Landlord responsibilities

From 1 October 2015, all private sector landlords are required to:

  • maintain the structure and exterior of the property.
  • fit smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with appliances using solid fuels – such as coal and wood – and make sure they are working at the start of your tenancy. If they are not there, ask your landlord to install them.
  • deal with any problems with the water, electricity and gas supply
  • maintain any appliances and furniture they have supplied.
  • carry out most repairs. If something is not working, report it to your landlord or agent as soon as you can.
  • arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are any gas appliances).
  • give at least 24 hours’ notice of visits for things like repairs – the landlord cannot walk in whenever they like.
  • get a licence for the property if it is a licensable property, such as a house in multiple occupation, or it is located within the Canalside area.
  • ensure the property is at a minimum of EPC energy efficiency band E (unless a valid exemption applies).

Read the government’s how to let guide 

Read the government’s how to rent a safe home guide

Read the government’s right to rent check user guide

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a house which is occupied by people who do not form a single household. This includes:

  • a house let as individual bedsitting rooms
  • a group of rooms on each floor let to single occupants
  • hostels, some hotels and guesthouses
  • lodgings and shared houses
  • houses converted into self-contained flats.

With effect from 1 October 2018 mandatory licensing of HMOs has been extended so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England, housing five people or more in two or more separate households, will in many cases require a licence.

New mandatory conditions to be included in licences have also been introduced, prescribing national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation and requiring landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.

Find out more about HMOs and how to apply for a licence