Private Sector Housing Landlords
If you rent out your property, you’re a landlord. As a landlord you must:
- You must keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
- make sure all gas equipment and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained
- give an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
- confirm your tenant has the right to rent your property if it’s in England
- give your tenant a copy of the current version of How to rent checklist when they start renting from you (you can email it to them)
Landlords have gas safety responsibilities: the gas supply and appliances in a private rented home must be in a safe condition.
Gas boilers, fires and appliances must be fitted or repaired by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
A gas safety check must be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This includes gas pipework, gas cookers, gas boilers, gas fires and gas water heaters. The landlord isn't responsible for the safety of gas appliances owned by tenants.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
It is the responsibility of a private landlord to:
- install a smoke alarm on every floor of their property
- install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance. Note: From 1 October 2022, this includes gas appliances but excludes gas cookers.
- check that alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy and repair or replace any defective alarms if reported as faulty.
If they fail to meet these responsibilities, which are set under the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 Act, the Council may serve a notice for the work to be carried out. Failure to comply will result in the work being carried out in default by the Council who will recover costs and impose a fine of up to £5,000.
If, as a landlord, you would like to know more about how to fit Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms in accordance with the relevant British Standards, you can read further information on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm at Gov UK website.
Electrical Safety in Private Rented Properties
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 were introduced by the government. They ensure electrical installations in privately rented properties are safe. The regulations require landlords to arrange for regular inspections. They must also deal with any defects identified quickly, so there is no potential danger to the tenants.
Which properties do the regulations apply to?
The regulations applied to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020, and to existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021.
A specified tenancy is one that:
- grants one or more persons the right to occupy all or part of the premises as their only residence
- provides for payment of rent (whether at market value or not)
- is not an excluded tenancy
Excluded tenancies are:
- long leases of seven years or more
- where the tenant shares the property, or part, with the landlord (or a member of the landlord's family)
- where the landlord is a registered social landlord
- student halls of residence
- hostels, refuges and care homes
- hospitals, hospices and other care related accommodation
Landlords must ensure electrical safety standards are met before starting to let a property, and during any tenancy.
In order to do this, an inspection of the electrical installation must be carried out by a person who is qualified and registered with a competent person scheme every five years - or more frequently, if the most recent report requires it.
A copy of the report, known as the Electrical Safety Condition Report (EICR), must be provided to the tenant, and to the local authority if requested.
Action required by landlord
If the report identifies any code 1 (C1) defects indicating danger with a risk of injury, action must be taken to remove the risk by the competent person before leaving the property.
If there are code 2 (C2) defects indicating potential danger, the landlord must arrange for these defects to be dealt with by a competent person with 28 days - or sooner, if stated in the report.
If any part of the installation is noted as requiring further investigation (F1), the landlord must arrange for this to be carried out by a competent person within 28 days. If this results in further code 1 or 2 defects being identified, these must be dealt with in the time scales above.
Code 3 (C3) defects are advisory and a recommendation for improvement to the installation.
Landlords have a duty to comply with the regulations. Failure to do so can result in service of a remedial notice, requiring works to be carried out to make the installation safe. If the notice is not complied with, the Council can apply a penalty of up to £30,000 and/or arrange for the works to be carried out and recover costs.
For more information, please read the government’s guidance about electrical safety standards for landlords.
You can also email our Private Sector Housing team.