Advice for landlords

Notice to landlords

We sent a letter to landlords and agents on Thursday, 29 June 2017 to provide information regarding fire safety responsibilities within rented properties, in light of the tragic events that took place in Kensington earlier this month.

Download the guidance

National Landlords Association and Wandsworth / Richmond Councils Landlords Forum

The latest forum was held on Monday 19 March 2018 in the Council Chamber at Wandsworth Town Hall, organised jointly by the National Landlords Association and Wandsworth and Richmond Councils' Environmental Health (Private Housing) Service.

About 60 landlords and agents who own or manage properties in Wandsworth and Richmond boroughs attended and participated in lively presentations and debate about the following topics.

The next forum will be held in 2019. Contact the team if you have any general questions on privatehousing@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Landlord responsibilities 

As a landlord you must:

  • keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
  • make sure all gas and electrical equipment 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’s in England
  • give your tenant a copy of the How to rent checklist when they start renting from you (you can email it to them)

You can find information about the rights and responsibilities of landlords on the GOV.UK website. The information includes:

As a landlord you are responsible to ensure you have a licence if your property requires one. Currently, licences are required for houses in multiple occupation (HMO). Find out more about landlord licences.

Health and safety inspections

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) is used by us to make sure that properties are safe for the people who live there. This involves inspecting your property for possible hazards, eg uneven stairs. 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
  • we have done a survey of local properties and think your property might be hazardous

You must take action on enforcement notices. You also have the right to appeal enforcement notices.

If we find a serious hazard we may:

  • issue an improvement notice
  • fix the hazard and bill you for the cost
  • stop you or anyone else from using part or all of the property

Financial responsibilities

You have to pay:

If you have a mortgage on the property you want to rent out, you must get permission from your mortgage lender.

Regulated tenancies

There are special rules for changing rents and terms for regulated tenancies (usually private tenancies starting before 15 January 1989).

Checking the immigration status of tenants

From February 2016, if you let private rented accommodation to a new tenant, you must check that their immigration status is lawful before allowing them to rent the property.  You may face a fine if you don’t comply.

We cannot carry out inspections for immigration purposes. Instead, you should contact an independent environmental health officer.