Landlord legal requirements checklist 2023

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Editorial Team
July 20, 2023
Last updated:
February 19, 2024
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The must-dos. The serious stuff. The scary bits. The legal obligations of a landlord can naturally be nerve-wracking, whether it's the fear of forgetting to do something important or simply not understanding the legal responsibilities. But it doesn't have to be. 

This is our easy-to-understand, no-nonsense legal requirement checklist for landlords.

We created this specifically to help landlords who are renting their property out for the first time. Or to have as a reminder for existing landlords needing the refresher. 

Breathe a sigh of relief that everything you need to know is here; all you need to do is follow the checklist and tick off as you go. 

What do landlords legally have to provide?  

Your go-to guide for fulfilling your legal obligations as a landlord in 2023: 

  1. As always, safety-first
  • Have you got your Gas safety certificate? 

Every 12 months, you must get a gas-safe professional to check your properties, appliances, flues and pipework. The professional will advise you of any necessary fixes, and you will be legally obliged to carry these out. 

You don't need a new certificate per tenant, but you must renew it every 12 months.

Have you got your Energy performance certificate? 

You must provide tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Without one, you can be fined. 

An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use, typical energy costs, and recommendations about reducing energy use and saving money. 

You can get one by finding an accredited assessor to assess the property and produce the certificate.  

Have you installed your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms?

You are legally required to fit and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in rented accommodation. If you have an HMO property, you must have working alarms on each floor. Other rules apply depending on the size of your property; follow GOV.UKs to follow further regulations.

Have you got fire doors and fire resistant furniture?

All HMO properties require fire doors to reduce the risk of fire spreading. And remember to check the label of all furniture in the house to ensure it meets the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988.

Is your property safe from health hazards?

A landlord's legal obligation is to keep rented properties safe and free from health hazards. Your local council may inspect your property under The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) to ensure that properties are safe for those living there. If you own a property and rent it out, the council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection because:

  • Your tenants have asked for an inspection
  • The council has surveyed local properties and thinks your property might be hazardous

Do you have a valid 'Electrical Installation Condition Report' (EICR)?

You must get a qualified electrician to provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). You must get this renewed every 5 years. It doesn't apply to landlords in Wales. 

  • The paperwork 
  • Do you need a landlord's licence?

Depending on your property, you might need a licence, and you should check with your local council. The most common is an HMO licence; the rules are: you require a licence for your HMO when renting out your property to a group of at least three individuals (not members of a single family).

  • Do you need to pay insurance or submit a self assessment tax return? 

You must pay tax when renting out a property, but different rules apply, so make sure you follow the legal requirements that apply to your situation as a landlord. 

National Insurance

You must pay Class 2 National Insurance if: 

  • If being a landlord is your primary job
  • Your profits are more than £12,570 a year
  • You rent out more than one property 
  • You’re buying new properties to rent out 

You must submit a Self Assessment tax return: 

  • If it’s a property you personally own and have now decided to rent out
  • If your income from property rental is between £1,000 and £2,500 a year. 

You are legally required to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and submit a Self Assessment tax return. 

The tenant bits 

Have you checked your tenant’s right to rent? 

You are obliged to check whether a tenant can legally rent your property. Follow the guidance on how to check a tenant's right to rent on GOV.UK. 

Failing to check whether your tenant has the right to rent, you can get a fine of up to £3,000 for each tenant or be sent to prison.

Have you protected your tenant’s deposit? 

If you ask your tenant for a deposit, you must secure this in a tenancy deposit scheme. The three Government approved schemes are: 

  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme
  • Deposit Protection Service
  • MyDeposits 

Do you need to pay the data protection fee? 

Almost all landlords process tenant’s personal information (e.g. name, email, telephone), meaning under the Data Protection Act, you must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Check if you need to pay the data protection fee here. 

Have you shared the ‘how to rent checklist’ with tenants? 

It’s a landlord's legal obligation to give tenants a copy of the How to rent checklist when they start renting. You can simply just email it to them. 

Managing your property 

Have you responded to household repairs or issues? 

You are responsible for fixing issues in the property and responding to tenants' problems. Many issues come up in a rented property, but as a landlord, the main things you are responsible for are: 

  • Any issues with the structure of your property
  • Fixing problems with basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary fittings
  • Fixing any heating or hot water systems

Have you given 24 hours notice before visiting the property?  

You are required to give 24 hours notice before you visit the property, otherwise, your tenants are within their legal rights to refuse you entry (except in particular circumstances). 

Have you followed the end of tenancy rules?  

Depending on what tenancy agreement you have there will be different notice periods the landlord legally has to oblige to. For the latest notice period guidance for landlords, visit GOV.UK.

Support when you need it 

At Hybr, we help hundreds of landlords rent out their properties. Our role is to be account manager between tenant and landlord, making things easier for you. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can remove the hassle of renting your property. 

Now, it’s time to find tenants 

Now you know the legal requirements of a landlord, it's time to fill your rooms with tenants who love your property. 

Hybr gives landlords direct access to reliable student tenants, we send a personalised bio of each tenant, and help manage the relationship throughout the year (at no additional cost). We never charge landlords unless they are happy with our service and we’ve found them great tenants to rent their homes. And, we can even advertise on Rightmove for you for free.

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