Last Updated: November 2018
Knowing your Landlord
You have the right to know the name and address of your landlord
You have the right to know the name and address of your landlord. If you make a written request for this information to the person you pay your rent to, they must give it to you within 21 days.
You also have a right to be provided with a name and address in England or Wales where you can write to your landlord. This is the address you should use, for example, to give your landlord notice of any repairs needed, notice that you will be taking legal action against him, or notice that you wish to leave. This is so important that the law says no rent is payable until this name and address is provided. Once provided, any back rent will then have to be paid.
You have the right to redress
If you found your home through a letting agency and you don’t think they treated you fairly, you have a right to redress. This means you can make a complaint to one of the schemes that the agent is a member of and ask to be compensated. The most common complaint is that the agents charge unreasonable fees. Other reasons for a complaint might be that the agents did not provide truthful information about your new home or that they didn’t provide an Energy Performance Certificate.
In some areas there are special rules for private rented homes. The rules mean that landlords have to apply to the local Council for a Licence to let their properties.
The properties covered by landlord licensing vary. You should contact your local council to find out the exact rules that apply in your area.
Common Things Landlords Must Do Under Landlord Licensing Rules
Your landlord must not evict you as a way of trying to avoid having a licence or meeting the licence requirements.
- Give you a written tenancy agreement
- Give you a record of the rent that you pay
- Protect your tenancy deposit
- Give you written confirmation about the arrangements in place for reporting disrepair and how the disrepair will be dealt with
- Use competent trades people to do repairs
- Give you a written complaints procedure which tells you what you can do if you want to make a complaint about your landlord or his agents
- Make sure your gas installation and appliances are safe by having them tested every year and letting your local council know
- Make sure your electrics are safe by arranging an electrical safety test every five years
- Make sure your furniture and furnishings are fire resistant
- Make sure that your home is secure with adequate locks and entry systems. Any mortice locks should be ones that you can open from the inside without a key, in case you need to exit quickly in an emergency
- Change the locks between lettings
- Maintain and re-decorate the outside of your house when it needs it
- Keep gardens, fences, gates, etc, in good condition
- Keep your home free from infestations, including outside areas, and respond to reports from you about infestations within 7 days
- Keep smoke alarms in good working order
- Make sure that means of escape are free of obstruction and that fire precautions are maintained
- Put emergency management arrangements in place for times when the landlord or agent is not available
The landlord must also take reasonable and practical action to prevent anti-social behaviour by any tenants or their visitors.
For new tenants, the landlord must ask for references. There are extra things landlords must do where tenants rent bedsits and share amenities with other tenants in the house. These are mainly about the size of rooms and making sure there are enough kitchens, toilets and bathrooms for the number of people in the house. There are also more fire precautions such as fire blankets in the shared kitchens.
Check a landlord or agent
All London councils have now agreed to participate in the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker campain organised by the London Assembly and the Mayor of London . The list currently contains information about private landlords and letting agents who have been prosecuted or fined by the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Brent, Camden, Croydon, Greenwich, Haringey, Havering, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Waltham Forest and Westminster. The Mayor is working closely with all other London councils to add their enforcement records on to the Checker as soon as possible.
For more information and to access the tools, please visit the London Assembly website via this link.