Landlords are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the law when letting and managing residential property. When a landlord instructs an agent to manage their property the responsibility is allocated between them and who takes responsibility for what must be agreed. Rent it Right expects the below as a minimum standard for all members.
- The words 'you' refers to the person accredited by this scheme.
- The word 'must' indicates a legal requirement
- The word 'should' indicates best practice
- The word 'competent person' is a person who is able to recognise hazards associated with a particular task, and has the ability to mitigate those hazards.
- Gas Safety - You must ensure that all gas appliances are inspected in accordance with current Gas Safety Regulations and a Gas Safety Certificate must be obtained on an annual basis using a GasSafe registered engineer. These should also be visually checked between tenancies. A carbon monoxide alarm should be provided.
- Electrical - You must ensure that all electrical installations and appliances are safe, working correctly and do not pose a health and safety or risk of fire. You should instruct a competent electrician to undertake a full-fixed wiring test every 5 years (you must for HMO properties) and more frequently if recommended to do so by an electrician. You should also conduct a visual check between tenancies, checking sockets, visible wiring, etc and instruct a competent person/electrician if any issues arise.
- Appliances - You should provide manufacturers or appropriate details on the safe operation of appliances to tenants for example boilers, cookers, etc. Any portable appliances supplied to your tenants should be tested (Portable Appliance Test) by a competent person yearly following the first 12 months from the purchase of the appliance. Visual checks should also be carried out yearly/between tenancies.
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - You must provide a EPC confirming that the property achieves level E or higher. If energy efficiency works are carried out a new EPC must be supplied.
- Fire Safety - You should have regard to the LACORS Housing - Fire safety guidance for the specific requirement of the type of property. A minimum of one lithium battery operated wirelessly interlinked smoke detector must be provided on each floor. All detectors should be checked regularly. A fire blanket should be provided in the kitchen (must for HMOs).
- Furniture - Any furniture that you provide must comply with current Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations.
- Suitability - the property and amenities should be suitable for the occupancy type and number.
- Security - the property should be safe and secure against unauthorised entry by intruders
- Condition - the property should be in good and clean condition at the start of the tenancy. It should have a modern bathroom and kitchen which allows for safe and easy use.
- Floors - flooring with the property should be in good, sound condition which allows for easy cleaning.
- We expect you to treat all tenants and prospective tenants equally and fairly.
- All tenancies must have a written tenancy agreement that includes the rent level, provision for review and agreed frequency of rent payments. If charges may be incurred for renewal, administration, etc these must be clearly displayed (written).
- Utility Charges – the tenant must be clearly informed as to who is responsible for the payment of all utility charges (gas, electricity and telephone) and Council Tax and that this responsibility is accurately stated in the terms of the tenancy agreement.
- Deposits – For all new tenancies granted from 6th April 2007, that you use a government approved national tenancy deposit protection scheme if a deposit is required.
- A notice must be displayed in each property that details the name, address and telephone number of the landlord and HMO Licence (where applicable).
- Insurance – you must have adequate insurance cover for your property. Tenants should be advised to take out contents insurance.
- Inventory – you should compile and keep an accurate and agreed inventory of all equipment and furniture, and also take details of the decorative condition of the property.
- We expect you to require your tenants to behave in a responsible way towards their neighbours – any complaints received from neighbours should be discussed with tenants. You should also inform tenants about arrangements for refuse collection, avoiding noise and other potential causes for conflict.
- References – Where it is possible, prior to letting the property, landlords should seek references from relevant sources in relation to prospective tenants
- Inspections - you must inspect your property at frequent intervals; providing a minimum of 24 hours written notice with acknowledgement from the tenants prior to commencement of the inspection.
The landlord must ensure that repairs are completed within a reasonable timescale, which depends on the nature of the problem, an example of an appropriate timescale is:
24 hours - urgent issues affecting the safety of the tenant for example gas or electrical issue
3 working days - affecting the comfort and wellbeing of the tenant ie hot water and heating, plumbing.
7 working days - non urgent i.e. broken appliance, small leak, signs of damp.
Where due to heavy contractor workload or special parts required than the timescale would be extended but all efforts should be made to communicate with the tenants at every stage.
Fit and proper person
A fit and proper person is someone who can be reasonably assumed to be a good landlord. To self-certify that you are 'fit and proper' the following should be declared:
- Any previous convictions relating to offences involving violence, including sexual violence, drugs, fraud or dishonesty.
- Whether you have contravened any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues.
- Whether you have been found guilty of unlawful discrimination practices.
- Whether you have managed HMOs otherwise than in accordance with The Management of HMOs (England) Regulations 2006.
- If you have been refused a licence or been convicted of breaching the conditions of a licence.
- If you have been in control of a property subject to an HMO Control Order, an Interim Management Order (IMO) or Final Management Order (FMO).
- If you have been in control of a property where works in default were carried out by a local authority and the debt is outstanding.
- Any outstanding debt with the City Council in relation to Housing.
- Inadequate management arrangements.
- Not been deemed fit and proper by another Local Authority.
- Failed to act in accordance with any approved Code of Practise laying down standards of conduct relating to the management of any property owned by them.
- Failed to act in accordance with any approved Code of Practice of a recognised Landlord Association, of whom they are a member.
A criminal conviction does not necessarily mean that you would not be a 'fit and proper' person. However, you would not be classed as 'fit and proper' if you withhold relevant information. Every case is examined individually and all circumstances are taken into account when making a decision. For example, we would consider:
- what the conviction was for
- how long ago it was
- whether or not it will affect your ability to be a good landlord
- the risk of recurrence and whether such recurrence would affect the individuals ability to be a competent landlord.
Please click below to browse the pages:
Aims and Objectives
Complaints and breaches
Continued Professional Development (CPD)
How do landlords become accredited?
Why be accredited?