The landlord is also responsible for ensuring the safety of tenants during their stay in the property and its grounds. This includes:
- Organising a gas safety checkfrom a Gas Safe registered engineer every 12 months.
- Ensuring the electrics in the property are safe (for HMO properties, a check by a qualified electrician must be conducted every five years).
- Installing smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a wood-burning stove or coal fire.
If rent is collected weekly, landlords must have a rent book to help record payments. Rent increases must be made in writing. Rent can be increased if the tenant:
- Signs a new contract
- Agrees to higher rent charges
- Has a rent review clause in the tenancy agreement
- Is issued a section 13 rent increase notice
Leaving the property
Landlords must follow the notice periods laid out in the tenancy agreement. If they are not followed, and the landlord removes the tenant from the property early without the correct process being followed, it could be considered an illegal eviction, and the tenant could seek compensation.
In eviction cases, the landlord must seek a court order before any bailiffs can be used to force the tenant from the property.
On a periodic tenancy, if the tenant wishes to leave before the agreed notice period, they must first seek the landlord’s approval.
Why use a Letting Agent?
As you can see from the points above, there are many responsibilities that you must follow when letting out a property. Therefore, many landlords often use a letting agency to help them manage their property. This means that the letting agent will take care of some or all of the landlord’s responsibilities, from simply letting the property and collecting the rent to taking care of the property and any tenant disputes.