A tenant is (save for in company lets) a ‘consumer’ and landlords are providing a consumer service.
Because of this, there are a large number of regulations that provide for the safety of the property and require landlords to keep it in good condition.
We have a lot of information about these on Landlord Law. The main areas are set out below.
You will find information about all of these along with links in the boxes below.
The sections below look at the individual areas of concern, but we also have a lot of guidance which is more general in nature.
First, there is our property checklist which gives a step by step guide on all the things landlords need to do to put their property in a proper condition to let.
We also have a couple of videos from Dave Princep which cover the things landlords need to do at various stages:
The main legislation requiring landlords to keep a property in repair dates back to 1985 and it is probably one of the best-known housing statutes.
It is the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 and it sets out a number of legal obligations to do repair work which are automatically incorporated into all tenancy agreements for tenancies with a term of less than 7 years and which cannot be excluded (save with a Court Order).
We have a number of FAQ looking at this as set out below:
The disrepair rules have helped many landlords but they only apply when something needs repair. They cannot help where something is in poor condition but not actually broken. For example, many situations where properties are suffering from damp and mould.
This changed in 2019 when the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 came into force.
Members will find an article here, and
The HHSRS (as we tend to refer to it for short) is a system used by Local Authorities for assessing the safety of properties.
It was set up by the Housing Act 2004 and so is quite old now and there are proposals to reform it. However, to date, this has not been done.
We have two articles on the HHSRS and several training videos:
The gas regulations have been with us since 1998 and are very important - gas can be a killer and several tenants have died due to improperly maintained gas appliances.
We have a number of FAQ and a video on this:
The gas regulations have been with us for many years but strangely there were no general regulations on electricity before 2020 (save for specific regulations on things like plugs and sockets and gas cookers).
We have a number of FAQ on electricity issues and also a video on the new regulations:
The main regulations relating to fire safety apply to HMO properties where the danger of fire tends to be greater. However all landlords have an obligation to keep properties safe, and we also have regulations relating to the fire safety of furniture and (in England) relating to smoke and CO alarms.
With the looming climate catastrophe, landlords have a big part to play in ensuring that our housing stock is as energy-efficient as possible.
All landlords need to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and properties must now have an energy rating of not less than E.
We have some FAQ, an article and videos on this: