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Advice for private landlords
Rights and responsibilities
If you are a landlord or are considering becoming a landlord it is important you know where to access trusted information about your rights and responsibilities.
You can find information about the rights and responsibilities of landlords on the GOV.UK website.
Other information includes:
- Top tips for landlords: Assured shorthold tenancies
- Letting your home
- Letting rooms in your home – a guide for resident landlords
- Gaining possession of a privately rented property let on an assured shorthold tenancy
Information about your legal responsibility to keep gas appliances in safe working order is available from the Health and Safety Executive.
Information about electrical safety obligations is available from the Electrical Safety Council.
National Landlords Association partnership
We recognise the difficulties landlords can have in accessing trusted information about the range of regulations which apply to privately rented properties. For this reason we have entered into partnership with the National Landlords Association (NLA) which will provide additional support for landlords while helping to raise the standard of private rented accommodation in the borough.
The partnership means that landlords who sign up as members of the NLA and become accredited will receive a package of benefits and incentives from the council worth up to £300 per year, including:
- discounts on HMO and discretionary license fees
- access to the council’s commercial waste facilities for the disposal of household items
- tenant checks and referencing
- installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide testers
- gas safety certificates and EPCs carried out by the local authority
- attendance at advice seminars on housing issues
Landlords who join the NLA can also take advantage of an extensive range of membership benefits including:
- access to the Telephone Advice Line
- best practice tenancy agreements, forms and letters including unlimited free downloads of tenancy agreements and a wide range of other essential forms and documents
- bi-monthly subscription to UK Landlord, the premier magazine for landlords
- subscription to Focus, the NLA’s fortnightly industry update newsletter to help keep pace with developments in the sector
- the opportunity to network with local landlords and council staff at meetings in the area
Sign up to the NLA today
We recommend that all landlords in the region take this opportunity and start benefiting from the partnership today.
Visit the National Landlords Association for more information about NLA membership and becoming accredited.
The right to rent
From 1 February 2016, the Government introduced new laws saying that private landlords have to check that anyone they have a rental agreement with, has the right to be in the country.
If you are a tenant yourself, and you sublet all, or part of the property, then you must make these checks.
Within 28 days before the start of the tenancy, you must make checks for:
- people aged 18 and over living in your property, whether they're named in the tenancy agreement or not
- all types of tenancy agreement, written or oral
You can be fined up to £3,000 for renting your property to someone who isn't allowed to rent property in England.
Find out more:
Private rented sector code of practice
A code of practice has been produced for landlords and agents in the private rented sector. It sets out your legal requirements.
It's a voluntary code but a number of organisations support it. This means that if you are a member of any of the organisations which have signed up to the code, you should follow it.
To find out which organisations support the code and to look at the code itself, visit the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Complaining about a lettings or property management agency
From 1 October 2014, agencies that let or manage private rented accommodation on behalf of a landlord must belong to a government approved redress scheme for dealing with complaints.
If you have a complaint which hasn't been resolved using the agency's own complaints procedure, you can complain to the scheme that the agency belongs to.
There are three approved schemes:
House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property which is let to at least three tenants who form more than one household and who share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.
If you rent out a property as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you may require a licence from your local authority. The license cost is £495.
Applications must be made to the local housing authority. A fee maybe charged and you must be a fit and proper person to hold the licence.
Licences will be granted if:
- the house is or can be made suitable for multiple occupation
- the applicant is a fit and proper person and the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- the proposed manager has control of the house, and is a fit and proper person to be the manager
- the management arrangements are satisfactory
If your application fails or is refused:
- please contact our Environmental Health Team in the first instance
- you may also appeal to a residential property tribunal - any appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision being made