Legal Requirements for Landlords

Landlords Guide

The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.


Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a GAS SAFE registered gas installer).
Maintenance: There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
Records: Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.
Copies to tenants: A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.

Energy Performance Certificate

From 4 January 2009 private landlords must provide all new tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
The EPC for homes will be similar to those used for white goods. They will have an energy rating of between A and G, with A being the most energy efficient and G needing to use the most energy.
The certificate will also give information on which, if any, of the basic energy saving measures could be installed in that property to reduce the fuel use, for example loft insulation or cavity wall insulation.
An energy certificate needs to be displayed in each rental property you own, for example next to the gas or electricity meter, and copies will have to be given to all potential tenants before they decide whether or not to move into the property.


There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are `supplying in the course of business`. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – `Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. The Repairing Standard requires for all electrical appliances/ items provided in the tenancy are PAT Tested and that there should be a valid satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report for the property.


The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.

Smoke Alarms

All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered that the common law `duty of care` means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. The Repairing Standard requires that all smoke alarms installed since 2007 must be mains powered and that there should be 1 located in each circulation area(Halls / landings), 1 in the main living area and a heat detector in the kitchen. They all need to be interlinked.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.
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The Disability Discrimination Act 2005

The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people`s rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and commonhold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Under the new duties, provided certain conditions are met (for example, that a request has been made), landlords and managers of premises which are to let, or of premises which have already been let, must make reasonable adjustments, and a failure to do so will be unlawful unless it can be justified under the Act. Landlords will only have to make reasonable adjustments. And they will not have to remove or alter physical features of the premises.
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Repairing Standard

From 3rd September 2007, private landlords in Scotland have a duty to ensure that rented accommodation meets a basic standard of repair called the “Repairing Standard” under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

The Act sets out the criteria that must be met if a property is to comply with the Repairing Standard, including the requirement that the property has satisfactory provision for detecting fires and for giving warning in the event of fire or suspected fire.

The Repairing Standard basic standard of repair includes the following;

Accommodation must be wind and watertight and reasonably fit for human habitation

    • The structure and exterior must be in a reasonable state of repair
    • Installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order
    • Fixtures and fittings and any appliances provided by the landlord must be in a reasonable state of repair and in good working order
    • Any furnishings provided by the landlord must be able to be used safely and for the purpose they are intended for
    • There must be a satisfactory means of detecting and warning about fire (such as smoke alarms)