First time landlord's guide

This guide is aimed at first time landlord’s but could also prove useful for landlords with previous experience. Follow the links to see each section in detail.

Step 2

Legal responsibilities

A landlord has to provide new tenants with specific information at the start of their tenancy, which includes:

  • an Energy Performance Certificate for your home
  • a copy of the government guide How to rent which gives practical advice about what to do before and during a let.
  • the landlord's full name and address or details of their lettings agent (who must give you the landlord's details if you ask)
  • Check your tenant has the right to rent if in England – if not you risk a fine.
  • Gas safety certificate for each gas appliance.

Protect the deposit

Most tenancies are assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and as a landlord you must protect the tenancy deposit with a UK government-approved deposit protection scheme.

A landlord of an AST who doesn’t protect the deposit can be fined and it can make it much more difficult to end the tenancy.

Deposits must be returned in full at the end of the tenancy, unless there is a dispute about damage caused to the property or unpaid rent.

Your landlord must carry out most repairs

Landlords are responsible for most repairs to the exterior or structure of a property.

This means that any problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains are the responsibility of the landlord. Landlords are also responsible for keeping the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity in safe working order.

Your Move offer all tenants an easy way to report maintenance issues through the Tenant Portal.

Meet safety standards

Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure tenants are safe.

Landlords in England must ensure smoke alarms are installed on each floor of your property and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with a coal fire or wood- burning stove for the start of the tenancy.

It is essential to get a gas safety certificate for each gas appliance provided in the property and these must be left in the property.

All furniture must meet safety standards. Your Move can give advice on which furniture items will be compliant, and all compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position. This is to reduce the risk of fire within the property.

Electrical regulations - You are required to ensure that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) so you can be sure you are compliant.

Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Introduced as part of the Housing Act 2004, the HHSRS allows local authorities to assess the condition of the property and any potential hazards. The aim is to maintain good standards in the private rented sector. Your Move can help you understand how this legislation may apply to your property.


As a landlord you have a duty of care to your tenants to make sure your water supply is working properly to protect them from Legionella - find out more about Legionella.

Accessing a tenanted property

As a Landlord it is inevitable that you will need to access the property from time to time to carry out repairs and inspections. However access should not cause unnecessary interference to your tenant.

Give reasonable notice and arrange a suitable time with yourself and the tenant, the notice period is usually set out in your tenancy agreement.