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  • Technology

    Setting up a tenancy - legal duties

    Welcome to the final day of "Self Managing Landlords" Week 2017 - powered by Upad.

    All this week, Upad have been providing exclusive content to assist and support the self-managing landlord.

    The week so far:

    Day 1 - Should you self-manage your BTL properties?

    Day 2 - Undertaking viewings 

    Day 3 - Common tenancy issues and how to deal with them 

    Day 4 - Self Management of an HMO - issues and tips

    Today, In this final article of the week, Upad take a look at your legal duties as a landlord in England and Wales, with a reminder that, if a tenancy is set up correctly at the start, it greatly reduces the potential issues that could occur later down the line.

    As a self-managing landlord, all the legal duties will fall to you. Even if you use an agent to manage your property, some of the duties will still be your liability so you must ensure they are being carried out correctly.

    Gas Safety

    A Gas Safety Check should be carried out before new tenants move in to a property and they must be given the Gas Safety Certificate before check-in too. The check must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer and it your responsibility to check that they are. Subsequent checks must be made annually and the new certificate given to the tenants within 28 days.


    An Energy Performance Certificate is an indication of the energy efficiency and CO2 impact of a property. This must be carried out and a hard copy given to the tenant before they move in to the property.

    Smoke/ CO alarms

    There must be smoke alarms on every habitable floor of the property and a CO alarm fitted near any solid fuel burning appliances (although best practice is to install one near gas boilers too). You must also check that all smoke alarms are working (by pressing the alarm button) in the presence of tenants on the day they move in.


    A tenant’s deposit must be protected with one of the three approved scheme within 30 days of receiving the deposit. You must also serve your tenant with Prescribed Information and the Deposit Certificate.

    Failure to do so will lead you to be unable to serve a Section 21 notice and you may be fined between 1-3 times the deposit if your tenant takes the case to court.

    Tenancy agreement

    You will need a legally compliant tenancy agreement that includes clauses related to the property, deposit, tenant’s duties and your duties as a landlord. Make sure to get your contract from a reliable source and that the clauses are fair and enforceable.

    Right to Rent checks

    To comply with Right to Rent regulations, you must check all tenants’ original ID before they move in to the property to ensure they have the right to live in the UK. Copies must be taken and kept for 2 years.

    If a tenant has a time limited right to rent, subsequent checks must be carried out at the end of the tenancy or before the expiry of the time limit, whichever comes sooner.

    Right to Rent - what landlords need to know

    "How to Rent" guide

    The How to Rent guide is information compiled by the government to ensure tenants are aware of their own duties and landlord’s duties- particularly related to legal rights. The guide can be downloaded from the government website and you can either provide a hard copy or send as an attachment via email, links are not accepted.

    If you do not provide an EPC, How to Rent Guide and carry out Right to Rent checks, you will not be able to serve a Section 21 notice of eviction on your tenants.

    With all the above legal duties, the burden of proof always falls to the landlord. Therefore, we advise you to print out a checklist to give to the tenant and once everything has been carried out to the tenant’s agreement, they sign it for future proof. This way you are protected should there be a dispute later in the tenancy.

    Property Tribes supports new Government "How to rent" guide for consumers  

    Optional (but advised) extra - Inventory

    Moving in check-list for tenants:

    • Energy Performance Certificate
    • How to Rent Guide
    • Assured Tenancy Agreement
    • Inventory 
    • Gas Safety Certificate
    • Electrical Installation Condition Report
    • Receipt for Rent Deposit & First Month’s Rent
    • Rental Deposit Protection Certificate and Prescribed Information
    • Copies of all relevant manuals, such as:
    o boiler
    o Smoke alarms
    o electric shower
    o Gas hob
    o fridge freezer
    o dishwasher
    o washing machine
    o Carbon Monoxide detector
    • 2 sets of keys
    • Contact Authorisation for:
    o The relevant water supply company(s).
    o The relevant gas supply company(s).
    o The relevant electricity supply company(s).
    o The relevant Council Tax department.
    o The relevant Electoral Role department.
    o The relevant Housing Benefit department, if applicable
    o The Television Licensing organisation
    o The relevant telephone company(s)
    o The relevant internet service provider(s)
    o The landlord/letting agent/or property manager

    Tenant should also be supplied with copies of the meter readings taken on move-in day.

    Optional extra:

    Condensation & mould. A guide to give your tenants when they move in. 

    *The above information is relevant to England and Wales only.

    Do any landlords feel overwhelmed by the legal duties? Do you prefer to let someone else take care of it?

    Don’t get caught out by not keeping up-to-date with regulation changes https://www.upad.co.uk/hub/webinars/land...-checklist 

    And make sure you have a legally compliant tenancy agreement https://www.upad.co.uk/essential 

    VISIT THE UPAD WEBSITE or call the team on 0333 240 1220 to find out more about how they support self-managing landlords.

    Summary of content:

    Day 1 - Should you self-manage your BTL properties?

    Day 2 - Undertaking viewings 

    Day 3 - Common tenancy issues and how to deal with them 

    Day 4 - Self Management of an HMO - issues and tips

    We hope you have enjoyed Self Managing Week 2017 and Property Tribes thanks Upad for powering our content all this week and supporting landlord education and best practice.

    *Transparency notice: Upad is a commercial partner of Property Tribes.

    Upad has the following professional memberships and credentials:

    SEE ALSO  -           I've possibly just become a first time landlord

    UP NEXT -               Summary of 2017 Changes to Tenancy Law

    DON'T MISS -          Moving in check list for tenants.



    Thanks for having us, Vanessa! Does anyone on PT find it difficult to stay on top of their legal duties? Or to get their head round what they need to do to stay on the right side of the law?


    Can't find the bit that says "... for England & English properties only......".. (or am I wrong....)


    There is a new "How to Rent" Guide to use - June 2018.  Find it here.