1. Landlord responsibilities

You’re a landlord if you rent out your property. This means you have responsibilities, including:

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

Financial responsibilities

You’ll have to pay Income Tax on your rental income, minus your day-to-day running expenses.

If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender.

Regulated tenancies

There are special rules for changing rents and terms for regulated tenancies (usually private tenancies starting before 15 January 1989).