Take your time and consider the options..
A private landlord is someone who decides to manage the letting of a property themselves, without the support of a letting agent or property management company.
Letting agents are responsible for managing properties on behalf of private landlords. Private landlords pay letting agents to help ensure that their legal responsibilities to tenants are met. Letting agents are therefore contractually obliged to put landlords’ best interests front and centre.
Good letting agents can help make the lives of private landlords easier by freeing up their time by carrying out tasks such as rent collection and property inspection to make sure everything is in order.
Before making a decision as to which suits you, it’s a good idea to have the facts.. The responsibilities of being a landlord are many and it’s worth checking them out before you embark on your rental business
Private landlord RESPONSIBILITIES
Regardless of tenancy types, private landlords are legally responsible for the following tasks when renting out a property to tenants.
Marketing the property
This includes advertising and arranging viewings.
Finding and referencing tenants
It’s a private landlord’s responsibility to find and reference tenants
The referencing process can include background and financial checks as well as character references from previous landlords or current employers. Plus, if you’re leasing a property in England or Wales, you need to check the ’Right to Rent’ and immigration status of tenants – and those over 18 living with them – by taking copies of passports or other accepted official documents. It’s a criminal offence to rent out your property without doing this.
Landlords need to set the rental price, frequency and whether or not service charges are included within it. They’re also responsible for rental increases and chasing if it isn’t paid on time.
Creating tenancy agreements
If you have a tenancy agreement it must be fair and Legally compliant – It’s good practice to give tenants a copy of this agreement before they move in.
Protecting tenant deposits
If you’re using an assured shorthold tenancy, you need to place a tenant’s deposit in a government-approved Deposit Protection Scheme within 30 days of receiving it. Failing to do so could result in hefty fines.
Providing tenants with the important information they need
Private landlords are legally required to give tenants the following information at the beginning of a tenancy:
- Their full name, address and contact details
- A copy of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate ( EPC)
- A copy of the property’s Gas Safety Certificate (renewed annually)
- If you have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, you need to provide tenants with a copy of the government’s How to Rent guide
Protecting tenants’ personal data
Given that landlords handle tenants’ personal information, they need to comply with the rules set out by the General Data Protection Regulator (GDPR). So it’s a good idea to give potential and new tenants a privacy notice detailing how you’ll use their information.
Complying with health and safety rules
Tenants have the right to live in properties that are in a good state of repair and free from hazards. Landlords are legally required to ensure their properties are fit to live in by ensuring:
- Electrical items supplied are in good working order, safe to use, and have been checked every five years
- Working smoke alarms are installed on each floor of the property
- Kitchens, bathrooms and toilets are sanitary
- Carbon monoxide alarms are installed in rooms with wood-burning stoves
- Gas equipment is installed by Gas Safe-registered engineers and are inspected each year
- If furnished, furnishings adhere to Fire and Furnishing regulations.
Carrying out repairs and maintenance
Landlords are responsible for the general upkeep of their rental property as well as arranging for any structural repairs to the roof, building exterior, gas, heating and hot water and electrics. As such, they must inspect the property regularly, update when needed, and resolve tenant issues as soon as they can to keep tenants happy.
Landlords must follow strict legal procedures when evicting tenants otherwise they could be accused of carrying out an illegal eviction – which is a criminal offence. For the majority of cases, landlords must get a court order and give tenants a Section 21 notice before going ahead with the steps outlines in the tenancy agreement