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6 Key Responsibilities of a Private Landlord

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 03 September 2019 03:27
6 Key Responsibilities of a Private Landlord Photo by Ethan Wilkinson on Unsplash

The decision to become a private landlord is not one the be taken lightly. Letting your property out to renters can be a great way to make some extra money, but it also comes with a host of responsibilities that you must be aware of and ready to take on.

 

What Is A Private Landlord?

Simply put, a private landlord is a property owner who has chosen to rent their property on their own. In doing so, they have opted not to use a letting agency or property management company to do this for them and instead will handle the renting of their property by themselves.

 

What Are A Private Landlord’s Responsibilities?

Here are six key responsibilities of a private landlord.

  1. Marketing Your Property

The marketing of a rental property is often handled by the letting agency that is handling your property. However, when you are a private landlord, you are responsible for this yourself.

You may decide to use a traditional method such as advertising in high-street letting agents, or, you want to advertise your property on one of the UK’s online property portals such as Right Move or Zoopla. By advertising this way your bypass unreasonably expensive high-street letting agent fees and will be more likely to find tenants quickly and cost-effective.

 

  1. Finding and Referencing Tenants

It is your responsibility to find a suitable tenant for your property and to reference them when you do. This usually involves background and financial checks as well as getting character references from previous landlords whose properties they’ve stayed at and from their current employer.

Also, in England and Wales, you must check the occupant’s right to rent and immigration status. It’s illegal to rent a property to tenants without doing this.

 

  1. Covering the Legalities of Renting

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to set a rental price, frequency and any service charges. You are also responsible for any increases in the rental price and for chasing up late payments of rent.

This also means you’re in charge of ensuring that the tenancy agreement between yourself and the tenant is fair, legally compliant and contains any of the vital information your tenant may need.

It should cover, for example, things like both parties’ contact details, the property’s details, tenancy length, all information regarding rent and charges for services, notice period and terms for other people using the property.

It is also wise to provide tenants with a privacy notice to outline how you will comply with GDPR to protect their personal data.

 

  1. Supplying Any Required Information

You are legally required to supply your tenants with the following things at the start of their tenancy:

  1. 1. Your full name, address and contact details
  2. 2. A copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate
  3. 3. A copy of the property’s Gas Safety Certificate

 

Health and Safety Measures

Any tenant who rents your property has the right to live in a safe environment, so as a result, you have certain health and safety obligations you must fulfil. You must:

1. Make sure electrics are in good working order, safe for use, and have been/are inspected at least once every five years

2. Have working smoke alarms installed on every level of the property

3. Have a sanitary kitchen, bathroom and toilets

4. Install carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with wood-burning stoves

5. Have gas equipment that has been installed by Gas Safe-registered engineers and are inspected at least once yearly

6. Make sure, and furnishings provided with the property adhere to Fire and Furnishing regulations

 

  • Handling Evictions

You are responsible for handling your own evictions as a private landlord. However, there are very strict guidelines you must follow when evicting a tenant as, if you don’t, you may be accused of carrying out an illegal eviction – which is a criminal offence.

There are several different types of tenancy, which means several different sets of eviction rules to follow, depending on the type of tenants you have. The UK Government has a lot of information you can use to ensure you are on the right side of the law when it comes to private landlord evictions.

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Chris Smith

I'm Chris and I have been in the business of passing on advice to first time buyers, general buyers and those buying to let for a few years now. My time working as a mortgage advisor, and my business background give me the knowledge and the insight to make sure that you don't make any mistakes in your purchase. Not everyone gets the advice that they need when buying a property, a lot of agents just want the sale. As I'm not here to sell, you know that my advice is genuine and that it can help you on your endeavour.

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