Tenanted properties: what are the tenant and landlord’s responsibilities?

Renting out a property can be an emotional and stressful experience for both the landlords and the tenants. Whether you are appointing an estate agent, a property management company, or plan to look after it all yourself, it is very important to understand from the start what is expected from each party. Terms vary between individual contracts, but in general you might expect the following:

Tenant’s responsibilities

  • To read the tenancy agreement carefully and make sure everything is clarified before signing
  • To pay the Council Tax, TV Licence and utility bills, unless otherwise stated in the agreement
  • To keep the property clean and in good working order
  • You may be responsible for looking after any the garden and/or any plants
  • If a burglar alarm system has been installed by the landlord, the terms of the agreement will specified whether it is the tenant or landlord’s responsibility for the maintenance and repairs of the system
  • To use the heating system responsibly and ensure that no vents are blocked

Landlord’s responsibilities

  • To keep the structure and exterior in good repair, including the drains, gutters and external pipes, the roof, the windows and doors
  • To keep the basic water, gas, electricity infrastructure and sanitary ware in good order
  • To keep the heating and hot water system in good working order (though, again, the bills are normally paid by the tenant)
  • To install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • To provide an annual Landlord Certificate for all gas appliances carried out by a Safe registered engineer. Each record must be kept for a minimum of 2 years and be provided within 28 days of a new tenant moving in
  • To ensure the electrical safety of the property: having a PAT test performed on both heavy and portable appliances shows that the appliances in the property are safe to use