Landlord Legal Responsibilities, Obligations & Regulations

Landlord Obligations & Requirements - The Law

As a landlord there are a number of legal responsibilities and obligations which you MUST (and should) abide by. These are all necessary; failing to comply with these could result in prosecution.

Please note, this article is for private residential properties in England and Wales that is Governed under the Housing Act (the official rule book), which may not necessarily apply to mixed use premises such as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) where unrelated occupiers, who live independently from one another, share common areas of the same building.

Landlord License

Sections 79, 80 and 81 of the Housing Act 2004 provide for the introduction of a “landlord licensing” scheme.

Landlords with properties in selective areas are required to get a “landlord license” from their local council before being permitted to let their property. These areas are selected based on low demand for housing and significant or persistent anti-social behaviour problems. Failing to do so can result in punishable fines of up to £20,000.

To qualify for a licence a landlord must be able to demonstrate that they are acting within the law and taking appropriate steps to manage their properties, which is defined by the local council. If you’re unsure if your property is in a landlord license zone, you can call your local council or speak to local letting agents.

Go here for more information on the landlord licensing scheme.

Gas safety appliances

The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 place a statutory duty on all landlords of residential property to ensure that all gas appliances, pipe work and flues are maintained in a safe condition.

A inspection of all gas appliances that is provided with in the property by the landlord must be inspected annually by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. After inspection a warranted Gas Safety Certificate will be issued for proof of inspection; both tenant and landlord should keep a copy.

Fire Safety, Housing Act 2004

Fire Safety in Rental Property
This area of law is covered by both the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Landlords are under a common law duty to ensure that the property they provide is safe. All residential properties in England and Wales should comply with building regulations.

Fire Extinguishers
There is no legal requirement to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in single occupation tenanted properties, but again, this may be a wise precaution, at least in the kitchen area.

Having made the decision to provide fire extinguishers though, the landlord or agent must then arrange for regular servicing – usually on a 12 monthly basis. They should also not be used by untrained persons.

Smoke alarms
There is currently no legal requirement for landlords to provide fire/smoke alarms in single occupation tenanted properties. However, neglecting the installation of smoke alarms could mean that the Landlord is failing to ensure that the property provided is safe, which is his duty under common law. It is strongly advised to have smoke alarms installed.

Reference: Smoke alarms not required.

Smoke alarms are required for houses of multiple occupation (HMO). The building regulations require that all properties built after June 1992 must have a mains operated inter-connected smoke alarms fitted on every level of the property. Although older properties do not have to comply, it is advised for landlords to provide at least battery operated smoke alarms in the property.

The Furniture and Furnishings Regulation 1993

All furniture a landlord provides must be fire resistant. Furniture must meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

These regulations require that the following furniture supplied by the landlord in let properties meet fire safety standards:

  • beds, headboards of beds, mattresses
  • sofas, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
  • nursery furniture
  • garden furniture which is suitable for use in a dwelling
  • scatter cushions, bean bags, window seats and seat pads; pillows
  • padded stools and padded chests
  • put-u-up beds and garden loungers/seats
  • loose and stretch covers for furniture

Furniture manufactured since March 1989 will comply with these regulations and most will be marked with a label showing compliance.

The regulations do not apply to:

  • sleeping bags
  • bed-clothes, duvets and pillowcases
  • loose covers for mattresses
  • curtains and carpets
  • furniture and furnishings manufactured before 1 January 1950 as the inflammable materials were not in use prior to 1950
  • properties let continuously to the same tenant since prior to December 1996 until there is change of tenancy

Non-compliance with the above regulations is a criminal offence and carries penalties of a £5,000 fine, 6 month’s imprisonment, or both. In the event of a death, charges could extend to manslaughter.

Repairs & Maintenance- Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

The landlord is responsible for the structure and exterior of the property; baths, sinks and other sanitary items; heating and hot water installations. However, this only applies if the tenant has a fixed tenancy contract for under 7 years, else these issues become the tenants responsibility. The landlord is not responsible for damages caused by the tenants.

This legislation requires landlords to:

  • keep the structure and exterior of the property in good repair, including drains, gutters and external pipes
  • keep installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation in good repair and proper working order
  • keep installations for space heating and water heating in good repair and proper working order
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

Every electrical appliance supplied by the landlord must be safe to use; the electrical installation in the house must be completely safe.

Unlike the Gas Safety Regulations, there is no mandatory requirement for the equipment to undergo any safety testing, but that should NOT be an incentive to be careless.

Although there is no requirement for equipment to be checked, it’s recommended for every landlord to check all electrical appliances and electrics before the start of a tenancy and regularly thereafter.

The following guidelines apply to all electrical appliances supplied for the tenancy:

  • live parts should not be accessible
  • leads should not be worn or frayed and be complete with no joins
  • trailing leads and the use of multiple plug adaptors should be avoided
  • correct plugs (marked ‘B SECTION 136’) should be fitted and correctly fused
  • plug sockets should be firmly fastened to the wall or skirting
  • any moving parts should be guarded
  • electric blankets should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • microwave doors should be clean, free from corrosion and effective
  • washing machines, cookers, etc, should be serviced and in good working order
  • electrical heaters and central heating appliances should be serviced annually
  • fireguards should meet BS3248
  • any fire extinguishers should be marked ‘BS6575 1985’.
Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994

This regulation requires that any plug, socket or adapter supplied for intended domestic use complies with the appropriate current standard, and specifically that:

  • the live and neutral pins on plugs are part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets and all plugs are pre-wired.
Obtaining consent to let a property

Before letting a property, landlords must obtain permission and/or inform the following:

  • mortgage lender
  • In respect of leasehold properties, the head landlord
  • Any housing association or other body which has regulations applying to the property, e.g shared ownership
  • Any adult who has been living in the property with the landlord as husband, wife or partner who may have occupancy rights.
  • The landlord’s insurance company who must confirm that cover will be maintained if the property is let.
Tenancy Deposit Protection

Landlords must secure their tenants deposits into one of three government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) schemes.

Over the years a lot of tenants have complained that they have unfairly lost their security deposit; consequently the government introduced this legislation to help apply some unbiased moderation to the disputes. For more in-depth details about this ‘landlord obligation’, please go to my Tenancy Deposit Protection Easy Guide article.

Taxation of Income from Land (Non-Residents) Regulations 1995

Any landlord who is considered non-resident for taxation purposes is liable to pay tax on their rental income from letting property.

The details can be complicated depending on your circumstances, so it’s best to check with the Inland Revenue how much tax you’re liable to pay, or if you’re permitted to be exempted from tax.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Landlords must provide an Energy Performance Certificate to all new and prospective tenants.

The certificate will give each building a SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure – out of 100 possible) rating, and this will equate to an energy rating from A to G, similar to those seen on white goods. For those who don’t speak geek, in English it means, it will show the energy efficiency levels of a property.

More information on Energy Performance Certificate

Check for legionnaires disease

This is a bit of an odd one. It’s fairly new, and probably the most unknown and neglected legal requirement.

The person responsible for managing the property, whether it be the Landlord or letting agent, is responsible for combating Legionnaires Disease.

Health and safety legislation requires that risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ disease are taken. The assessments must identify and assess potential sources of exposure, and steps taken to prevent/control any risk that is identified.

Anyone can be appointed to assess/monitor Legionella as long as they have the relevant skills to implement the control measures and strategies i.e. they are suitably informed, instructed, trained and assessed. There must be evidence to show that the risk assessment has taken place, and records showing what precautions were taken.

Here’s a more detailed article on landlords and their responsibility to combat Legionnaires disease on the HSE website. It discusses the legislation in-depth and how to comply.

‘Right to rent’ immigration checks

Under section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a landlord should not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or EEA or Swiss national, or has a “right to rent” in the UK.

This legislation rolled out on the 1st of December 2014, but only to a select few areas in the Midlands (Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton), but it will roll out to the rest of the country in 2015. You can use this tool provided by the GOV to check if the legislation currently applies to you.

Essentially, the landlord is required to check for proof of ID and citizenship. More details can be found on the landlord ‘Right to rent’ guide, including how to fully comply.









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398 Comments- join the conversation...

Showing 348 - 398 comments (out of 398)
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Sugarbabe 10th December, 2011 @ 18:56

Actually you are very wrong it was private Landlords who let an Octogenarian live in third world circumstances-UK is full of it.

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Observer 10th December, 2011 @ 19:30

Provide the link sugarbabe.. It's a well known fact that the uk elderly death rate is a national disgrace due to fuel poverty. That's a financial cause. Direct your barb in the right direction. Rip off energy companies, inadequate winter fuel payments. A completely different issue.
Landlords cannot NOT make heating repairs, and social services cannot leave any vulnerable tenant in need of assistance. The fact family members can't be arsed checking on relatives and notifying the correct authorities is quite simply disgraceful.

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Sugarbabe 10th December, 2011 @ 19:46

You are sounding ridiculous now it was a personal experience of an aged Uncle who died alone several hundred miles away few yrs ago and i did his funeral..shocking even the Policeman who had to break in to find him said nobody should have to live in such terrible Victorian circumstances...gross dangerous failures by landlords with 9 gas safety failures and electric ones too...i had the Council Environmental Health out to do a report on the place hence they got shot of the place qusickly by Auctioning it such was the dire state of the place. No hot water no heating of any sort...and he was old and ill...

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Sugarbabe 10th December, 2011 @ 19:50

If i had known about it beforehand believe me i am a caring person we were shocked at what we found and every time i said i wanted to go see him he made an excuse which sounded like he was ok and active,i found him 50yrs after he disappeared from his family who by that time were deceased...at least he had a good send off is all i can say and i dealt with his debts which were wiped off-he would have been a proud man who worked hard and was ex Army...he had even been robbed with a diversional tactic at his front door so that made him nervous, i later found.

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Observer 10th December, 2011 @ 19:54

And I repeat my point. Plenty of agencies would have assisted way before it came to that if someone had bothered. You can't place welfare on landlords.

Craig, you're a gilt edged agent, what proviso do you make for your vulnerable tenants? ARLA doesn't make any so I'd love to hear yours.

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Sugarbabe 10th December, 2011 @ 20:46

Landlords have a duty to make sure a dwelling is habitable and brought up to date and could have gone to Court to seek to get in their and re house him,but they didn't bother cos it was cheaper to not bother. I said nothing about welfare it was the failures in the building, unsafe.

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Observer 10th December, 2011 @ 21:37

Where've you made up the "brought up to date " bit from? But if there were failings in the building this landlord would have been jailed.

Landlords are prosecuted almost daily for lack of gas safety certs, or failing to maintain gas installations adequately etc And these cases aren't prompted by a death !

, I'll ask again for the link re this prosecution . The council cannot discover critical failings which you claim they did and then just forget about it, whether the property is subsequently disposed of or not. The offence has already been committed. And they'd be even more vigilant if the circumstances were as you describe!!!

Sorry sugarbabe but the bulls/t alarm is deafening. Link to the prosecution please,, as this is all sounding bollocks.

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Sugarbabe 10th December, 2011 @ 23:26

I beg your pardon i had a Health and Safety Rating System by Tecvhnical Officer for Private Sector Housing and brought him off site as i had done a 400 mile journey and didn't have long to be there done on the property because of death and i have the Report at home it was 13th Nov 2006.

I did not prosecute but i could have taken it to Court with the Report i have but what good would it have done,it would not have brought him back and i had a funeral etc to deal with. Councils hide stuff and fail to do things quite often,non are honest that much. A Notice was secured onto the front door that meant nobody else could be put into the property because a lot had to be adhered to.

It was put into Auction market rapidly and bought by Hotelier next door but one and the place was completely gutted,it had to be.

It is late now but if i have time tomorrow would you like me to detail the failings as written byu the Officer?

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carpet cleaners dublin 30th December, 2011 @ 19:08

Thanks a ton. It was indeed definitely worth the read.

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carpet cleaners dublin 30th December, 2011 @ 19:37

Thanks. It has been well worth the read.

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unhappy tenant 15th February, 2012 @ 18:58

curious to find out if there is anything in place on the regulation of heating costs due to the landlords installing an outside wood burner we reside in a small farm estate as the bills for heating are really high. Previously we had oil heating which we found more economical. Unfornately we have had no say in this type of heating, we were told if would be more economical to run but in actual fact the costs are too high for us, but the landlords are making plenty as there are 12 houses in the estate and feel we are being ripped off.

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Jeremy 15th February, 2012 @ 19:54

Hello unhappy tenant.

Sorry, but can you give me a bit more detail, because I can't get a mental picture of your set up. Is this a wood burner for your individual house. Or a wood burner which does the whole small estate.

I always thought the point of wood burners were that they were practically free to run. I give all my unwanted wood to my friend and that alone keeps him sorted all winter. Or does the landlord oblige you to buy wood from him?

On the other side of the coin, there are regulations regarding minimum insulation requirements, so if it's expensive to heat because it's poorly insuranted, google that.

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Gregg 16th February, 2012 @ 18:03

Hi Jeremy,

can you tell me more about these minimum insulation requirements? I rent a semi-detached flat/house with official energy rating at G.

Thanks,
Gregg

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Jeremy 16th February, 2012 @ 20:40

Hi Gregg: There are a lot of variables. So I'd give your local council's Building Regs dept a call. I've always foound mine very helpful.

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unhappy tenant 16th February, 2012 @ 23:22

Hi Jeremy

Thanks for reply. The wood burner is in an out house on the small estate. They landlords supply the wood (they own lots of land with access to wood) and we have a meter within each house which the landlord gets access to each property every two months to read. It is also poorly insulated so will check that too thanks.

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Jeremy 16th February, 2012 @ 23:46

Hello unhappy tenant

I'm getting more confused! So the picture I've got is of one central wood burning stove which provides heat to a small number of houses. So what does this meter installed inside your house actually measure? It can't be amount of wood burned, that happens inside the furness.

Are you in the UK? Are there specific cluses in the contract which say you will source your heating from the landlord and set a tarrif?

I know mine is a limied experience, but the few people I know with wood burners get so much wood given to them by friends and family they have to turn some offers down. So I perceive wood for burning as a free resource.

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melody 17th February, 2012 @ 08:48

hi I am currently in my third year of study in Coventry University. I rented a property last year and the landlords did not tell me that it didn't have central heating. I viewed the flat but because i was so eager to find a place to live I didn't notice that there were no radiators. I raised my concern with the landlord and they reassured me that the heater in the living room will warm the whole house. However, the heater doesn't warm up the whole house, I am always cold, i had to buy an electric blanket and another heater so i can keep myself warm. As a result, i am spending so much money on electricity and i really can't afford it. I was wondering if landlords are allowed to rent properties without heating because i would like to raise a case against them and possibly receive compensation

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Jeremy 18th February, 2012 @ 10:21

Hello melody,

I'm sorry but this is not goint to be what you want to hear. The laws in the blog above are about maintaining what's arleady installed so it's safe. You viewed a property and you failed to notice an important feature. The landlord is not responsible for pointing out any ommissions from what his property offers to what your wish list is. It's up to you to notice and you did not.

You have learned an important lesson from the University of Life. If one of the more strident regulars of this column were replying to you, they might be ranting that you expect the law to force compensation out of a landlord because you can't view a property properly. Then they's go on to rant about a sociaty spiralling out of control on compensation culture. I won't do that to you.

But can I give you some advice. I used to be a student in the North East of England in an unheated house. It got very cold. Two pairs of socks, long johns with trousers and four or five layers on our torsos and a hat was the norm. And so was going around the house wrapped in a duvet. Fingerless gloves were good when typing dissertations and assignments. Trapped body heat is free.

Oh, and shagging, that kept us warm, too :-)

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Ready 2 Scream 13th March, 2012 @ 22:13

I have a problem with a landlord and i need help. I was hoping someone on here could advise me or point me in the right direction. First i will let you in on my situation at hand. I am married and we have two kids together. My husband cheated on me almost two months ago an told me its not that i'm ugly, nor over-weight i weight about 124 and stand about 5'3''. He confessed he cheated because he needed someone to set and talk to that gave him undivided attention because i was always busy with our kids or in the middle of something and would had to return his calls. I mentioned to my landlord that i didnt know if i can handle being with him or how i was going to handle the news i had found out. Meaning leave him, divorce him etc. I told her i had some money saved back that he was unaware of from my family so paying for this place or getting another wouldnt be a problem. She cought me gone one day before he left for work and she told him everything i said to her. She told me that day she wouldnt tell or mention anything to him but ahe did. This lady even added stuff onto what i said to make it worse. i wanted to go confront her but i dont want to get kicked out and not have a place for me and my girls. my soon to be ex is going to be on his own anyway so i dont care about him getting kicked out. can anyone tell me if there are any kind of law or anything saying that when landlords or told something and agree not to mention it to anyone that they r to keep their mouth shut. Thank You for any advise u can offer me because she has caused me more problems than what this place or him or dealing with her is worth.

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Jeremy 13th March, 2012 @ 22:30

Hello Readdy 2 Scream: The way you make reference to your weight (in pounds, rather than stones and pounds)tells me you're American. This is a British Site for British People, so I think you'll find none of the regulars here will have any idea about American confidentially and slander laws.

And bearing in mind America's recent attempts to exercise control over the way Britain conducts it's own slander laws, it's a bit rich being asked!

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wechseln gas 4th April, 2012 @ 19:47

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Cold Tenant 11th April, 2012 @ 23:13

@CardiffLandlord @Sugarbabe and @Craig I just wanted to update you and give you a quick thank you after my query and your replies last year.
We moved house a few weeks ago and have been suitably impressed with our new home and landlord. I took your advice and contacted my local council who in turn sent their Senior Environmental Health Officer out to do an inspection, he was not impressed. After he pointed out many problems with the property to the letting agent that asked to attend the inspection I received a 9 page copy of his report stating many category 1 hazards and in the subsequent phone call told me that the council would not be allowing anyone else to move in until these hazards were rectified. He also sent a colleague round to do a EPC scoring and it was found to score 3 out of a possible 120 with both council officers stating that they had never come across a property scoring so low!!
I now realise that we did have a pretty rubbish landlord, full of empty promises who was happy to take our rent but not maintain his property. He has told the letting agent that now we have gone he's not willing to do anything to his house so just to sell it so he can make money on the house he bought over 20 years ago!
Lovely house on the surface but so glad to be out of there and now warm and happy with landlords who pop by to make sure things are working fine and see if there is anything we need, the things we have noticed have already been addressed and rectified- a complete turnaround from the promises of our previous one!
Thanks again, no longer a Cold Tenant.

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Posted 24th July, 2012 @ 04:15

I like the helpful info you supply on your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test once more here frequently. I am quite certain I'll be told lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

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fed up & freezing 9th October, 2012 @ 12:31

i've lived in this property with my three children, since 2010 and had nothing but problems. no heating for 18 months and that was rectified by reporting to environmental health. along with electrics needing to be updated and windows needing fixing. the environmental health gave my landlord the all clear and since then i've been threatened eviction and he refuses to sort the hole in the kitchen wall from the flue removal. hole in the roof from new flue installation. now the boiler, which was only installed in march, has broken down and he's taking ages to get a plumber here to sort it. it's now nearly two weeks and we are freezing. the council won't help, say it's landlords responsibility, and i'm worried about going back to environmental health as it nearly got me put on the street last time. please? what other options do i have ?

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Jeremy 11th October, 2012 @ 22:00

Hello fed up & freezing,

Sorry if this soulds odd advice, but why not just leave? You've got a rubbish landlord. Why are you living with this rubbish level of service for two years?

But if you're determined to stay then:
- Write a letter to the landlord telling him he's got x days to get a plumber round;
- If he does not you'll get the boiler fixed;
- And deduce the cost from next rent due, keeping receipts for his records.

Hope this helps. Please let us know how you get on.

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fed up & freezing 12th October, 2012 @ 12:53

i wish it was as simple as that. i have been trying to find somewhere else to go. but most landlords aren't taking people, locally, on housing benefit. those that are are asking for a great deal of money up front. i do not have savings of the amount they are asking. i'm knocking on walls every way i turn so far, and am running out of options. the plumber finally came round night before last and has told my landlord that it's broke cos i tried to light it with no gas. ???? landlord has now blamed me and is saying i should be liable for the new switch. if i could leave i would. but i have nowhere to go. and no one will help me.

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Jeremy 25th October, 2012 @ 20:56

Hello fed up and freezing,

Sorry for my delay in getting back to you. I might start off by asking to see the letter from the plumber which confirms what the lardlord is claiming the plumber said.

The landlord is legally oblidged to do the repair first and then think about this kind of stuff afterwards.

Show the landlord you're not going to take this lying down.

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Natasha 3rd December, 2012 @ 20:16

Hello all,I was hoping someone could give me some advice. This is about a council letting,my mothers.
My mother has recently taken over a 2bed flat, of which the previous tenant had deceased in and was not found for several weeks later. Information from the other tenants living in the block states that upon opening the door to the property,LOADS of flies came out. They got the usual apollo lot (I will not recommend anyone using!!) came in and done their usual bodge job at decorating,replaced the kitchen cupboards,that's about it. The bathroom they done nothing with,this is a wash room as my mother is disabled, but it looks old, there is broken tiles on the wall with gaps behind, the toilet was disgusting and leaking.
The night my mother moved in, this friday, she put the heating on etc,n was woken up by a few flies, of which they were a monstrous size. She stayed out the rest of the weekend with her mother. She saw the council housing officer this morning,gave her A LOAD OF ATTITUDE,told her that the flies are probably from outside (never seen big ass flies like that this time of year), didn't once look at the bathroom and notified my mother that the place WAS NOT FUMIGATED AND DOESN'T NEED TO BE. It is apparently up to her to get it done.
Now i would have thought that the council would have been required by law,by health and safety, to fumigate the flat considering the condition they found the flat and the previous tenant in,this can't be legal surely?
And also regarding the state of the bathroom, I would have thought, again by health and safety considering the tiles and gaps behind them, to replace the thing, especially as Apollo usually fit bathrooms and kitchens at the same time?
Sorry to ramble on, It's just my mother isn't a well woman herself and cannot b dealing with these problems,and would like to get all this sorted for her.
Are the council breaking rules? or has the council set up their own set of rules to fit their needs. If this was a private letting,I'm sure they would have something to say!!
Thank-you for reading,It was longer than I thought!X

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7 Better Ways To Be A Better Landlord 2nd February, 2013 @ 19:26

[...] Here is a great article for knowing your legal obligations: Landlord Obligations [...]

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ginagg1967 15th March, 2013 @ 13:36

Hi I was wondering if anyone can advise me. I've had a look to see if i can find my tenancy agreement between myself and my local council but to no avail. I've been a tenant with this council for over twenty years and recently they have done some external work to my property but have damaged tiles in my bathroom. I'm on a low income and i saved for two years to pay to have my bathroom tiled from floor to ceiling as it was working out too expensive to keep having it decorated. The council sub contractors who damaged the bathroom have offered to just replace the broken green designer tiles with standard white council tiles or box it in with wood and gloss i have lost the plot with them and told them that this is not acceptable as my bathroom was undamaged before this work was done i have offered to buy new tiles but as i'm no longer able to get the original tiles i said that i wanted them to replace all the tiles around the bottom of the bathroom they said that they would not do this as it was too expensive to do but i still got the expense of the tiles which i wouldn't of had if they hadn't damaged them. what are the councils responsibility to me as a tenant when they damage something of yours also they say that i could be in breach of my tenancy as i never asked for permission to tile my bathroom? can someone please advice me

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Benji 16th March, 2013 @ 12:16

ginagg1967,

You may be breaching your tenancy agreement but it is a very minor breach and there is not much the council can do about it- except refuse to repair any damages to your improvements.

That said, if they had knocked your 50 inch TV off the wall and broken it they would be liable to renew or replace it with like for like- not with a black and white portable telly (which is the equivalent they are trying to do with the white tiles).

Consider using the 'disrepair protocol'. This is a long winded explanation here;

http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/protocol/prot_hou

I've posted it because there are some very good legal template letters attached. Sending these may make the council take you seriously.

Basically, it means not paying your rent to cover the repairs. I'd suggest getting 3 reputable tilers quotes and attach to your template based letter. Saying that if the council refuses to repair to a satisfactory standard, then you will instruct the cheapest contractor and withold the rent for that amount.

As it is a council house, the rent is probably being paid direct to the council from the government. That is about to change very shortly and council house tenants will be paid directly to then pay their own rent to the council. Councils are aware of it and are very concened. Any potential disrepair test case should get them worried.

However, I would only use this as a bargaining ploy. I would not actually withold the rent as realistically you are on very shaky ground and it is not worth risking a valuable council tenancy for the sake of a few hundred quid.

Good luck.

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SnooziSuzi 20th March, 2013 @ 11:52

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice: I've googled the same question in different ways but it isn't bringing up any hits.

I have just taken on a 3 bedroomed semi in Durham but didn't spot that there were no plug sockets in 'bedroom' 3, no light in hallway and the light at the top of the stairs only works if it is switched to 'on' at the top of the stairs!

Firstly; can an upstairs room be considered a bedroom if there are no plug sockets to power basic things such as a lamp and alarm clock?

Secondly; is it a legal requirement to have a light in the hallway?

I can ask the lettings agent to sort out the switch - I only mentioned it to highlight the awful standard of electrics!

Any advice and suggestions will be gratefully recieved so that I know my rights in case the LL procrastinates or refuses to do the work (which for all I know he might have the right to do!)

Thanks, Su

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wazza 21st March, 2013 @ 13:49

A little advice please as CAB & others only interested in tenants side of things.

I recently evicted a tenant from my groundfloor flat due to repeated failure to pay rent and neglect of property. I did everything by the book.

My problem now is that the tenant has left behind a vast amount of possessions (wardbrobe, tv, washing machine and more). I have made numerous attempts to ask her to remove them. At first, she said she was waiting for transportation to help, but that was over 6 weeks ago. I now cannot get hold of her as not answering phone and having moved on again, i have no forwarding address.
These goods are in a shared area within the block of flats but are blocking the entrance to my property.

The council (who own the block) say it is nothing to do with them.

What are my rights?????

I want and need them removed as I have new tenants waiting to go in. I have even sent a text offering to take possession of the goods as part payment of outstanding debt.

Can I take these goods like a bailiff would?
Can i dump them?

Please help as I want to do things correctly and legally but no-one can provide an answer

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emma 29th March, 2013 @ 10:42

Hello am after a bit of advise as a prospective private tenant.

Can a landlord stop you from decorating? Basically turning a property that your paying for into a home.

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Jeremy 29th March, 2013 @ 15:46

Hello emma,

No they can't. Any overly intrusive contract clauses would be considered unfair and so un-enforcable. But there a couple of things you have to consider:
1 - You can't do something really esoteric. You can't claim it's decoration to make your lounge look like Bilbo's hobbit house! :-)
2 - The landlord is entitled to expect the house to be returned in the same condition he let it out. So be prepared to de-personalise it back to the neutral colour scheme you probably rented it at. If not, your landlord is within their rights to cover redecoration costs from your deposit.

Hope this helps.

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jesse 4th April, 2013 @ 00:11

my landlord is a idiot embridge gas came and flagged the house because he has to replace my water tank and down stairs water tank because they are from 1993 thats 20 years old, also he has to do a chimney line and he isnt doing nothing about it and today he came to my house and drilled a fence on my driveway that fits 5 cars now i have to park in the street how do i deal with this guy i will not pay his rent at all!!!

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l4ur4 5th May, 2013 @ 10:11

Love all the threads on here, hope I get a great response off you guys, I have lived in my house since 2009 and hate it with a huge passion as my landlords and his cow boys are usless, I am currently taking my landlords to court as there was a failure for 2 yrs to find the root cause of a flood I was having which ended up with me being in the hospital with a very sore swoolen knee, they tried to blame me buy saying I was getting up in the middle of the night and over filling my bath causeing it to overflow straight through my floor to the bottom of my stairs where I fell at around 8.00am just before xmas 2011 which then led them to to pull there socks up find the leak( I still av no idea what caused the problem must have been huge tho because the flood each time was like a bath full of water at the bottom of my stairs) I then had to have a new ceiling put in which they denied untill recently, I recently gave my landlord a list of repairs as long as my arm that needed doing doing one of which was to sort the floor boards out in my kitchen as each time I replace the vinyl it rips as there is huge gaps in the orginal floor boards, they placed down plywood down 3 weeks later underneath my cooker caught fire (not a fire with flames more like smouldering and crackiling)which has resulted in the fire brigade removing the floor boards and leaving me with a huge hole under neath my cooker I was advised to get a safty check done on my cooker and the gas works that surround my cooker to make sure no damage had been done to the pipe work. I hve done this there is no faults with my cooker, but the corgi guy worte some info down for m to pass to my landlord regaurding the cooper pipe that suppils the gas for my cooker apperntly it is to close to my floor also my bioler is not receving the correct amount of gas due to the pipping not being the correct size and my flue instead of being sealed correctly they have shoved tissue in there to stop the draft, I have told this to my landlord they want to get there cowboys back in to do another gas saftey check as they say these are only recomendations from the corgi man I paid £60 for them to come out as the landlord only sent an electicion (?) Seens as he has found faults with the boiler( which was put in, bout 2yrs ago) who should pay the bill I don't mind going halfs with the landlord as I got a clean bill of health for my cooker, might I add my landlord never takes responsibility for anything, the corgi guy has said the ply board is very thin and it might have started because it over heated, before this I had not had vinyl down for a few month as it was becoming expensive to keep replacing, I used my cooker to cook a turkey at xmas for 7 hours and never had a problem, the landlord is having a problem accepting there is nothing wrong with my cooker and is sayinf I must have spilt something and that this will be the cause I have no idea what response to give him regaurding this as I am in a bit of rent arreas with him which I am paying back weekly through direct debit to be honest I wouldn't mind being evicted but I will not get a council house until I get below £1000 rent arreas so looks like I'm stuck with him and vice versa ant advice is welcome thank you

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Kayleigh 19th May, 2013 @ 21:24

Hi,

We are due to take on tenancy in June and are rental-virgins. Been to view the house again today and we feel the landlords are being a little unreasonable. I just wanted to ask if these requests she made are 'normal'. We have a dog which will be coming with us. She has asked us to ensure that the dog does not use the garden to relieve herself for fear of ruining her garden? She has an issue with us securing the property with some simple gates (as we have the dog and two small children) and has only given us the go-ahead with the promise they will be fitted professionally. She is adverse to us decorating and/or putting any pictures up. We loved the house up to this morning when afterwards, we feel we cannot make it homely and feel like we have to tiptoe around as not to touch anything! Is this common? We are renting the house with a view to buy so it will be ours within 9 months but they are being very contentious and millitant about the whole agreement. We also noticed today how dirty the house is and before we even start unpacking, it will need a thorough clean. Even the paintwork and the internal doors are filthy. After how the couple were today, I darent even ask if the property will be cleaned prior to moving in! Am I expecting too much as a tenant?

Thanks

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Benji 20th May, 2013 @ 18:13

@ Kayleigh,

1. A bitch pissing on an average lawn will destroy it within a month at this time of year (a dog is not nearly as bad). Your landlord is being reasonable and normal.

2. It is reasonable and normal that any alterations to the property should be done professionally.

3. Are you decorating the property in neutral colours and banging holes in the wall to a professional standard? If not, your landlord is being reasonable and normal.

4. 'We are renting the house with a view to buy....' that implies there is nothing legally binding and you could walk away after 9 months leaving your landlord to rectify your 'improvements'.

5. Note down the uncleanliness on the check in inventory.

6. Am I expecting too much...

Unless you have exchanged contracts agreeing to buy the property (with a 10% deposit).

- then yes.

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ana 3rd November, 2013 @ 11:29

Can anyone tell me if I am wrong? I am a single mum, just had a new baby, for that I am on housing benefit. My house that I was renting was to expensive so the council was helping me finding a low rent house. I found a house sooner, I went to the council and told them that and I ask what kind of help can I get from the council because I couldn't afford to move on my own, pay rent in advance and deposit. My advisor told me to get that money from a loan, from a friend or relative, and I made a claim to help me with those costs and that I receive the money to pay the loan back. I explained to the agent the situation that I was a council tenant and that I was making a claim... The agent told me: 'we don't accept money from the council' you must have the money for rent in advance and deposit and our fee. Ok! I went to the council and I was told that the money will be send to the agent because they don't pay directly to the tenant, but because the council was already working with me only I found a property sooner, that they will pay and I should warn the agent that will receive that money and should give it to me because I was already paying. The agent agreed. So I made a loan, pay rent depose and fee and I was waiting for that money from the council. When I knew that the council paid that money more than a week ago I contact the agency and after a lot of calls when they said they didn't know if they received and so, the agent told me that won't give the money to me because that money belongs to the agency as a gift from the council. After my advisor from the council spoke to them explained what they already know the agent decide that because after all they were not entitled to that money that was sensed on my behalf and they said that they cannot give it to me that they will send the money back to the council. The financial department of the council already send them email asking them to refund the money and two months later they still didn'tq they are holding the incentive money from the council and also the money that I paid. They are being paid twice for the same thing. So I think if the want to hold the money from the council sended on my behalf they should give what I paid back to me. It's only fair if I discount that money from the next rent. What do you think. Thanks

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clifford 1st December, 2013 @ 13:24

what if the landlords are your parents and they are slumlords sorta speak, wanna do for one tenant and not do for me, i am still waiting for a heating guy to fix the burner, i don't want to report her but i will have to do what i have to do, can i just call a guy in to service my heater and send him upstairs to landlord with bill?

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James 30th December, 2013 @ 09:50

Hi, i was just wondering if anyone knows the answer to this question, basically we have moved into a rented property and the landlord has left a gas cooker here which is all working fine, however in her agreement she says it has been left here for us to use and she takes no responsibility for the repair or replacement if the cooker stops working, just wondering if she can do that? Many thanks in advance

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lynn 16th January, 2014 @ 18:21

Hi My house needs rendering work done on both front and back of property. After waiting for a year and them promising when the weather breaks , now they tell me I have to move out for the work to be done. I want to know my rights has this house has a lot of memories for me and my animals buried in the garden. When they did this to my friend they gave her an house and never let her back in...I am not moving out if this happens and the house can fall down around me if that is the case. does anyone know what rights I have if any to stay in my home? thanks in advance for any help or advice.

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Janice rice 1st March, 2014 @ 12:47

When I moved into my private rented property in 2011 I (an old Victorian terraced house)I asked the estate agent acting on behalf of the landlord if I could decorate they said I could as long as it improves the property.(but I didn't get this in writing)So I have started to decorate the kitchen(2014) and utility room and found it to be very damp (both on the walls and the floor).The Lino in the utility room has black coming through it and the old tiles under the Lino were damp and coming up quite easily . Then I steam the very old wood chipped wall paper off to find big holes and cracks in the vey old plaster,whilst sweating my way through the stripping and steaming the kitchen wall couboard falls and hits me on the the arm and all the tins out of couboard the on me and nearly knock me out !!! Then I notice a massive crack in the wall were the wall plug and screw should be that hold the couboard up .Then I notice the ceiling socket in the utility room is hanging off !! I don't know what to do as I feel the landlord might blame me as I decorated in the first place.the manager who manages the property has been ok when it comes to small repairs but this one is going to cost him an arm and a leg when it nearly cost me mine!!(pardon the pun) and the spelling .what advice can you give me ? Cheers

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Craig 1st March, 2014 @ 19:51

Hi Janice,
I think you're in a sticky situation - I would hope that your letting agent had spoken to your Landlord before agreeing that you can decorate, but if it hasn't been agreed in writing and signed by your Landlord, it may as well not have been said. It should have been included in your tenancy agreement under additional or special clauses which your Landlord should have signed and agreed to. Hopefully your Landlord will be sympathetic to this.
However - it sounds like your property is riddled with damp - I would urge you to bring it to the managing agents attention asap so they can work with the landlord to get it resolved before it becomes worse (which it inevitably will once it's there) and starts to cause health problems. It will be your landlords responsibility to fix however it sounds like it might be at a point where it is quite expensive, so don't be surprised if your Landlord cannot afford it - I've been in situations before where the landlord has needed to sell to a developer and unfortunately has had to serve notice on their tenant. If you're no longer in a fixed term, my best advice (other than to inform the letting agent of the issue) would be to start lookung for alternative accommodation. Sone many of my applucants are lookung to move because of damp or excessive ill repair. I know it'll be little consolation, but you're not alone.

Craig - Letting Agent

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Craig 1st March, 2014 @ 19:56

James - good question. If the landlord gifted the cooker to you or you bought it from him, it's your problem, however if it was included as part of the tenancy, it is his statutory obligation to repair or replace as necessary unless it's fault is down to your negligence. As this is statutory law and supercedes contract law, even if he put it in your tenancy agreement it idnt enforceable and will still be his responsibility. Hopefully it'll just stay in working order and won't be a problem you have to face!

Craig - Letting agent

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Benji 1st March, 2014 @ 22:51

@Janice,

What does it say on your check in inventory?

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yachhu 6th March, 2014 @ 21:33

hi craig,
these HMO PEOPLE came to visit one of my landlords property and i am letting agent the hmo officer said that i am responsible for buying the fire resistant beds and furnitures . Is it ture? i just earn profit of £100 from letting that property how can i buy the furnitures for the tenants??

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Frankie 10th March, 2014 @ 12:20

Yachu, are you sure you're a letting agent???? What a question. Of course you're responsible for ensuring that the property is being managed within the legal requirements. And of course you deduct all expenses you make to ensure the property is within legal requirements, from the landlords rental payment. When the property needs a gas cert, you get it done. If the cooker breaks, you get it sorted. If the furnishings aren't up to spec, you get them replaced. Questions like this really fill me with dread at the so called professional agents, who've not got a clue about the basics of the service they're supposed to be providing. Both from a tenant point of view, and a landlord.

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ken nicholson 18th April, 2014 @ 08:09

Does anybody know what checks landlords have to make regarding the UK residency status of prospective tenants? Do we have to check that people are in the UK legally? Do utility companies have to make checks? If so can we rely on them, to save us the need to do that?

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