Top Five Landlord Responsibilities to Tenants (When Moved In)

publication date: Jun 2, 2009
 | 
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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As a landlord you have legal responsibilities that you MUST make sure you adhere to, or you could be in breach of your contract and your tenant could either withhold rent and/or leave without requiring the normal notice period.

Here are our top five landlord responsibilities:-

1. Ensure you have advised the tenant which Tenancy Deposit Scheme their deposit is registered in
Every landlord must protect the tenant’s deposit in an independent scheme. But you must put in writing to the tenant which scheme their deposit is protected in. It’s also a good idea to ensure the tenant has a copy (and has signed to say they have received one) of the inventory, as this is often used by the TDP scheme adjudicators to award in favour/against you as the landlord if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy.
 
2. Let the tenant have ‘quiet’ enjoyment of the property
It might be nerve wracking to have someone else living in a property you own, but you must allow them to live there peacefully. This means you can’t pop in when you feel like it! Check your contract to see what notice you have to give if you want to visit the property, but it’s usually 48 hours unless there is an emergency.

3. Fix anything that needs doing within the time limit stated in your contract
If the tenant is paying to rent your property it’s only fair that you fix anything that goes wrong in a reasonable amount of time. The most common things to go wrong are appliances not working; broken windows; heating breaking down; no hot water; shower not working etc. These are all frustrating if you are living with them not working properly day to day, so make sure they are fixed quickly. Your tenancy agreement should explain what time limit you have to fix things.

4. Pay the bills you as the Landlord are responsible for
The tenant must pay their bills, but so must you. For example, you might be responsible for the council tax, water rates and/or other bills, so make sure you pay them on time so the tenant isn’t caused any hassle.

5. Write to the tenant just before they are due to give notice to quit
It’s a good idea to be very clear with the tenant what they need to do before they leave a property – including notifying you in good time that they are leaving, or advising you that they want to stay. A good way to do this is to write to the tenant (or ask your letting agent to), and advise them of the date the contract ends, notice periods and everything they need to do for you to make a decision over the deposit. If necessary, drop off another copy of the inventory.

For further information on renting and letting, visit the Renting and Letting section of the website, contact the Designs on Property team or telephone 0845 838 1763.

 


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