Domestic rental property: landlord and tenant responsibilities
As a landlord, there are some rules you must follow and certain obligations you have to your tenants.
Repairs in rental properties
In the day-to-day maintenance of the property, you are responsible for any repairs to the structure of the property and any furnishings or equipment supplied with the property. The tenant is responsible for any repairs to their belongings or damage that is their fault.
Records landlords must keep
You are obliged to keep the following records:
- a rent book
- a statement of tenancy terms
- a gas safety certificate, for any gas appliances in the property
- an Energy Performance Certificate
- information on the tenancy deposit protection scheme you've chosen to protect the tenant's deposit and some prescribed information relating to the deposit
- an inventory
Communication with tenants
If you are planning any action that will impact on your tenants, you should inform them in a timely manner. Let your tenants know in advance of any of the following:
- repairs and improvements to the property
- sale of the property/the property being repossessed
- you or anyone else entering the property (normally you will need the tenants permission)
It is important that your tenants are able to contact you when a problem arises and that you respond within a reasonable time. Even if your property is managed by an agent, you still must give your name address and telephone to the tenant in the rent book and statement of tenancy terms.
Deposits for rental properties
If you take a deposit for a private tenancy on or after 1 April 2013 you are legally obliged to protect this deposit in an authorised scheme. If the deposit was taken before 1 April 2013 it does not need to be placed in a protection scheme, but you should keep it in a separate account, have clear records about when you received the deposit and give your tenants a receipt. Read more about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
A security deposit belongs to a tenant. You cannot retain some or all of the money unless you have suffered a financial loss which was caused by the tenant failing to do something that he or she was contractually or legally obliged to do. The process for retaining deposit depends on whether it was taken after 1 April 2013.