You must provide all of your tenants with certain documentation relating to their tenancy. All landlords are legally obligated to provide these items to their tenants and failure to do so can result in prosecution and a hefty fine. If you have contracted an agent to manage the property, you should make sure that they have complied with these legal requirements.
The law says you must give your tenants
- a rent book
- your landlord registration number
- a gas safety certificate, for any gas appliances in the property
- an Energy Performance Certificate and
- information on the tenancy deposit protection scheme you've chosed to protect the tenant's deposit and some prescribed information relating to the deposit
Enforcement of legislation
If you fail to give your tenants a rent book, your landlord registration number, an Energy Performance Certificate or if you fail to protect the tenants deposit, the tenants can report you to the local district or city council.
The Environmental Health Officers of each council area are charged with enforcing legislation relating to the private rented sector. If an officer is made aware of an offence, he or she will be obliged to investigate the complaint. The Environmental Health Officer will usually contact you to ensure that you are aware of your legal obligations and will give you 14 days to comply with these legal requirements. If you have not provided these items by the end of this 14 day period, the council may take court action against you.
If you don't provide your tenants with a gas safety certificate the tenants can report you to the Health & Safety Executive.
Penalties for failing to comply
Councils can take enforcement action against landlord who fail to comply with their legal obligations. This could ultimately end up in a hefty fine.