your responsibilities as a


We’ve seen the introduction of a never-ending list of constantly updated rules, regulations, and new laws that impact landlords across Leicester.

There are now more than 175 pieces of legislation that landlords with properties in the UK must comply with.

Falling foul of these rules can have severe consequences. Landlords must be aware of these laws and run their property portfolios professionally. This approach keeps their investments protected and their tenants safe.

There are more than 175 rules and laws that govern what you can, can’t and must do when you are a landlord. Rather than list them all in this guide, we’ve picked the main areas of responsibility that landlords need to think about. We’re happy to discuss these and any of the other regulations with you in greater detail.


Under the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, landlords must get their property electrics checked at least every five years by a properly qualified person. This applied to new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. The electrics must be safe, and you must give your tenant proof of this in the form of an Electrical Installation and Condition Report (EICR).


A gas safety certificate is legally required for any gas appliance or installation. As a landlord, you must provide your tenant with an up-to-date copy of this certificate before they move into the property. You must also provide the tenant with a copy of the new certificate after each annual gas safety check.


At the start of their tenancy, you must provide your tenant with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which contains the energy performance rating of the property you are renting to them. As of April 2020, all privately rented properties must have an energy performance rating of EPC band E or above (unless a valid exemption applies) before being let out. EPCs last for ten years. The certificate will also offer helpful advice on improving a property’s energy rating.

Fire & carbon monoxide safety

Landlords must have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of a property they let out. In addition, if you have solid-fuel appliances like wood-burning stoves or open fires, carbon monoxide detectors must be provided. This regulation is set to be updated, meaning carbon monoxide alarms will also be required for gas boilers.

Right to rent

You must carry out a ‘right to rent’ check on any prospective tenant before they move in. The current (April 2022) government guidance in the form of ‘Landlord’s guide to right to rent checks’ is 86 pages long. That’s probably why many landlords hand this aspect of renting out their property to an experienced letting agent. In a sentence, the ‘right to rent’ check is carried out to confirm that a prospective tenant has the legal right to be living in England. Ignoring this check can lead to significant fines and even imprisonment.


If your tenant has provided a deposit (highly advisable), you must protect it in a government-approved scheme within 30 days and give the tenant information about it. We can advise you on what deposit schemes are available and best suited to your needs. Keeping all paperwork linked to deposits safe and easily accessible is very important. It’s worth noting that deposits are capped at five weeks’ worth of rent. Landlords can no longer hold a higher deposit for things such as pets. The tenant must be provided with the prescribed information document relating to their deposit (talk to us about this).


As a landlord, it is your responsibility to pay the correct taxes (and, in some cases, National Insurance) linked to your income from your property investments. It’s a complex area, and one best looked at by an accountant or specialist tax adviser. You’ll also need to have a buildings insurance policy in place. We strongly recommend investigating other policies such as rent and legal protection that can cover you for void periods, legal disputes, and unpaid rent.

MYTH: I own the property, so I can turn up at it whenever I like to check it out.

FACT: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 allows a landlord access to inspect the property, as long as they have given at least 24 hours’ notice and the proposed visit is at a reasonable time. However, the tenant must be given the opportunity to refuse the visit.

MYTH: I can change the locks and take back my property at any time if my rent isn’t paid on time.

FACT: You must follow a strict set of procedures and legal steps including court orders and potentially bailiffs. Call us to discuss this further if you need more detailed advice.

MYTH: I can leave white goods/items in the property, but I don’t have to repair them.

FACT: Anything supplied with the property at the commencement of the tenancy is the landlord’s responsibility to repair and maintain, providing any damage has not been caused through misuse or neglect.

MYTH: I can have a copy of my tenant’s referencing forms.

FACT: You can request this but you will need the tenant’s consent before these forms can be provided.

MYTH: I can chuck a tenant’s stuff out if they abandon the property.

FACT: You must check your original tenancy agreement for an abandonment clause. If no clause is in there, it is usual for a landlord to be duty-bound to hold/store items for three months before disposing of them. Remember, there is a process for regaining possession/surrendering tenancy for abandoned properties.

MYTH: I can make a profit on utility bills on inclusive rents.

FACT: No, you can’t. You must charge whatever the tenant has used and not put anything on top.

MYTH: I can make deductions to the tenant’s deposit.

FACT: There’s a process to follow before deductions can be made to a deposit. These deductions require agreement from the tenant or arbitration from the authorised deposit scheme being used.

The price of getting it wrong

The penalties and punishments of falling short of your responsibilities as a landlord can be severe.

Hefty fines and prison sentences can accompany the most serious breaches. Also, any run-ins with local authorities and government agencies can prove extremely stressful and time-consuming for landlords. It’s the main reason why we created this guide – to help landlords avoid a compliance calamity which is often due to not knowing their responsibilities rather than wilful negligence.

£90,000 fine

In 2021, a landlord in Hertfordshire and his property management company were found guilty of 27 charges linked to the mismanagement of two properties. The penalties were related to multiple fire safety breaches and failure to comply with an improvement notice. It was a costly experience for them as the fines (including legal costs) added up to more than £90,000.

Common cases and penalties

You could be hit with a ‘standard’ £6,000 fine and/or six months’ imprisonment for failing to comply with gas safety legislation. You can be fined up to £30,000 for a breach of electrical regulations. ‘Right to rent’ breaches (where you allow someone to live in your property that doesn’t have the legal right to live in England) has an increasing scale of £1,000 – £3,000 fines and possible imprisonment in the most serious cases. The vast majority of landlords want to do the right thing and take their roles seriously. But the authorities are taking stronger stances against those who break the laws.

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