Landlords responsibilities and the law

July 28, 2012

Landlord Information

As a landlord you have a wide range of responsibilities and obligations to your tenants. These may cover all aspects of the let and while some may be recommended and might be seen as just plain common sense, there are others which are required by law.

Keeping abreast of changes to your legal obligations is obviously important.

As an example, under recently introduced legislation you are now legally obliged to protect your tenants deposit via an approved scheme rather than just putting it in your bank account until your tenants move out and you may find yourself subject to a hefty fine if you fail to do so.

Of especial importance though are those responsibilities relating to the safety of all the appliances within the property and by extension, the safety of your tenants and indeed of your investment in the property itself.

These obligations may include electrical items like fires, the cooker and fridge etc, as well as those appliances which use gas like water heaters, central heating boilers and the like.

Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that regular annual inspections of these items are carried out by qualified individuals and that safety certificates are issued to the tenants. With gas appliances this is especially important, as a sad and cautionary story that appeared in the press recently* demonstrates. In the case of gas appliances in fact, a service is additionally required whenever the tenants change.

The legal implications for the landlord referred to in this story are not touched upon but it would appear that the boiler in question had never been serviced prior to it eventually being condemned, leaving the tenants without heating for well over a year.

What is clear though are the life and death implications that un-serviced appliances may have and the importance of making sure that you have carried out all your legal obligations.

Don’t forget either that you may be required to provide full operating instructions for your appliances.

You may find that your landlord insurance may include both categories of responsibilities (voluntary and legal) within its terms and conditions and it may be in everyone’s interest to ensure that you are familiar with these and of course, comply with them.




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