Responsibilities of a landlord

As a landlord it can be difficult knowing what you are legally responsible for. The following information will give you help and advice in understanding your responsibilities when letting property in the private rented sector.

How to Let - Government guidance for anyone letting property.

As a landlord you have a number of responsibilities.

  • The deposit must be put in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP).
  • From 1st February 2016 all private landlords will have to check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out property.
  • Repairs to the structure of the building: the roof, windows, doors, drains, gutters, bath, sinks, toilets, heating, hot water, damp and general building repairs. A landlords responsibilities for maintenance should be clearly defined in the tenancy agreement.
  • Deal with damage not caused by the tenant for example break ins, vandalism and weather damage.
  • Maintain minimum health & safety standards in rented properties to prevent slips, trips, falls, electrocution, gas safety, carbon monoxide hazards & fire safety issues.
  • Provide a current copy to tenants of the Gas Safety Certificate covering all gas appliances in the property which must be renewed every 12 months.
  • Ensure that any electrical items supplied with the property are safe.

What are Right To Rent Checks and what do I need to do?

As a landlord what are my rights of access to my property?

  • As a landlord you have the right to enter a tenants home to check what repairs are needed and to undertake maintenance and essential safety checks.
  • However, you must be aware for the following:
  • You should give at least 24 hours notice and come at an agreed time.

  • You are not permitted to use spare keys to enter the property without the prior consent of the tenant.

  • You must not harass or threaten your tenants with illegal eviction or disconnection of utilities.

How do I get help and advice?

  • For more help and assistance please contact the Housing Compliance Team in Environmental Health.
  • Email env-health@mendip.gov.uk
  • Telephone 0300 303 8588
  • Postal Address: Compliance, Mendip District Council, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5BT

What fire precautions should I provide?

  • At least one working smoke alarm must be fitted on each storey of a rented property. 
  • For more information download the Icon for pdf Guidance on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms [218.53KB].  Whilst stocks last a limited number of smoke alarms are available free of charge from Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service for landlords to install in rented properties.  In shared properties such as Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) the landlord must install working fire alarms throughout the property.
  • In furnished properties all upholstered furniture and furnishings should meet the relevant fire retardant standards and have the original labelling demonstrate this.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms must now be fitted in any room used wholly or partly as living accommodation that contains a solid fuel burning appliance (coal fire, wood burner etc). For more information download the  Icon for pdf Guidance on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms [218.53KB].
  • Fire safety advice for landlords from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

What is the tenancy deposit scheme?

  • As a landlord you must put the deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if you rent your home on an assured short hold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007.
  • For more information on how to do this safely and legally go to the gov.uk website.

What is the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System?

  • HHSRS allows the inspecting officer to identify any hazards exist which could pose a significant risk of injury or ill health to occupants or visitors to the dwelling.
  • The assessment will look at the likelihood of harm over the next 12 months and how serious it could potentially be.
  • Some people are more at risk to certain hazards then others, for example elderly people or children.  Hazards are assessed based on the most vulnerable group and not the current occupiers.
  • Following the assessment a hazard will be categorised as either a Category 1 hazard or a Category 2 hazard.  Category 1 hazards are the most serious and present a significant risk of harm.  The Council has a duty to take action on these and will usually issue a schedule of works or a notice.  Category 2 hazards are less serious.  Depending on the circumstances the Council may still decide to take action on these hazard.  When taking action we will always follow the Housing Enforcement Policy.
  • For more information read the Landlords Guide.