Landlord have many legal responsibilities, no matter what you’re renting your property out for. So the big question is – do you know what you should be doing? More often than not, landlords aren’t entirely sure about their responsibilities until the need to know them arises such as a tenant complaint. However, not knowing your end of the bargain could result in legal troubles, so it’s important to know your facts. Here’s a guide so that you don’t get caught out!
As a landlord, it’s your job to make sure that your property is safe – no matter what the cost. You should be taking care of:
- Fire safety
- Gas checks
- Electricity safety
- Clean water
If any of these don’t check boxes, then it’s your job to repair them. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against you which of course, could mean losing your property altogether.
You also have to take care of the property and its state of repair. Things like broken doors, chipped walls, and anything else that could break over time is your responsibility. However, it’s understandable that you might not have the time to be around 24/7 to repair anything that might crop up, or perhaps you simply don’t have the skillset to do so. It’s worth investing in a property management company such as Benchmark LM management to take care of these things for you. Alternatively, use an estate agent when advertising your property and they can help with this too.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
You may have already heard of the landlord and tenant act 1985, and it’s important to take note of it too! This outlines when a property is ‘fit for purpose’. If you’re found to be disobeying this act, there could be serious legal implications. It’s worth checking out the landlord and tenant act as soon as possible to protect yourself.
National Insurance Contributions
Did you know that as a landlord you might be liable to pay tax on your earnings from rent? Being a landlord can also be seen as a form of business if this fits your description:
- You make at least £5,965 a year in profit
- Being a landlord is your main occupation
- You own and rent out more than one property
- You’re in the market for new properties to buy to let
Make sure you find out if you’re liable to pay tax so that you don’t break the law.
Finally, sometimes as a landlord, you can find yourself needing or wanting to evict a tenant. Whatever the reason, you still have to follow procedures to abide by the law. There are different procedures for particular cases such as harassment and failure to pay rent, so check all of this out so that you know your rights.
Being a landlord can be rewarding and also a great source of income, so make sure you know where you stand to avoid any legal or financial issues!