when you moved in, any damage will be deducted from your deposit
There are some common myths and misconceptions when it comes to responsibilities that landlords and tenants have and this can cause grief between the two.
The most common misconceptions include:
The landlord is responsible for decorating –there is no set in stone legal timescales for things such as painting or re-carpeting. Tenants should ask the landlords if they wish to decorate the properties, but this is not the landlord’s responsibility and they can deny the request. The landlord can even ask that the tenants use only certain colours, types of paint and ask what the improvements are before allowing it.
The landlord is responsible for the garden – not necessarily, this should be covered in the tenancy agreement. If your tenants have a garden to themselves, it is reasonable to expect them to maintain the garden themselves, or at the very least get someone else in if they aren’t keen on gardening. If you find that your tenants aren’t keen on gardening and you own more than one property it might be worth employing a gardener.
At Discount Landlord we are able to provide you with competitive Landlord Insurance quotes to the private rented sector for properties including unoccupied properties. Give us a call on 0800 294 4522 today!
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