What are your Landlords responsibilities?
The Landlord Tenant relationship should normally be a very simple and uncomplicated one but it is definately a legal. These are Legal Responsibilities, your landlord cannot avoid them. If they do they are in breach of the law and may be prosecuted. In other articles found within the Tenantstips website more specific information on each area is covered in more detail. Use the “site search” tool to find more detailed information.
The landlord must not disturb you
The landlord needs to allow the tenant the right to live with quiet enjoyment of the rental property. Landlords may need access to the accommodation to inspect it and do repairs but they must let you live in your home without unnecessary interference. If you are a tenant then your landlord can't come in whenever they feel like it, and should give proper notice and arrange a suitable time if they need to visit. The amount of notice they have to give might be set out in your tenancy agreement; it can be a minimum of 24 hours. You can ask your landlord to stop entering your home without your permission. It may be classed as harassment if they persist. You may even be able to change the locks if you want to.
Landlords must do certain repairs
Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior or structure of a property. This means that problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains are the responsibility of the landlord. Landlords are also responsible for keeping the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity in safe working order.
The rented property must meet certain safety rules
Landlords have legal obligations to ensure the safety of tenants. They must obtain a gas safety certificate and have regular inspections of the gas supply and every gas appliance in the property, these must be issued by a registered gas engineer and renewed every year.
Landlords must ensure that any necessary work identified by gas engineers is carried out. Landlords must ensure furniture meet fire safety standards and landlords must ensure electrical equipment provided is safe.
Landlords of certain buildings that are occupied by more than one household (these include houses split into bedsits, or houses of multiple occupation) have extra legal obligations to provide adequate fire precautions and means of escape from fire.
If the landlord want's you to leave – they must follow the law
Most landlords will have to give a written notice AND get a court order to evict their tenants. The specific legal procedure has to be followed depends on the type of tenancy and the reasons for the eviction (See Section Notices), however the section notice is simply a piece of paper and the landlord cannot evict you without a court order and an eviction notice. If a landlord tries to force a tenant to leave without following the correct procedure they may be carrying out an illegal eviction. Similarly, landlords are not allowed to harass their tenants (for example, by coming round too often or at unsuitable times). Both of these are serious criminal offences, which can lead to fines or imprisonment. However we suggest that if you do not want a CCJ against your name then leave when the section notice expires unless you have just reason to fight it.
Landlords must follow the law when receiving of rent and when chasing any rent arrears.
Landlords have to inform tenants when the rent is to be paid and they should tell you how they want it paid, normally this is in the tenancy agreement. They can't refuse to accept the rent from their tenants. If a landlord does so, you should keep trying to pay it and keep the money separate (for example, in a separate bank account) and get advice. Increasing the rent can only be done at certain times during the tenancy and only in certain circumstances. These depend on the type of tenancy you have and what your agreement says about when the rent can be increased. If the rent is paid weekly, private landlords have to provide a rent book.
The landlord is responsible for looking after your deposit
The landlords must register the fact that you have given a deposit and notify you within 14 days of what scheme the deposit has been registered with together with details of how to make a claim against the landlord if the deposit is withheld unreasonably at the end of the tenancy.
The landlord must give you their name and address and other information you request
Landlords have to give their tenants their name and a UK contact address. If the property is managed by a letting or property agent, they must also provide you with the landlord's full name and address. Any requests should be made in writing; you should also keep a copy of the letter and send it by recorded delivery, if you want proof of postage. If you don't get a reply in writing within 21 days of them receiving your letter, the landlord is committing a criminal offence. Your next step could be to report your landlord to the local council or see advice at the Citizens Advice Bureau. You should also be able to get your landlord's details from the land registry or the Letting Agent.
The landlord must provide an EPC
Landlords must give you an approved Energy Performance Certificate upon demand. By law a landlord MUST have one of these before the property is put up to let. If you feel energy efficiency is an important consideration for you when renting a property you can ask the landlord or the landlord agent for a copy BEFORE you make the decision to rent the property.
So, now you know the basics of landlords responsibilities and as you can see your landlords obligations are numerous. These are Legal Requirements, they cannot avoid them. If they fall short you do have law on your side, and can do something about getting the necessary works done. Feel free to search tenantstips to find more specific information on any area where you feel your landlord is not upholding their part of the agreement and what you can do about it.