This document does not contain an exhaustive explanation of all of the statutes and other forms
of legislation which may apply to you in circumstances where you have let your property, or you
have allowed others to occupy it. It does not constitute legal advice. In addition to obligations
under statute and other legislation, you will also be placed under obligations in any tenancy or
licence agreement that is entered into with an occupier of your property. Accordingly, you should
ensure that you have read such documents carefully so that you know what is expected and required
The laws which apply to tenancies (such as assured shorthold tenancies) can differ from those
which apply to licences. Generally, the rules relating to the former impose a greater burden on a
property owner. It is however good practice to ensure compliance with the obligations detailed in
this document (where possible), even if you are only granting a licence of your property. For
this reason, this document does not distinguish between rules that apply to tenancies and those
which apply to licences, unless expressly stated otherwise.
Under the terms that we have agreed with you, we will assist you with complying with some of the
legal obligations detailed in this document, but it is still important that you are aware of the
obligations the law imposes upon you. You should carefully consult our terms in order to identify
those matters we have agreed to help you with and those that you must attend to yourself. If you
are uncertain as to your legal rights and responsibilities, you must take independent legal
You are responsible for ensuring that the property is safe and fit for human habitation. The
Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 may apply
when you allow someone to occupy your property. If it does, then it will be implied into any
tenancy that is granted that the property:
Is fit for human habitation at the time the tenancy was granted or, if later, the date
that the term of the tenancy commences; and
It will remain fit for human habitation during the term.
You will be responsible for ensuring that all necessary statutory certificates have been obtained
for the property and that they are kept up to date.
We draw your attention to current safety regulations that may apply when you let someone stay in
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 and 2010).
You must ensure that any furniture and furnishings supplied meets the fire resistance
requirements in the regulations. The regulations apply where the Property is regarded primarily
as a source of income rather than your home. The regulations set levels of fire resistance for
domestic upholstered furniture. All furniture provided in accommodation that is let must meet
the fire resistance requirements unless it was made before 1950. Furniture must have a
manufacturer’s label confirming that the furniture meets the requirements.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
obliges you to keep installations in the property (such as the supply of electricity) in good
repair and working order. In addition, the
Housing Act 2004
gives local authorities the power to inspect and take action against you in the event that they
discover electrical hazards in the property under the
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations
1994 & The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations
All new or recently
re-wired properties must be protected by a Residual Current Device in order to comply with
Building Regulations. You should ensure that the electrical system, installations and any
electrical appliances that you supply such as cookers, kettles, toasters, washing machines and
immersion heaters are safe to use and you should consider employing a qualified electrician to
conduct safety tests.
The Occupier’s Liability Acts 1957 and 1984
impose a duty of care on you which covers anyone who visits your property. In summary, if there
is a hazard in your property of which you are, or ought to be aware, you could have liability in
the event the hazard causes injury to someone in your property.
You are required to ensure that the gas supply and all gas appliances in the property (unless
they belong to the tenant), and sometimes those located outside of the property but which serve
the property, are safe and in good order and that a gas safety check is carried out annually by
an engineer who is registered with the Gas Safe Register. The current regulations that apply are
the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. The
regulations require you to give a
copy of the gas safety certificate to any tenant of your property. A failure to do this before
you allow the person into occupation may restrict your ability to recover possession of the
The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012
require you to provide
an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any prospective guest of your property. A person
becomes a prospective tenant if they ask for information about the property for the purposes of
deciding whether to rent it, or they ask to view it for that purpose, or they make an offer to
rent it (regulation 3 of the EPC Regulations). A new EPC does not need to be commissioned each
time there is a new letting. As long as there is an existing, valid EPC for the property, then
that EPC can be used. The EPC or a copy of it may be made available in colour or in black and
white, and by paper copy, URL link, or making a copy available for physical inspection. If the
EPC is to be made available electronically, the recipient must consent to this. A failure to
the occupier a copy of the EPC may restrict your right to recover possession of the property.
Additionally a minimum energy performance rating of E will be required to rent or let a
residential Property as from 01 April 2018..
In order to comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s Code of Practice you are strongly
advised to carry out a risk assessment for legionnaire’s disease at their property prior to
letting it out, especially if there are open water tanks, cooling systems or a swimming pool or
if the property has been vacant for a period of time prior to the letting.
The British Blind and Shutter Association Regulations,
apply tough guidelines relating to the installations for raising and lowering blinds; and the movement of curtains across windows. This means that new blinds and curtains being installed will have fixed cords or ball bearing pulls to prevent any danger of asphyxiation to a young child; and a warning notice with the purchasing material. Existing blinds and windows may need to be fitted with safety features to ensure compliance, without which, a Stay or Tenancy cannot proceed.
If we are managing the Property we will check all blinds and curtains on a Property Management
visit and if necessary arrange for the relevant safety feature to be fitted at the Client ’s
expense. If we are not managing the Property it is the Client ’s responsibility to make
such checks and arrange the fitting of any necessary safety feature. We have no liability if such
precautions are not carried out.
You have legal responsibilities and repairing obligations under Section 11 of the Landlord and
Tenant Act 1985 to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the
Property (including drains,
gutters and external pipes); to keep in repair and proper working order the installations for the
supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks baths and
sanitary conveniences); to keep in repair and proper working order the installations for space
heating and heating water.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
That a smoke alarm must be installed on each storey of the property that is to be used
wholly or partly as living accommodation; and
That a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any room that is wholly or partly used
as living accommodation and which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
That you are obliged to test and ensure that all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
are in proper working order at the start of any new tenancy.
Aside from safety of the occupier of the property, there are other obligations imposed upon you
by the law or by the contracts you have entered into relating to your property. We draw your
attention to some of these obligations below:
If an individual is going to be staying in your property and using it as their only or main
residence, then you will be required to carry out a “Right to Rent”
check due to
rules contained within the Immigration Act 2016. The Home
Office’s Code of Practice makes
it clear that holiday lettings for a short, time-limited period, where it is clear the person
intends to use the property for leisure-related purposes and will not remain in the property
after this period, are not caught by the Right to Rent check requirements. However, where the
property is booked for a period of three months or more, this may indicate the person could be
intending to use it as their only or main home, which would, in turn, mean that a Right to Rent
check would need to be conducted before the tenancy is granted. Failure to conduct a Right to
Rent check when required to do one is a criminal offence.
You must follow due process when it comes to recovering possession of your property. This means
that it may not be lawful to simply change the locks of your property when you want possession.
This could amount to a criminal offence and could give rise to liability for unlawful eviction.
The rules surrounding recovering possession of residential property are complicated. In the event
an occupier refuses to leave voluntarily, then you should seek expert legal advice.
If you grant a tenancy, you will need to ensure that the government guide entitled “How to
Rent – the checklist for renting in England” has been given to the tenant. Failure to
do this could restrict your right to recover possession of the property.
Your property may be subject to restrictions on how it is used arising out of the planning
permission or other permitted use regulations that the property, or the area in which the
property is situated, is subject to. Granting holiday lettings can amount to a change of use for
planning law purposes and it is up to you to ensure that your intended use for the property is
compliant with the relevant regulations.
The Housing Act 2014 introduced a regime for licensing
houses in multiple occupation. Some
fall within licensing requirements and
some local authorities even impose such
requirements on all residential
property that is let. A failure to
comply with the legal
requirements can amount to a criminal
offence, can restrict your right to
recover possession of a
property and can result in you being
ordered to repay rent received from
tenants. The rules are
very complicated and you should get
legal advice in the event you are
uncertain as to your
If your property is subject to a mortgage, then you will be required to comply with the terms of
your mortgage deed. This document may restrict who you are allowed to let stay at your property
and the terms upon which you are entitled to allow people to occupy. Check with the lender to
make sure that there aren’t restrictions on subletting or hosting.
If your interest in the property is a leasehold interest (most commonly this will be the case if
you own a flat in a larger building), then what you are entitled to do with the property will be
the subject of a lease that has been granted to you by the freeholder or a superior landlord. You
must ensure that you comply with the provisions of your lease as they often limit how the
property can be sub-let and with how possession of the property can be shared with others. You
may need to obtain the consent of your landlord before proceeding with letting or licensing your
You must ensure that the property is adequately insured. If you have a long leasehold interest,
your landlord may hold the insurance policy that covers the property. In either case, you will
need to ensure that allowing someone else to occupy your property will not void the insurance
90 Day Rule - London
The Greater London Council Act 1973 implemented a London
specific rule that meant
it was not
possible to conduct any
short let (any single
stay less than 90 days
in duration) in the
London area. Prior to
the Deregulation Act
2015, Greater London had
a planning restriction
rentals. In most cases,
it was considered a
“change of use”
use your residential
premises as temporary
The Deregulation Act of 2015 introduced an exception that
allows you to use residential
for temporary sleeping
accommodation without being
considered a “change of
you use the property as a
short-term rental for 90 or
fewer nights in a calendar
year, which is
known as the “90 night
If you use your property for short-term rentals for more than 90 days in a calendar year, the
exception doesn't apply.