What are my rights and responsibilities as a landlord?

As a landlord, you have the right to expect your property to be looked after and to end a tenancy if a tenant breaks the agreement. If you own a privately rented property, here are your rights and responsibilities as a landlord. 

Whether you’re a landlord in London or you’re renting out a property elsewhere in the UK, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities in case any issues arise.

Your responsibilities as a landlord

When you start a new tenancy, there are a few admin tasks to sort out. In most instances, you’ll need to check your tenant’s right to rent, register their deposit in a Deposit Protection Scheme, and give them a copy of the How to Rent Guide

It’s your responsibility to make sure:

And that just about covers the basics of the agreement between a landlord and a tenant.

Your rights as a landlord

In return, you have some legal rights that you might need to flex from time to time. For instance, you can access the property for inspections and to carry out repairs, but you must give 24 hours’ notice and come knocking at an appropriate time unless it’s an emergency. On top of that, your tenants must: 

Common areas of dispute

There are a few hot topics that frequently come up when discussing the rights and responsibilities between a landlord and tenant. We always recommend checking the tenancy agreement for clarification, but here are the most common issues. 

Dealing with repairs

The landlord is usually responsible for repairs to the outside of the property and to the inside, including fixtures and fittings, plumbing, gas appliances and ventilation, electrical wiring, and the upkeep of communal areas. As a landlord, you should also let the tenants know when the repairs will be carried out.

Increasing the rent

For fixed-term tenancy agreements, the rent can usually be reviewed either at the end of the term or if the tenant agrees. You must give at least one month’s notice and follow the steps in the agreement. Any increases must also be ‘fair and realistic’, so check other rentals in the area or ask your lettings agent for an indication of how much to charge. 

Evicting a tenant

You can ask a tenant to leave if you want the property back at the end of a fixed-term (known as a Section 21 notice) or if they break the agreement (Section 8 notice). You’ll need to follow strict guidelines and seek legal advice; however, here is a good place to start if you think you have grounds to evict a tenant. 

Deposit disputes

At the end of the tenancy, you will usually receive a check-out report. If there’s damage to the property or unpaid rent, you can suggest a reasonable deduction to cover the costs. If the tenant disputes this amount, you should contact the Deposit Protection Scheme for help resolving the situation. 

Final thoughts

If you’re unsure of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, make sure you check the tenancy agreement for clarification. In the case of disagreements or disputes, we always suggest having a conversation in the first instance. This can be easier through an intermediary such as a lettings agent. At Keatons, we respect the rights of both tenants and landlords. Our aim is always to attract the best tenants and give them every reason to stay in the property long-term. If you are a landlord with a property managed by Keatons, please call us or email info@keatons.com with any questions about your rights and responsibilities. 

See our full list of property advice articles in our Knowledge Centre

About Keatons

Keatons has been based in East London for over 20 years and has since expanded to the north and south of the city. We have an outstanding Trustpilot rating from customers and we are known for helping sellers and landlords achieve the best possible market price for their property. To find out more, visit our website.

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