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Information for Private Landlords

Information for private landlords regarding all aspects of renting out accommodation

Landlord Accreditation Schemes

Accreditation schemes allow landlords who meet certain standards, to voluntarily join the scheme and become recognised by tenants, local authorities and other enforcement bodies as better quality landlords who are more likely to operate within the laws which govern the private rented sector.

Accreditation schemes offer landlords support and development as well as giving access to a range of advice and useful documents, helping their members to operate in an effective and professional manner. This would ultimately result in the reduced likelihood of enforcement action being required against landlords who are members of an accreditation scheme and comply with the code of practice of that scheme. Membership of an accreditation scheme also shows prospective tenants that you are a good landlord, helping you attract the best tenants.

Torridge District Council do not operate their own scheme but support the national and regional schemes available. More details of these are given below:

National Landlords Association
Residential Landlords Association
South West Landlords Association

Landlord Manual

The West of England Partnership Landlord Manual is designed to assist all landlords but particularly the typical smaller landlord.  More than three quarters of all landlords own a single dwelling for rent.   Every aspect of renting out a property is covered in detail.

The West of England Partnership Information for Landlords

The West of England Partnership Landlord Manual 3rd Edition

Devon minimum property standards

This document lists the minimum standards that a property should meet in order to be fit for renting out privately.

pdf icon Devon minimum property standards [18kb]

HHSRS - Housing Health and Safety Rating System

It is a risk assessment tool used to assess potential risks to the health and safety of occupants in residential properties in England and Wales.  It came into effect in 2006 and replaced the Housing Fitness Standard.

Why is it needed?

It focuses on the hazards that are most likely to be present in housing.  Tackling these hazards will make more homes healthier and safer to live in.  The Fitness Standard did not deal with, or dealt inadequately with, cold and the risk of falls, for example.

For full guidance relating to the HHSRS click here.

Tenancy agreements

Click here to go to GOV.UK Tenancy agreements: a guide for landlords (England and Wales).

This will give you full details of all aspects of tenancy agreements.

**** From 1st February 2016, anyone who rents out private property in England, including those subletting or taking in lodgers, should make pdf icon Right to Rent checks [611kb] ****

This applies to all new tenancies from this date, but does not include instances where a tenancy commenced before this date and has been renewed with no break in occupation.  A landlord can be fined up to £3,000 if they let to someone who does not have the right to live in the UK.

Click here to go to GOV.UK Check your tenant's right to rent.

Deposit protection scheme

You must place your tenants' deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme if you rent out your home on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007.

Click here to go to GOV.UK Deposit protection schemes and landlords

Energy Performance Certificate

An Energy Performance Certificate is required for properties when constructed, sold or let. The Energy Performance Certificate provides details on the energy performance of the property and what you can do to improve it.

Click here to access the Domestic Energy Performance Register.  On this site you can;

  • find an accredited person to undertake an Energy Performance Certificate or to check that an individual is accredited
  • retrieve an Energy Performance Certificate

Click here to visit the Energy Saving Trust website for more information and links relating to EPCs.

Electrical Safety Certificate

An electrical certificate is required, dated within the last five years with at least 12 months remaining.

Visit Electrical Safety First for information about your electrical safety obligations.

Gas Safety Certificate

All gas appliances must be tested annually.

Always check your engineer is on the Gas Safe Register (this is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances).

Click here to visit the Health and Safety Executive website for full information about domestic gas health and safety and advice for landlords & letting agents on how to comply with the law.

Repair responsibilities

As a landlord you are responsible for making sure the property can be occupied safely and healthily.  You must make sure the property is dry and structurally stable, and keep in proper working order the heating and hot/cold water supplies, lighting, ventilation, gas and electricity supplies, bathrooms, kitchens and drainage.

The tenant is responsible for carrying out minor repairs such as replacing light bulbs and any damage they (or a visitor) has caused to the property such as a broken window.

What can you do;

  • you have the right to go into the property to check what repairs are needed; but
  • you must give the tenant 24 hours notice and agree a suitable time with them;
  • you should arrange for certain jobs to be carried out more quickly than others e.g. a toilet should be unblocked within 24 hours whereas a dripping tap may be repaired within a longer timescale;

What can we do;

If you fail to maintain the property and meet the legal standards we can, if necessary, serve notices requiring work to be carried out within a given period.  If you fail to carry out repairs, or fail to ensure the property meets minimum requirements then we have the powers to hire contractors to carry out works in default and/or prosecute you.

Shelter - Responsibility for repairs