Housing advice for landlords

Guidance and support for landlords and property managers.

Your responsibilities

It is important to be aware of the responsibilities you have and what rights your tenant has. You also need to be aware of your responsibilities for maintaining the premises and for the health and safety of your tenants.

We provide advice and guidance to landlords and property managers on legal requirements for renting out property. We also share good practice where this improves housing conditions and reduces the risk of accidents and ill health.

We encourage landlords to join the council’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme and a professional body so that they are well informed to run their business in accordance with legal requirements and good practice.

Further information

You can manage the property yourself, however if you do not want to you can use a third party to take responsibility:

Letting agencies

You can pay a letting agent to manage your property and become the main point of contact for tenants. This means they will handle repairs, rent issues and other problems.

Housing associations

If you let your property through a housing association it is possible to protect your income as well as reduce your responsibilities as a landlord.

Landlord insurance is essential for anyone who is thinking of (or is already renting out) their property. It is recommended that you purchase landlord insurance, which provides the right protection and additional cover you need as standard.

A tenant also needs contents insurance as they are responsible for their own contents. You are advised to inform your tenant of this.

It helps if you know about the legislation and Acts that apply to private landlords and housing. You can search for housing or landlord related documents on the Government legislation database

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 1 June 2020. The new regulations aim to ensure all landlords in the Private Rented Sector make sure that the electrical installation in their rented properties are safe. The regulations apply to all new specified tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021. For further information see The NAPIT Guidance for Landlords

For further information regarding Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) see the Guide for Landlords on GOV.UK.

How to find a qualified and competent person

For help finding a qualified and competent person see Registered Competent Person Electrical

For information about competent registered electricians and enforcement of the Building Regulations see Electrical safety: Approved Document P on GOV.UK

The new electrical regulations for landlords are available on the Electrical Safety Roundtable website

Financial penalties

Where a landlord has breached the duties imposed by these regulations, the council may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000. And in the event of continuing failure, this can be increased to more than one financial penalty.

Where landlords have been requested to provide evidence of an EICR by the council, copies of the certificate should be forwarded to EICR@northlincs.gov.uk.

An energy performance certificate (EPC) shows how energy efficient your home is. The purpose of providing an EPC during the sale or renting process is to enable potential buyers or tenants to consider the energy performance of a building.

All properties now being advertised for rent (or if your home is put on the market) must have an EPC. This must be available for tenants and prospective tenants or prospective buyers to see.

Read more government guidance and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

EPCs are valid for 10 years and ratings are shown on a scale of A-G, with A being the most efficient and G being least efficient. The certificate also includes an environmental Carbon Dioxide (CO2) rating that indicates a properties impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Recommendations for improving a properties energy efficient rating can be found on the EPC.

It is an offence to sell or rent a property without a valid EPC unless relevant exemptions are in place. Further details about enforcement of the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 (as Amended) can be found on the Government website.

Domestic Private Rented Properties and Additional Landlord responsibilities for Energy Performance Certificates

The Domestic Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) Regulations set a minimum energy efficiency level for domestic private rented properties. The Regulations apply to all domestic private rented properties that are:

  • let on specific types of tenancy agreement
  • legally required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

This additional regulation was introduced to help improve the energy efficiency of privately rented homes in England and Wales. MEES was introduced to help reduce emissions from homes, reduce energy bills, and improve the health and wellbeing of occupiers.

These Regulations mean that, since 1 April 2018, private landlords may not let domestic properties on new tenancies to new or existing tenants if the Energy Efficiency Certificate (EPC) rating is F or G (unless an exemption applies). Further Government Guidance the Regulations and Enforcement can be found on the Government webpage: Domestic private rented property: minimum energy efficiency standard – landlord guidance.

Proposed changes to be aware of

The Government is considering increasing the minimum EPC rating for rental properties to a C by 2030. With plans to have this in place from 2025 for new tenancies and 2028 for existing tenancies. Three key points being considered are:

  • reducing energy bills and increased comfort for tenants and supporting delivery of our statutory fuel poverty target of EPC C by 2030
  • potential property value improvements for landlords
  • delivering carbon emission savings over Carbon Budgets 4 and 5, making progress towards our net zero target.

More information about this proposed change can be found on the Government webpage: Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes.


Some properties may be exempt from the MEES Regulations. Landlords will need to give reasons and provide evidence of an exemption.
Exemptions include:

  • High cost exemption
  • All improvements made exemption
  • Wall insulation exemption
  • Third parts consent exemption
  • Property devaluation exemption
  • New landlord exemption
  • Historic or listed Buildings exemption.

More information relating to Guidance on PRS exemptions and Exemptions Register evidence requirements can be found on the Gov website.

Exemptions last for five years, are free to register and need to be registered via the national PRS Exemption Register.

Financial penalties

If it is confirmed that a property is (or has been) let in breach of the Regulations, the council may serve a financial penalty up to 18 months after the breach and/or publish details of the breach for at least 12 months.

The council will check the following non-compliances

  • from 1 April 2018, you let your property in breach of the Regulations
  • from 1 April 2020, you continue to let your property in breach of the Regulations
  • you have registered any false or misleading information on the PRS Exemptions Register.

If a private landlord continues to rent a property with an EPC rating of F or G with no registered exemption, they can receive a maximum penalty of £5000.

The Housing Act 2004 gives Local Authorities the powers to enforce the minimum Housing Standards in the private rented sector using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) where penalties can be up to £30,000. Further information of how North Lincolnshire Council deal with poor housing conditions which affect the health and safety of occupants can be found in the councils’  Enforcement Policy [PDF, 464Kb]

Please also see North Lincolnshire Councils’ Operations Enforcement policy [PDF, 166Kb]

Detailed Landlord and Enforcement Guidance with Worked Examples can be found on the Government website.

How to find a qualified person

A qualified energy assessor will carry out the assessment and produce the EPC. Find a local energy assessor.

Report a property that is not energy efficient

If you are aware of a property that is being let to tenants with an EPC rated F or G, or without an EPC, please let us know by emailing housing@northlincs.gov.uk

The government has produced a leaflet for people in shared or rented homes who are at greater risk from fire. The advice and tips provided in the shared or rented accommodation leaflet supplement the main fire safety in the home leaflet.

For further information on fire safety visit firekills on Gov.UK

Private sector landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties. They must also have a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a fixed combustion appliance (other than a gas cooker). For example, coal fire, wood burning stove, gas fire or gas boiler. After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Any landlord failing to comply with the requirements could face a £5,000 fine.

For further information please read the Statement of principles  [PDF, 212Kb].

We have a legal responsibility to regulate housing conditions. The Housing Standards team work to address the problem of hazardous homes in North Lincolnshire using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

The Operations Enforcement Policy [PDF, 166Kb] provides guidance to officers, businesses and the general public on how to comply with legislation.

The Housing Enforcement Policy [PDF, 140Kb] describes how the council deals with poor housing conditions which affect the health and safety of occupants.

Housing enforcement fees per hour – £56.61
Mileage – £0.50 per mile

The landlord is not generally responsible for rebuilding the property in the case of damage by fire, flood or other inevitable accident.

As a landlord you are legally responsible to keep gas and electrical appliances in safe working order. You can get more information on:

You are obliged to have an annual gas safety inspection carried out on all gas installations and appliances. This must be undertaken by a Gas Safe Registered person competent to do this

You will require a licence if your property is :

  • occupied by five or more persons who form two or more separate households
  • and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet

For further information please see our Mandatory HMO Licensing page.

The council’s Landlord Accreditation Scheme is currently being refreshed.  Please check back later for updates or contact us for further information.

As a landlord you are obliged to protect your tenants’ deposit within a Government authorised scheme. There are three approved schemes:

If any other scheme is used your deposit is not protected in law. The scheme safeguards your deposit and resolves disputes over repayment of a deposit from a landlord at the end of a tenancy. It ensures tenants receive it back at the end of the tenancy if they are entitled to it.

Section 249A of the Housing Act 2004 allows local housing authorities to impose Civil Penalties as an alternative to prosecution for a variety of relevant housing offences. For further information please see Civil Penalties Enforcement Procedure Guidance 2019 [PDF,431Kb] and the Housing Act 2004. The maximum penalty which can be imposed is £30,000

A financial penalty can be imposed for the following offences:

  • failure to comply with an Improvement Notice (Section 30)
  • offences in relation to licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) (Section 72)
  • offences in relation to licensing of houses under Part 3 of the Act (Section 95)
  • offences of contravention of an Overcrowding Notice (Section 139)
  • failure to comply with Management Regulations in respect of HMOs (Section 234).

For further information, please see the Civil Penalties Enforcement Guidance and Procedure [PDF,431Kb] and Housing Act 2004.

To pay a Civil Penalty Notice please use the link below. Please ensure when you are making payment that you quote the correct reference number.

If you are struggling to make on online payment, please call 01724 296051 (Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm).

Civil Penalties

Please see section above – Civil Penalties.

Demand for Expenses

Section 49 of the Housing Act 2004 allows a local housing authority to make such reasonable charge as they consider appropriate as a means of recovering certain administrative and other expenses incurred by them in serving certain specific notices and/or certain specific orders. For further information please see the Housing Act 2004.

To pay a Civil Penalty or a Demand for Expenses charge, please click the link below. Please ensure when you are making payment that you quote the correct reference number.

If you are struggling to make on online payment, please call 01724 296051 (Monday to Thursday 8.30am to– 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm)

Tenants may be evicted if they do not follow certain basic rules, such as:

  • paying their rent
  • not causing a nuisance
  • being responsible for visitors and guests
  • looking after the property and not damaging it

Harassment and illegal eviction

Harassment and illegal eviction are criminal offences. Tenants who are being harassed or have been illegally evicted by their landlord can claim damages through the civil court.

  • The council has the power to prosecute landlords for harassment of their tenants.
  • The council has the power to prosecute landlords for the illegal eviction of their tenants under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977

For further information see Private Renting Evictions on Gov.UK or contact us for further advice.

The Act is designed to improve standards for renters across the country and strengthen their voices. Landlords must ensure that their homes are fit for human habitation, and tenants have the power to take legal action against their landlord to enforce this.

For more information see Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 on Gov.UK


Housing Advice Team


Housing Standards Team


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01724 297000