Landlords - Obligations for new tenants

24th Oct 2017

Landlords – Obligations for new tenants

The new University term has begun and with it comes an influx of new tenants across Bournemouth. With a new tenant comes a long list of responsibilities and it is all too easy to miss these. 

The consequences of failing to comply with a landlord’s obligations can be severe. Deposits may have to be returned. A landlord may have to pay extra money to the tenant. It may not be possible to evict the tenant if they fail to pay their rent or damage the property. 

A landlord’s obligations now include:

Prescribed information and deposit protection

The rules state if you have taken a deposit on or after 1 April 2013 this money must be registered with one of the 3 approved Tenancy Deposit Schemes within 30 days of your receiving it.  You also need to serve the prescribed information on your tenants within 30 days of the tenancy beginning. Failing to either protect the deposit or serve the required information on your tenant could result in you receiving a fine of 1 to 3 times the amount of the deposit. It may also delay removing the tenant. You must also provide your tenant with the Government’s ‘How to Rent’ Guide.

Tenancy agreement

New tenants must be given a copy of the signed tenancy agreement. If you ask the tenants to sign before they take over the property, you should remind the tenants that once they sign they become legally bound by the contract.

Certificates and utilities

Tenants need to be given copies of the Energy Performance Certificate for the property and a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate for any gas appliances. You should make sure that any top-up cards or account details that your tenants may require to access heating and electricity services are given to them on the day they move in. 

It is important to remember that these rules are subject to constant review and spending a little money checking your responsibilities at the start of a tenancy can avoid major delay and expense later on. 

If you have any questions regarding Landlord or Tenant issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01202 512227.