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:
- The property is in a good state of repair and without health hazards.
- The tenant can live in the property undisturbed.
- They have a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate.
- They are protected against unfair eviction and excessive charges.
- You give them their deposit back in full at the end of the tenancy (unless it’s in dispute).
- Tenants also have a right to know who you are as a landlord.
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:
- Look after your property and take steps to prevent damage.
- Repair or pay for any damage caused by misuse.
- Pay the agreed rent on time even if repairs are needed.
- Keep on top of other charges such as Council Tax and bills.
- Not to sublet the property without your permission.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about your rights and responsibilities.
See our full list of property advice articles in our Knowledge Centre.
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.