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7 obligations landlords need to know about

If you’re a Fylde coast landlord, you’ll be aware that a raft of recent legislation has changed the way you do business. Keeping track of it all is tricky, so we’ve brought all your obligations in connection with the management of your property together in one handy checklist.

Right to rent

As a Fylde landlord, you’re now under a legal obligation to check that your tenants have the right to be here. You can find more here.

Repairs

When you let a Fylde coast property you’re responsible for repairing and maintaining its common areas (eg hallways, staircases, elevators etc), its structure and exterior.

You’re also responsible for repairs to the following within the tenant’s home:

  • Basins, baths, sinks, showers, toilets and other sanitary fittings including pipes and drains
  • Heating and hot water
  • Gas appliances, together with pipes, flues and ventilation
  • Electrical wiring
  • Any damage you cause during the course of carrying out any of the above

Safety

Gas, electricity and fire safety are all your responsibility:

  • Gas appliances must be installed and checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You must give a copy of your property’s gas safety check record to your tenant within 28 days of their moving in.
  • You must ensure that all electrical fixtures (eg sockets and lighting) and any appliances you supply are safe.
  • You must follow fire safety regulations. Install smoke detectors on every storey of the property, ensure furniture and fittings are fire safe, and do nothing to obstruct fire evacuation routes.

Rent

Want to increase the rent on your Fylde property? You’ll need to follow these steps:

  • If your tenancy agreement sets out the terms for increasing rent, you need to stick to it
  • For rolling tenancies (week to week or month to month) you can increase the rent once a year (at a “reasonable” rate – see below) without agreement
  • Fixed term rents can only be varied by agreement in writing or at the end of the term
  • Any increase must be “fair” and “reasonable” – i.e. in line with rents in the area
  • You must give 1 month’s notice of any change (6 months if your tenant pays annually)

Deposits

You must protect any deposit paid to you by paying into a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. You can find out more here.

Anti-social behaviour

All Fylde landlords are required to take measures to deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB), with the landlord’s ultimate sanction being eviction – see below. Failing to tackle ASB can lead to your local council getting involved, either by taking over management or the property, or to address wider issues through selective licensing.

On the Fylde Coast, there are currently two selective licensing areas in operation. They’re both in Blackpool (in Claremont and South Beach – with a proposed third area in Blackpool Central). In these areas, landlords are required to actively address ASB by, for example, developing anti-social behaviour plans.

Landlords of Fylde properties outside these areas are still bound by the requirement to tackle anti-social behaviour where and if it arises.

Evictions

If your tenant fails to pay, breaches the terms of their contract or engages in anti-social behaviour you can evict them. How you must go about it depends on the type of tenancy they hold.

You can find the steps to take for each type of tenancy arrangement here.

Want help or advice with any of the above? Talk to us, your Fylde letting agents, here.

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