Landlords: Your 5 Biggest Responsibilities

Get West London recently reported that a landlord has been fined for failing to rewire a rental property after a house fire broke out.

After a fire in the property in May 2015, the London Fire Brigade found the electrics to be in poor condition, and they informed Kensington and Chelsea Council. After an inspection, the landlord was ordered to carry out repairs, but he did not have the available funds.

As a result, he now has to pay over £4,000 in fines.

The same publication also recently reported on two other landlords being fined £300,000 for cramming too many tenants into their properties.

Both of these cases highlight once again the need for landlords to provide a safe service to their tenants.

But what exactly are your main responsibilities as a landlord? Here are 5 of the most important.

1. Ensure the Electronics Are in Good Order


The landlord reported in the article did not ensure the wiring was safe in his property, and this is something you must do as a landlord.

You are responsible for the safety of all electrical fittings including lights and sockets. All devices must also have the CE mark, which declares that it meets European law.

There are further requirements in a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) where you must hire an electrician to carry out a test at least once every five years.

2. Carry Out an Annual Gas Safe Inspection


Gas can be a killer. Carbon monoxide from unsafe gas fittings is incredibly dangerous, and as the landlord, you must ensure a gas safety inspection is carried out each year by a Gas Safe engineer.

They must give you a Gas Safety Certificate, and you have to give it to your tenants. Checks must be made to all installations and appliances including air vents and pipes.

3. Make Necessary Repairs


You must make any required repairs to a number of features of the property, and you could be forced to make the repairs if your tenants complain. These include the structure of the property, the outside of the property, baths and sinks, pipes, drains, heating appliances, electronics and gas fittings.

4. Meet Fire Safety Requirements


Fire safety is crucial in any rental property. As the landlord, you have a number of obligations to meet, which include providing access to escape routes and ensuring that furniture and fittings are fire safe.

You must also install a smoke alarm on all the floors of your property, and you must have a carbon monoxide detector in any room with a fuel-burning device.

5. Provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)


The Energy Performance Certificate is not a safety requirement, but it is still one of your obligations as a landlord.

The EPC is a requirement to let any property. It provides information on how energy efficient a property is, and you must give the certificate to tenants. If you fail to do so, you could receive a fine.

Know Your Obligations


Landlord responsibilities are in place to ensure the safety and comfort of your tenants, so make sure you are up to date with all of your obligations. That way, you can stay on the right side of the law, and you will also be providing a safe and secure home for your tenants.