Between 2011 and 2018, private rented properties in the United Kingdom grew from 3.6 million households to 4.5 million. This represents a sector growth of approximately 25 percent. These properties are all owned and managed by landlords.
If you have property, you could be considering becoming a landlord yourself. After all, the annual rental income from being a landlord is £15,000 on average. When supplemented with other sources of revenue, such as a steady job or a small side business, this tidy amount could be the foundation of a retirement fund or similar savings.
But being a landlord carries specific responsibilities towards your tenant. These include the following significant duties:
Guaranteeing a Healthy and Safe Home
First and foremost, you should make sure that the well-being of your tenants won’t be compromised by staying in your property. The government provides landlords with guidelines on maintaining a safe rental property with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. Some of the safety hazards and health issues they look for include:
- Excessive cold from poor insulation or inefficient heating systems
- The presence of dangerous substances such as asbestos and lead
- Property damage that could allow pests and insects access to the home
- Structural damages that could injure residents such as uneven stairs and damaged support beams
Before you even begin looking for tenants, you should go through these guidelines and check if your property is safe for habitation.
Providing Gas and Electrical Access
It should go without saying that your tenants need access to gas and electricity. This means that the property must have not only the necessary piping and wiring but also the appliances to access them. Your property should have some basic gas and electric appliances such as a kitchen stove, space heater, refrigerator, and working lights. Without these appliances, your tenants will find living in your property unpleasant if not downright impossible.
Your gas and electrical systems should also have proper licensing and certification. For example, it’s now mandatory that landlords get energy performance certificates for their property at least once every five years. Gas safety certificates are also a must.
Implementing Fire Safety Measures
Fires are another primary concern when it comes to rental property. As a landlord, you have the responsibility to ensure there are no fire hazards on your property and that you have fire safety measures in place. These measures include:
- The installation of fire and carbon monoxide alarms
- Primary and secondary means of escape in case of fire, such as a fire escape
- Making sure is made of fire-resistant materials
- The presence of simple fire fighting equipment such a fire extinguisher or fire blanket on the premises
These are only a few of the fire safety measures expected of a landlord. Reviewing and enacting the rules in the comprehensive guide will help prevent deaths and injuries.
Enacting Repairs on the Property
Landlords are responsible for the constant maintenance of the property. Although you’re not expected to do these repairs yourself, particularly if you don’t have the skills required, you should still be the one to contact and oversee them. You should have a toolkit at the ready or the numbers of local contractors in case your tenants require something fixed.
Being a landlord is an immense responsibility on itself. However, dutifully overseeing the safety and continued well-being of your tenants will reward you with loyal renters and a sterling reputation.