Managing tenancies

How to rent guide – do you know your responsibilities?

Private landlords must provide new tenants with the how to rent guide, which is issued by the government.

The guide helps tenants understand their rights and responsibilities when finding a private rented home. It provides information about each stage of renting a home and also includes a checklist, including:

  • What to look out for before renting
  • Living in a rented home
  • What happens at the end of a tenancy
  • What to do if things go wrong

Failure to provide the guide may impact on landlords serving a section 21 notice, when trying to get possession of the property at a later date.

Check a tenants right to rent

If you rent your property to someone who does not have the right to rent in England, you can get a fine of up to £3,000 for each tenant or be sent to prison. You must complete a check and you can find out how to do the check here.

Private landlords: tenant deposits, your legal responsibilities

If you ask your tenants to pay a deposit (a cash lump sum that the landlord holds in case the tenant causes damage or leaves with rent arrears) then by law, the deposit must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

By law, all cash deposits taken for new assured shorthold tenancies starting after 6 April 2007 must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. (It doesn't apply to fixed-term or periodic assured shorthold tenancies already in existence). It does apply if you give an existing tenant a new fixed-term agreement. Within 14 days of receiving the deposit, landlords must give tenants details of the scheme covering their deposit.

On any new tenancies starting after 6 April 2012, private landlords must protect the deposit and provide tenants with details of the scheme covering their deposit within 30 days by law. 

There are two types of scheme:

1. Insurance-based schemes

Landlords keep the deposit but pay a premium to the scheme provider. At the end of the tenancy, if landlord and tenant agree, the money is returned - either in whole or in part. Any disputed amounts are placed into the scheme until an 'alternative dispute resolution service' (ADR) decides who gets what.

There are two providers of schemes like this:

2. Custodial schemes

Landlords pay all the deposit into the scheme. At the end of the tenancy, if landlord and tenant agree, they tell the scheme how to pay out the deposit. Any disputed amount will be resolved by an ADR. It's funded from the interest earned from the deposits, so it's free to landlords.

Energy Performance certificate

Provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property.

Private landlords repair responsibilities

A landlord (or owner) is responsible for making sure their rented property is safe and fit to live in. You can find more information about Housing Standards in Salford.

This page was last updated on 4 March 2024

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