Landlords' rights and responsibilities

As a landlord, you have certain rights and responsibilities when you rent out your property to private tenants.

The links below all go to GOV.UK where you can find out:

Access to the property

As the tenant has been granted exclusive possession of the property, they are able to exclude whoever they choose from the property. This includes their landlord.

As a landlord you have the right to carry out repairs in line with your legal duties, but you should agree a mutually convenient time to arrange access. Always give your tenant at least 24 hours' notice.

You should never let yourself into the property without your tenant's consent unless it's an emergency. Doing so could be construed as harassment.

Health and safety responsibilities

When you rent out your home, you must make sure your property meets current health and safety requirements.

Electrical safety

An electrical safety inspection must be carried out:

  • before a tenancy starts
  • during the tenancy, at intervals of no more than five years from the date of the previous inspection.

The electrical safety inspection does not have to be completed immediately before a new tenancy begins or every time a new tenancy starts, as long as an inspection has been carried out five years before the tenancy starts.

The electrical safety inspection must be recorded in an electric installation condition report (EICR) and a portable appliance testing (PAT) report.

To find out more, visit the Electrical Safety First website for information on:

Fire safety

As a landlord you must:

  • follow safety regulations
  • provide a smoke alarm on each storey and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a solid fuel burning appliance, for example, a coal fire or wood burning stove
  • check your tenants have access to escape routes at all times
  • make sure the furniture and furnishings you supply are fire safe
  • provide fire alarms and extinguishers if the property is a large houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs).

You can read more about fire safety on the London Fire Brigade website.

Gas safety

By law you must get a registered engineer to inspect gas pipework, appliances and chimneys/flues every 12 months.

You must give your tenant a copy of the gas safety certificate within 28 days of the check being carried out, or before the tenant moves in. You must also keep a copy of the safety check for two years.

Visit the Gas Safety Register website for information on: