You’re a landlord if you rent out your property. This means you have responsibilities, including:
- keeping your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
- making sure all gas and electrical equipment you supply is safely installed and maintained
- following fire safety regulations - download ‘Housing: Fire safety’ (PDF, 1.6MB)
- providing an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- protecting your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme
Health and safety inspections
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by your council to make sure that properties in its area are safe for the people who live there. This involves inspecting your property for possible hazards - for example, uneven stairs leading to increased risk of falls.
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 done a survey of local properties and thinks your property might be hazardous
HHSRS hazard ratings
Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas and score each hazard they find as category 1 or 2, according to its seriousness.
You must take action on enforcement notices from your council. You also have the right to appeal enforcement notices.
The council can do any of the following if they find a serious hazard:
- issue an improvement notice
- fix the hazard themselves and bill you for the cost
- stop you or anyone else from using part or all of the property
You’ll have to pay:
- Income Tax on your rental income, minus your day-to-day running expenses
- Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do renting property counts as running a business
If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender.
There are special rules for changing rents and terms for regulated tenancies (usually private tenancies starting before 15 January 1989).