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 local 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 to fix category 1 faults - the most serious hazards - if your council serves an enforcement notice. In certain circumstances, the council can do the works themselves and claim the costs back from you. You may also be asked to remove the less serious category 2 hazards.
You will 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.