Advice to private landlords

Tenancy types

Shorthold tenancy - you can regain possession of your property six months after the beginning of the tenancy, provided that you give two months' notice. If you think you may need to regain possession of your property at some time, you should consider offering a shorthold tenancy. If you have a mortgage, your lender may require the tenancy to be a shorthold tenancy.

Assured tenancy - your tenant has the right to remain in the property unless you can prove to the court that you have grounds for possession. You do not have an automatic right to repossess the property when the tenancy comes to an end. If you are sure that you want to let the property indefinitely, you should consider an assured tenancy.

If you already have an existing assured tenant, you cannot replace his/her tenancy with a shorthold tenancy.

If you are unsure which type of tenancy to offer, you should seek legal advice.


Landlords of privately rented properties must make sure those properties are safe and free from health hazards and in good repair.

The government sets the standards that rented properties should meet and we are responsible for making sure landlords meet them. If a property is below these standards, we have legal powers to encourage a landlord to make the necessary improvements to meet the required standards.

Gas and electrical appliances

Landlords are required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out by a tradesman who is registered with Gas Safe Register.

The landlord must keep a record of the safety checks and issue it to the tenant within 28 days of each annual check. The landlord is not responsible for maintaining any gas appliances the tenant is entitled to take with them at the end of the letting.

Landlords should also ensure that the electrical system and any electrical appliances that they supply (such as cookers, kettles, toasters, washing machines and immersion heaters) are safe to use.

Fire safety - furniture and furnishings

Landlords must ensure that any furniture and furnishings they supply meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

The regulations set levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture. All new and second hand furniture provided in accommodation that is let for the first time, or replacement furniture in existing let accommodation, must meet the fire resistance requirements unless it was made before 1950. Most furniture will have a manufacturer's label on it to confirm this.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Prior to letting a property, you should show a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to the prospective tenant(s). EPCs give information on the likely energy costs for the property and how to make it more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All homes bought, sold or rented require an EPC.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

A HMO is a property rented out by people who are not from one ‘household’ (e.g. a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’ or it can be divided into bedsits. A HMO should have sufficient facilities for the people occupying it and adequate fire protection. You will also have to make sure that you manage the property properly in accordance with the Management Regulations.

Some larger HMO’s may require a license. If you are a landlord and rent out a house that is three or more storeys high which is occupied by five or more people, you need a license for a house in multiple occupation. The licenses have been brought in by the government to protect tenants.

The licenses have been brought in by the government to protect tenants.

If you are a tenant in a house of multiple occupation, make sure your landlord has a license. If they don't, contact us:


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Private Sector Housing
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