Landlords: know your responsibilities

by Leeds Building Society


UK landlord responsibilities

A written agreement between you and your tenant should outline the basic rental rules, but a landlord’s duties stretch far further than simply collecting rent.

Here are a few of the responsibilities you’ll have as a landlord in the UK.

1. Ensure the property is safe

Various checks of appliances and fittings need to be completed before you rent out your property. You may also need a certificate to prove the work has been done to required standards. Certain checks and certificates need to be updated and renewed every year.

Visit for more information on landlord’s safety responsibilities.

2. Prompt and proper repairs

You are responsible for exterior and structural repairs over the course of a tenancy, whether you choose to complete the maintenance yourself or hire a professional to do the job.

Landlords must also keep installations that supply water, gas, electricity, sanitation and heat in proper working order.

3. Request access

While you cannot visit the property whenever you wish, your tenancy agreement should detail when you can visit the property and what notice you will need to provide.

Subject to the terms of the tenancy agreement, in an emergency – such as a serious water or gas leak - are you allowed instant access to carry out necessary work.

4. Respect their space

Tenants must be allowed full use of the property as, while they are staying there, this is their home. So unless otherwise agreed, they should be able to access and use all rooms and your belongings should not be stored there.

5. Protect the deposit

By law you are legally obliged to secure a tenant’s deposit in a government-backed protection scheme within 30 days of receiving it.

Each of these schemes aim to help with any potential financial disputes.

At the end of a tenancy you must return the deposit within 10 days of agreeing the amount to be returned.

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6. Tenancy contract changes

Subject to the terms of the tenancy contract, you may not be able to change the terms of the tenancy contract – such as the amount of rent – during the fixed period of your agreement.

When the fixed period comes to an end you can agree a new contract with any changes you want included. Alternatively, if it is a periodic ‘rolling’ tenancy you should give the tenant a month’s notice of any proposed changes.

7. Ending the tenancy

At the end of the fixed term outlined in the tenancy agreement you may decide to allow the tenants to remain in the property by entering into a new tenancy agreement or allowing them to stay on a periodic ‘rolling tenancy’. Alternatively, you may wish to terminate the tenancy agreement by providing the tenants with proper written notice.

There are also a number of situations that may mean you want to end the tenancy before the fixed term period has expired, for example if the tenants fail to pay their rent. For further information on this you should seek legal advice.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.