Your most important legal responsibility as a landlord

The responsibilities of a landlord

As a landlord you have many responsibilities. These include being responsible for paying your taxes from any monies generated by your rental properties on time and correctly. And if you have signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement it’s your job to protect the tenant’s deposit by using a Government approved deposit protection scheme. Private landlords or lettings in England are also responsible for checking the immigration status of a prospective tenant under the Right to Rent scheme. Therefore it is a criminal offence if you don’t!

There are many very important things you need to remember to have in place if you are to protect yourself and your tenant fully from future risks. But the number one responsibility for any landlord is to ensure that the property they rent out is safe and as free from potential risks as possible.

On average the biggest safety risk comes from faulty gas appliances. Gas safety is your key responsibility.

Gas Safety Week

From 16-22 September Gas Safety Week happens across the UK – and you should be aware of it and the information it shares.

This is annual event aiming to raise awareness among landlords and homeowners about the crucial importance of having their gas appliances serviced every year.

Organisations across the UK work together alongside the Gas Safe Register. They raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can lead to gas leaks, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. All of which are potentially fatal.

You must ensure any gas appliances (permanent or portable), and gas flues that you own and provide for use by your tenants, have regular gas safety checks in most cases a minimum of every 12 months.

Ignorance is not a defence if an accident was to happen. Gas safety is your key responsibility as a landlord.

Legally bound

As a landlord, you are legally responsible for the safety of your tenants in relation to gas safety. By law you must:

  • Repair and maintain gas pipe work, flues and appliances so that they are in a safe condition.
  • Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue.
  • Keep a record of each safety check.
  • You should also keep your tenants informed about their responsibilities while they are staying in your property.

Online resources

Gas Safety Week’s website offers three simple tips to ensure you stay the right side of the law when it comes to appliances in your property.

  • Have your gas appliances check every year.
  • Check that the engineer you use is Gas Safe registered (this used to be called CORGI). This is very important as it means any work comes with a promise of quality and care.
  • Check your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Any engineer worthy of employing will have no issue providing you with this and you can verify it with the Gas Safe Register.

The Health and Safety Executive also has a very informative and detailed section on their website which is well worth a read. It features more information about the legal responsibilities’ landlords have when it comes to gas safety. You can read it by following this link.

All these responsibilities are not as daunting to keep on top of as you might think. With an easy to use property management software system like Rentila landlords can set reminders, keep updated legally, stay organised and track the progress of any issues related to their properties.

This information is brought to you by Rentila. We make landlords lives a lot easier with our free cloud-based property management software. We help manage their portfolios, stay the right side of the law and maximise their investment returns.

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