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Landlords and common compliance mistakes

If you are a landlord, there is a whole host of laws and regulations with which you’ll need to comply – often on pain of financially heavy penalties. So, it pays to keep abreast of those that impact your buy to let business.

To help you make sure that none are overlooked, here are some of the most common requirements – though bear in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive:


  • a growing list of laws and regulations is designed to keep your tenants safe in their rented home;
  • currently, this includes annual gas safety checks, electrical checks at least every five years, compliance with all national and local fire safety regulations, the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide (CO2) alarms where appropriate, and additional regulations for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) – such as the installation and use of fire doors;

Right to rent checks

  • immigration concerns are a top priority for the major political parties and landlords are expected to play their part in monitoring the situation through measures that grant immigrants to this country with a Right to Rent;
  • therefore, as a landlord, you are generally required to check the status of all your tenants to confirm that they have such a Right to Rent – and you face stiff fines if you continue to let to tenants whose permission to stay in the UK has expired;

Landlord licences

  • if you are the landlord of a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you might want to review our Landlords Guide to HMOs;
  • if yours is a large HMO – or any type of HMO in certain areas designated by your local council – you may typically need a licence to run such a let property;

Tenant deposit schemes

  • once again, you could face stiff fines if you overlook compliance with this requirement;

Energy efficiency

  • although its implementation has been delayed somewhat, before too long all privately rented dwellings will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated C or higher;

How to Rent Guide

  • in the interests of transparency between landlords and tenants, the Government requires all landlords to hand all new tenants a copy of the current edition of the official booklet How to Rent (it was last updated in October 2023);

Landlord insurance

  • although it is no legal requirement, there is one final issue that the prudent landlord should never overlook – the need for suitable landlord insurance;
  • landlord insurance is a vital safeguard for your let property and the viability of your buy to let business itself – it is such a central issue that our Guide to Protecting your Property remains as true as ever today.

These are just some of the issues framed in the raft of legislation governing how landlords in the UK’s private sector run their businesses. Although we have compiled these comments on our understanding of the current legislation, remember that the laws and regulations impacting your business remain subject to further change in the future. They can also vary depending on where you are in the UK.

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