Information for landlords

Landlords have certain things they have legal responsibilities for. These include:

  • Protecting tenancy deposits in a government approved scheme
  • Ensuring gas safety checks are carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe engineer
  • Issuing Energy Performance Certificates
  • Providing the tenant with a latest copy of the How to Rent guide
  • Carrying out Check your tenant's right to rent
  • Installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
  • Registering for a license (if necessary)

For more information please follow the link to the Housing repairs, standards and enforcement web page

The most common type of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

A tenancy agreement is a contract between the landlord and tenant and it can be either written or oral. In England it is at the landlord’s discretion as to what type they issue, however written tenancy agreements often offer more protection and helps to avoid a “he said/she said” situation.

Unfortunately, on occasion some properties become damaged during the tenancy. Landlords can use the tenant’s deposit to rectify this at the end of the tenancy as long as it is stated in the tenancy agreement. Any money left over after the repairs are completed must be returned to the tenant.

Deposits cannot be used for general wear and tear on the property.

It’s not compulsory but it is often a good idea to carry out reference and credit checks on prospective tenants to determine whether they are suitable for a property. By doing this it enables the landlord to put extra precautions if necessary.

It’s important for the landlords to encourage their tenants to report any repairs and for them to be rectified in a reasonable time frame. Sometimes the tenant may want to fix things themselves but would need to ask the landlords permission first.

It is a landlord’s responsibility to maintain the structure of the property.

Landlords should not turn up unannounced to the property.

Wherever possible, they should give tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before visiting. Landlords should not enter the property without the tenant being present unless it is previously agreed e.g. to carry out repairs, etc.

Sometimes, tenants suffer from financial hardship and begin falling into arrears. If this situation occurs, it is best practice for landlords to speak to the tenant as soon as possible to come to a payment agreement. A friendly approach is the best way to get a tenant to engage.

There is support available to tenants who are experiencing payment difficulties.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is defined as ‘conduct by an individual or group that has caused or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person’. This includes things like:

  • Rowdy or inconsiderate behaviour
  • Neighbour disputes
  • Littering
  • Dog fouling
  • Fly tipping
If a tenant is causing ASB, their landlord should advise them against this. If the problem continues and the tenant is reported, West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) will take action on them. If your tenant is experiencing ASB from others they should contact WLDC’s Anti-Social Behaviour Officers who are able to provide advice and support.

If there comes a point where you wish to evict your tenant it must be done using the correct paperwork.

For most tenancies 2 months’ notice must be given. If a tenant has not vacated the property by the end of this period then an application to the courts for possession has to be made. If they still remain at the property a further application has to be made to instruct bailiffs to remove them. Straying from this process could be classed as an illegal eviction and you could be prosecuted for it.

Tenants are responsible for:

  • Taking care of the property including outside areas
  • Paying rent on time and in full unless otherwise agreed
  • Promptly reporting repairs to the landlord
  • Allowing reasonable access to the landlord or personnel working on their behalf
  • Not causing a nuisance in or around the property

The Tenant Passport is a free to use tenant referencing service managed and delivered by West Lindsey District Council’s Home Choices Team.

The aim of the scheme is to improve tenancy sustainment in the social and private rented sector by providing landlords with information regarding a person's tenancy history. This will assist landlords in determining whether they feel they want that particular applicant for their property and will enable the council to identify where support can be offered to the landlord or the potential tenant to help them to obtain and then to maintain a property.

For more information please view Tenant Passport Scheme web page