What are landlords responsible for?

Landlords in the UK have certain responsibilities to withhold. These responsibilities are outlined in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and the Housing Act 2004, and they exist to ensure that tenants reside in a safe and habitable living environment. As a landlord, gov.uk states that you must:

  • Keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards.
  • Make sure all gas equipment and electrical is safely installed and maintained.
  • Provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property.
  • Protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme.
  • Check your tenant has the right to rent your property if it is in England.
  • Give your tenant a copy of the How to rent checklist when they start renting from you.

There are different rules for landlords in Scotland and landlords in Northern Ireland.

What about damp problems?

Under the ‘repairing obligations’ set out in section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant act 1985, landlords are legally required to take responsibility for solving any damp issues. Some of the key responsibilities’ landlords should be aware of include:

  1. Repairing structural issues: If there are any structural issues that are causing damp, such as a leaky roof or damaged gutters, it is the responsibility of the landlord to repair these issues.
  2. Ensuring adequate ventilation: If there is a lack of ventilation in the property, this can cause damp. A landlord should ensure that the property has adequate ventilation, such as extractor fans in the bathrooms and kitchens and air bricks in external walls.
  3. Providing heating: If the property is too cold, this can cause condensation and damp. Adequate heating in the property to prevent this from happening should be provided by the landlord.
  4. Treating existing damp: If there is already damp in the property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to treat it and resolve the issue.
  5. Regular damp inspections: Landlords need to conduct regular inspections of the property to check for damp and other issues. This will also enable you to identify and resolve any issues before they escalate into bigger, more serious ones.

The main responsibility a landlord has when damp issues are discovered is to ensure a correct diagnosis is obtained and to carry out the treatment if it is their responsibility. Treating damp is a mandatory repair under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). If landlords adhere to the HHSRS it will help keep them on the right side of the law, protect the property’s value and ensure the tenant can live in the property safely.

By fulfilling their responsibilities, landlords can help to prevent damp from occurring in their property and ensure that tenants have a safe and comfortable living environment all year round. It is also important for landlords to keep records of any repairs or treatments conducted for future reference.

At Jennings and Barrett, we have been looking after landlords in Kent and South East London for many years. Whether you are a single-property landlord who is looking for suitable tenants or a seasoned investor with a large portfolio of properties, we have a property management team that is specifically trained to help you. Contact us today and see what we can offer you.