Buy-to-let landlord responsibilities: 6 must-dos when renting out a property

Living life as a landlord can appear to be an attractive proposition; buy a property, rent it out, and then sit back while collecting the rents.

But there are some clearly defined responsibilities that landlords must adhere to if they want to avoid risking being in breach of their contracts and losing their profits.

Landlords may be tempted to overlook their responsibilities as they can be time-consuming and may cost money.

However, tenants know their rights according to the latest research, and so landlords need to ensure they play by the rules and don’t get caught out.

Are you breaking the law?

The latest research by homeless charity Shelter found that one in eight tenants reported their landlords breaking the law, from entering the property without permission to their deposit not being properly protected.

It also reported issues with landlords cutting off their tenants’ utilities without their consent and changing the locks.

Do you know your responsibilities as a landlord?

The contract between a landlord and a tenant - most commonly being a shorthold assured tenancy agreement - is king as it outlines the rights and responsibility of each party. For example, most landlords will be required to give 24 hours notice before entering the property.

The Government has also outlined six landlord responsibilities which, at a glance, are:

1. Keep your rented property safe, including the fitting of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

2. Make sure that all gas and electrical equipment is safely installed and maintained

3. Obtain an energy performance certificate for the property and provide a copy to the tenant

4. Protect the tenant’s deposit in a government-backed scheme

5. Check that the tenant has the right to rent the property (find out more about right to rent checks)

6. Provide your tenant with a copy of the ‘How to rent’ checklist

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