Landlord Legal Responsibilities

There are many laws, rules and guidelines a landlord must abide by to be able to legally let a property in the UK. A comprehensive list of your legal obligations as a landlord can be found in The Housing Act 2004 and in the Renting out your property guidance provided by the government. Both of these resources are packed with information, but may take you some time to read through.

So, the team here at JonSimon Estate Agents have created this concise guide to your legal obligations as a landlord, so you understand everything you need to know. We’ll discuss what you need to provide by UK law and answer some frequently asked questions around the topic. Let’s start by talking about what you need to do and provide by law…

What Must a Landlord Provide By UK Law?


In terms of important and legal documents, you will need to provide:


Protecting yourself

Tenant Safety

Is Your Property up to Standard?

A huge responsibility for you as a landlord is making sure your property is up to the correct standard and stays that way. This means more than just fitting smoke alarms on every floor and installing carbon monoxide alarms. It means more than just making sure the property meets minimum energy performance standards at the moment your tenants move in. You may have to go a bit further and adjust your property for other reasons, say for example, if your tenant is disabled or has special needs. This is a requirement under the ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’ section of the 2010 Equality Act.

How to Maintain Your Property

You must also make sure your property maintains the standards you set, and avoid becoming complacent. To do this you should:

  • Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms regularly
  • Employ an engineer to test your appliances at the correct intervals of time
  • Make sure the paintwork is maintained and features are decorated annually
  • Hire a professional cleaner in-between each tenancy
  • Regularly test any fire safety equipment and replace if necessary

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 gives tenants in England the power to take legal action against you if you do not take your legal obligations as a landlord seriously. This law came into place on the 20th of March 2019, to make sure that any rental property in the UK is ‘fit for human habitation’. This means they must be safe, healthy and free from risk of serious harm. It is the courts that will ultimately decide whether or not your property is fit for human habitation, should a tenant take legal action against you.


Is Becoming a Landlord Worth it?

The biggest attraction and incentive to becoming a landlord is the opportunity to make money and the potential for a substantial income. This is especially true if you have a portfolio of properties. Your tenant will pay the rent which will cover your mortgage payments, any money you wish to put aside for maintenance and repairs, and agency fees if you choose to use a lettings agent or property management company.

The money that is left is profit. The more properties you have, the more income you will make. If you do not have a mortgage on your property, you will make a lot more money as profit. Of course, how much profit you make will depend largely on how well you maintain your properties, and how well your tenants look after them. If you have a reliable and respectful tenant that pays the rent on time and does not break things within your property, then you will not miss on mortgage payments or need to lay out any expenditure on repairs.

To sum up, if you conduct yourself in a business-like manner and do things properly, then being a private landlord is totally worth it. If you get a little help from a local lettings agency, you won’t have to put as much work in and it becomes even more worth it!

Landlord Legal Responsibilities FAQs

  • Do I Need Landlord Insurance?

    Landlord insurance will protect your property against accidental damage, from fire and flooding as an example. It will not protect your tenant’s contents. They will need to sort out their own contents insurance if they want to protect their possessions. Most mortgage companies will expect you to have insurance in place before allowing you to apply.

  • Should I Let Furnished or Unfurnished?

    This is a personal choice and isn’t something you need to consider in terms of abiding by law. However, if you do choose to provide furniture and appliances with your rental property, you must keep them in good condition. You may need to fix or replace items from time to time, or hire an engineer to do it for you, if it is in relation to the fire or heating, gas appliances or electrical equipment.

  • Do I Need to Credit Check My Tenants?

    Most landlords that we work with here at JonSimon usually want to carry out a basic credit check on tenants before allowing them to move in. This is a form of security to ensure the tenant is able to keep up with rent payments. It may provide a warning sign and allow you to avoid the hassle of collecting debt or trying to evict a tenant. It is not a legal requirement to run a credit check, but it is certainly a good idea.

Contact us for Help or More Information

We can help you run a credit check on your potential tenants and help with all other matters of making sure you abide by your legal obligations as a landlord. For more information, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk!

Meet The Team

Dramatically reinvent market-driven relationships vis-a-vis customer directed e-business. Monotonectally incentivize distributed e-markets through high standards in.

Simon Morris (MNAEA MARLA)

Company Director

Jonathan Morris (MNAEA)

Company Director

Michael Greenhalgh

Company Director

Gareth Dooley (MNAEA MARLA)


Laura Stockdale (MARLA)

Lettings Manager

Joanne Scott

Property Manager

Aaron Pilling

Lettings Co-Ordinator

Lauren Bell


Leanne Gill


Office Locations

JonSimon Estate Agents was established in 2008 in Radcliffe by brothers Jon and Simon Morris, and we’ve been successfully selling and managing properties ever since! From modest beginnings as a small team of good friends with a shared passion for all things property, we’ve worked hard to provide our market-led, supportive and somewhat unique service to sellers, landlords and renters all over the local area, and have grown to become a 20-man sales team spread across our three RadcliffeRamsbottom and Burnley offices.

  • Burnley

    31 Parker Lane, Burnley. BB11 2BU

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  • Radcliffe

    10-12 Church Street, Radcliffe, M26 2SQ

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  • Ramsbottom

    28 Bolton Road West, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 9ND

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