BGBG

Landlord’s Obligations

Statutory obligations for buy to let Landlords are becoming more and more prescriptive – are you falling foul of the law?

Statutory obligations for buy to let Landlords are becoming more and more prescriptive – are you falling foul of the law?

Managing a property that is let to a residential tenant need not be a chore as long as you are clear about your obligations and responsibilities.  Many of these will be set out in the tenancy agreement but no matter what the tenancy agreement says, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 states that in all short leases and tenancies of residential property for less than seven years a landlord must:

Keep the property safe and free from health hazards

Where there is gas equipment installed, the landlord must make sure it is safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer who must also do an annual gas safety on each appliance and flue.  A tenant is entitled to a copy of the gas safety check record before they move in, or within 28 days of the check being done.  The electrical system and appliances must also be safe.

So far as fire safety is concerned, follow safety regulations and make sure the furniture and furnishings are fire saf

There must be a smoke alarm on each floor of the Property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a usable fireplace or woodburner.  The tenant should have access to an escape route at all times. If the property is a House in Multiple Occupation the landlord also has to provide fire alarms and extinguishers.

Repair:

  • the property’s structure and exterior including drains, gutters and external pipes
  • basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • heating and hot water
  • gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation
  • electrical wiring
  • any damage they cause by attempting repairs and, depending on the terms of the tenancy agreement, repair common areas
  • put any deposit paid by a tenant to a Landlord in respect of an AST that started after 6 April 2007 into a government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Failure to comply with these obligations can cause a lot of problems for a landlord and the number and scope of duties seems to be rising all the time.  On the other hand, any reasonably competent landlord should want to comply with such duties in order to protect their investment.

Taking legal advice on your obligations as a landlord is a good idea, whether you are just about to buy your first buy to let property or whether you already have a portfolio of investments.

For more information on your obligations as a landlord...

Please do not hesitate to contact an Everyman Legal Solicitor on 01993 893620 for a free discussion or email geoffrey.cotterill@everymanlegal.com

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