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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) will show how easy your property is to heat and give you an indication of the annual heating costs. The certificate also includes an environmental C02 rating that indicates your home’s impact on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions as well as the potential for improvement.

All properties now being advertised for rent (or if your home is put on the market for sale) must have an energy performance certificate (EPC). This must be available for a tenant and prospective tenants or prospective buyers to see. An accredited domestic energy assessor will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate. For further information see Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards on 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 solid fuel burning appliance (for example, coal fire or wood burning stove). 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.

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.

We are given power under Section 126 and Schedule 9 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to impose a financial penalty called a ‘Civil Penalty’ as an alternative to prosecution. 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 Procedure Guidance 2019 [PDF,431Kb] and  the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

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

Contact

Housing Advice Team

housingadvice@northlincs.gov.uk

Housing Standards Team

housing@northlincs.gov.uk

Customer Contact Centre

01724 297000