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 share good practice where this improves housing conditions and reduces the risk of accidents and ill health. We have a duty to discourage the supply of unsafe rented accommodation and to help strengthen the reputation and sustainability of the rented housing market.
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
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.
Although it is not essential, it sometimes helps if you know about the legislation and acts that apply to private landlords and housing. If you wish to view any of these documents you can search the Government legislation database for landlords or housing related documents
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is now required for all properties being advertised to let. It is a legal requirement that the EPC is shown to prospective tenants so they can see how energy efficient the property is and how this will affect their fuel bills.
There are many ways of saving energy and making homes more energy efficient.
Everyday fire risks are present in our homes. The government web site Fire Safety in the Home can be accessed here: https://firekills.campaign.gov.uk/
The government has put together this 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: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-safety-in-shared-or-rented-accommodation
Private sector landlords, since October 2015, are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and 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] with regard to the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations.
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 Housing Act 2004 gives the council powers to intervene depending on the impact of hazards on health and safety. The Act puts the council under a general duty to take appropriate action in relation to hazards with a more serious risk to health and safety.
Operations Enforcement policy-2019-20 [PDF, 395Kb] covers the way in which the council will deal with homes that have deficiencies giving rise to housing conditions which affect the health and safety of occupants, visitors, the public and neighbourhood.
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:
- gas appliances from the Health and Safety Executive’s website
- electrical appliances from the Electrical Safety First website
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
MANDATORY HMO LICENCING
From 1st October 2018 any HMO that 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, will require a license.
For further information please see our Mandatory HMO Licensing page.
The scheme aims to encourage and promote good standards of privately rented accommodation. It also seeks to ensure that landlords are aware of their responsibilities. The scheme applies to the private rented sector.
The scheme requires that the following are fair and reasonable:
- condition of the properties
- the level of provision of basic amenities
- management practices
Those who sign up to the scheme must ensure that they comply with their legal duty in respect of the health and safety rights of their tenants.
Compliance with the scheme will ensure that:
- landlords, tenants and the general public enjoy the benefits of good property conditions, competent management standards and considerate neighbourly behaviour
- misunderstandings and disputes are reduced
- where problems do occur they are promptly resolved
How the scheme operates
On application, landlords will
- provide the council with a list of properties owned or managed by them. These will be held in confidence.
- provide access to properties for the council to carry out inspections.
- ensure that properties are free of Category 1 hazards in accordance with Housing Act 2004.
- ensure that all their properties meet the requirements of the scheme. Alternatively, bring them up to an acceptable conclusion within a period agreed by the council. Tenants must be informed of this arrangement.
- be committed to partnership working.
As a landlord you are obliged to protect your tenants’ deposit within a Government authorised scheme. This came into effect from 1 October 2008 and 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).
The use of the Civil Penalty does not prevent us from undertaking the Works in Default [PDF, 532 Kb] of the landlord.
The Act came into force on 20 March 2019 and is designed to improve standards for renters across the country and strengthen their voices.
Landlords across the private and social rented sectors are now legally obligated to ensure that their homes are fit for human habitation, and tenants have the power to take legal action against their landlord to enforce this.
You can get more information about the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 here.
- Operations Enforcement policy-2019-20 [PDF, 395Kb]
- Northern Lincolnshire Housing Strategy 2013-2018[PDF, 71Kb]
- Landlord Accreditation[PDF, 315Kb]
- Landlords Accreditation Application and Guidance Leaflet[PDF,151Kb]
- Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in the Private Sector[PDF, 796Kb]
- Universal Credit Full Service – information for Landlords[PDF, 2Mb]
- Works in Default guidance[PDF,532Kb]
- Civil Penalties Procedure Guidance 2019[PDF,400Kb]
- How to Rent Guide
- Letting rooms in your home: A guide to resident landlords
- Thinking about renting out your home
- GOV.UK The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015
- Deposit protection explained
- Tenants does your Landlord need a licence for a HMO
- HMO Licence Reform GOV.UK
- GOV.UK – Property Guardians Fact Sheet
- GOV.UK – Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
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