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Legal obligations

Legal obligations

SKU: 5.22
  • Advice

    Obtain the correct licences. 

    All landlords need to hold certain licenses, if the property is to be let to more than three people, you must apply for a House in Multiple occupation licence (HMO). This will be a crucial part if you intend to rent your property to students or as a house share.

    Please note that if three people ask to rent the house as a group, you still must apply for an HMO if they do not fall under the following: 

    • Married or living together (including same-sex couples);
    • Relatives or half-relatives (e.g., grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings); or
    • Step-parents and step-children.

    You must also sek a HMO licence from the council if your residents share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities. The council will be required to carry out a Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHRSS) assessment.


    Ensure the safety of your tenants.

    It is of paramount importance that you ensure that the property is safe to occupy before renting it out. These would include fitting smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide monitors in all rooms that use solid fuels like coal or gas. You must make sure that these all work before the beginning of the tenancy. You must also comply with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998.


    All furniture and furnishings provided in your property should comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. This means that all of the furniture you supply in the property must be ''fire-resistant''. However, this only applies to furniture often used for practical purposes such as beds and sofas, technically furnishings such as curtains and carpets etc. aren't not included in these regulations but it makes obvious sense to minimize any risk. 

    You must ensure that all electrical products within your property are safe to use and arrange a five-yearly electrical safety check by a qualified and competent person (this applies to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021).


    Maintenance and Repairs

    Small tasks such as changing lightbulbs and keeping on top of general cleaning are the responsibility of the tenant. However, any more extensive maintenance or repairs that might be required are your responsibility to fix. These include items such as a cracked window, faulty boiler, supplied white goods issues. Please note you are also responsible for the exterior of the property so check the state of the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering, drains etc.


    Energy Performance Certificate

    As a landlord, you will need to purchase an EPC for a property before you let it. From 1 April 2018, the property must have a minimum rating of E on its EPC. 


    Information for your tenant

    As a landlord, you must provide your tenant with your full name and address, or details of your letting agent. Your tenant must also receive a copy of the Government's How to Rent guide, which gives practical advice about what to do before and during a let.


    Protecting a tenant's deposit

    As a landlord, you must protect the tenancy deposit with a UK government-approved deposit protection scheme, if you don't protect the deposit, you can be fined, and it can be much more challenging to end the tenancy. Deposits must be returned in full at the end of the tenancy unless there is a dispute about damage caused to the property or unpaid rent.


    Accessing the property

    As a landlord, you will inevitably need to access the property from time to time to carry out repairs and inspections. However, access should not cause unnecessary interference to your tenant. Give reasonable notice and arrange a suitable time with yourself and the tenant. The notice period is usually set out in your tenancy agreement.



    Please note – this advice is only liable for England and Wales. If you are in Scotland or Northern Ireland, please seek alternative solutions.


    How we can help

    At Lestons we feel that getting everything right from the start is vital, to ensure that all your legal requirements are met, both in terms of the property itself, and the letting agreement. To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link.


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.


Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

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