We will work with landlords to improve standards, whilst taking a robust approach to dealing with poor conditions, and irresponsible landlords and managing or letting agents.
Landlords have a responsibility to:
- provide tenants with a receipt for their deposit and details of the government approved deposit protection scheme
- give tenants a copy of the government's how to rent guide
- provide tenants with a gas safety certificate if the property has gas appliances or a gas boiler (this should be renewed annually)
- make sure the property is properly maintained, including any appliances or furniture supplied
- carry out repairs to the property when needed - see more about managing condensation, mould and damp
- comply with the law and treat tenants fairly
- take reasonable action to deal with antisocial behaviour in relation to the property
Tenancy or licence agreement
Landlords and managing agents should provide tenancy agreements for their tenants. This sets out the legal terms and conditions and should be clearly explained to tenants, particularly if English is not their first language.
Most tenancies are let under the terms of an assured shorthold tenancy and can be for any length of time. This gives you the right to gain possession of your property at the end of the tenancy. However, a possession order can't be given before the end of the first six months of the tenancy.
There are different types of tenancies which provide different rights and responsibilities to you and your tenant. You can use Shelter's tenancy checker to check the tenancy type you should provide. To find out more, visit Shelter.
The tenancy agreement is the legal written contract between you, the landlord or agent and tenant. This agreement protects both you and your tenant.
It should include the following information:
- Type of tenancy
- Landlord's name and contact details, and tenant's name
- Address of property
- Rent payment instructions, including the date it should be paid and any arrangements to review
- Deposit amount and any conditions for withholding money for damages
- How repairs will be organised
- Date the tenancy ends or comes up for renewal
- Any rules about children, pets or smoking
- Who pays for the gas, electric, water and Council Tax
Most tenancies and licences are protected by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. Exceptions to this are holiday lets, or where the landlord lives in the building and shares facilities with the tenant. It's a criminal offence for a landlord or anyone acting on their behalf
to evict or harass a tenant. If you're not sure about the correct legal process to obtain possession of your property, you should take independent legal advice.
Currently, the Coronavirus Act 2020 has imposed further restrictions for a landlord to obtain possession of their property. For more information visit GOV.UK - COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities.
You must make sure that when granting tenancies or taking action against a tenant, you're not indirectly discriminating against them. You must keep documents explaining why an action has been taken. For more information, visit the Government Equalities Office.
If a deposit is taken, you should protect it in one of the government approved schemes. You should always provide your tenants with a receipt for the deposit and details of which scheme is being used.
Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, there are rules about the fees that letting or managing agents can charge.
Fees that are allowed:
- A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks' rent
- Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by you
- Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax
- Payments to change the tenancy when requested by you, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key or security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement
Fees that are not allowed:
- Property viewing
- Administration charges
- Guarantors (this can be a condition of the tenancy, but no charge can be made)
- Inventory checks (both check in and check out)
- Right to rent checks (the landlord or agent are liable for this cost, unless the tenant fails the check)
For more information, visit GOV.UK - Tenant Fees Act 2019: guidance.
Landlords play a vital role in helping us deal with antisocial behaviour. It's your responsibility to respond to antisocial behaviour complaints about your tenants. You should include a clause in the tenancy or licence agreement making it clear that the occupants of the house are responsible for both their behaviour and that of their household and visitors.
We want to reduce antisocial behaviour in Enfield, so private rented property licences come with a set of conditions you must comply with.
The tenancy or licence agreement should include information on antisocial behaviour and set out the responsibilities of tenants and their visitors. You must make clear to your tenants, the importance of:
- not allowing antisocial behaviour
- not causing nuisance or annoyance to neighbours
- not allowing overcrowding
- disposing of rubbish and recycling properly
- looking after the property
For advice on dealing with persistent antisocial behaviour in your private rented property, email email@example.com.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support
See more information about Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
Housing standards and safety conditions
Landlords are responsible for keeping their property safe, in a good state of repair and free from hazards that could cause serious harm.
Landlord duties include:
- Maintenance of electrical installations and appliances - make sure wiring, plug sockets and any electrical appliances you provide are safe
- Gas safety – make sure gas pipes and boilers are safe, and arrange gas safety checks every year
- Fire safety – install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms where needed
- Damp and mould – deal with damp and mould problems caused by disrepair or make the property unfit to live in
- Heating and hot water systems should be working effectively
- Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains should be in good working order
- Common areas, including entrance halls and stairways should be hazard free
- Structure and exterior of the building, including walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows should be in good condition
- Rats, mice and other pests – you must carry out any repairs needed to stop pests getting into the property
The tenant is responsible for fixing appliances or furniture they own and carrying out minor repairs. This includes replacing light bulbs or paying for any damage they or a visitor has caused to the property, such as a broken window.
You have the right to enter your property to carry out an inspection for repairs. You should give your tenant 24 hours' notice and agree a suitable time with them to do this. You are legally responsible for keeping your rental property in a habitable state and making sure it is fit to live in. Urgent jobs, such as a blocked toilet, should be prioritised and repaired within 24 hours.
If you don't carry out repairs, your tenant can report this to us. We will investigate the problem and take necessary action if you fail to maintain the property and meet the legal standards. We can, if necessary, serve notices requiring work to be carried out within a given period. If you fail to comply with the notices without reasonable excuse, we can carry out works and/or prosecute you.
For more information see:
- How to rent a safe home guide
- Private renting - repairs
- Private renting - your landlord's safety responsibilities
- Guide for tenants
All gas installations and appliances supplied by the landlord require an annual gas safety check. You should make sure this is carried out by a Gas Safe engineer and a copy of the gas safety certificate should be given to the tenant. Carbon monoxide detectors are also legally required in premises that have solid fuel burning appliances, such as a coal fire or wood burner.
Landlords and letting agents must make sure:
- all electrical equipment, appliances and electricity supply are safe
- appliances follow the British Safety Standards and all new electrical appliances carry a CE mark
- routine inspections are completed at a minimum of five years
- certifications are up-to-date
- repairs, improvements and their components comply with current regulations and standards
- only contractors registered with NICEIC or an electricity company carry out electrical work and inspections
For more information, see electrical safety guidance for landlords.
Landlords are not usually responsible for the safety of electrical appliances supplied by the tenant.
All furniture supplied by the landlord should comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations. You must be aware of your responsibilities and the legal requirements for fire safety in your rented properties. You must make sure adequate fire
detection and protection is in place.
For more information see:
- Fire safety in shared or rented accommodation
- Fire safety for private rented sector landlords
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
- Tenants right and fire safety
Energy performance certificates
You must provide your tenant with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a legal requirement.
An EPC shows the energy efficiency of a property. Only an accredited energy assessor can carry out the survey and give a certificate. Once given, it is valid for ten years. To let your property, the EPC must be rated E or above.
For more information, visit The Energy Performance Certificate Register.
Overcrowding can cause physical and mental health issues and contribute to accidents within the property. We will investigate any issues with overcrowding and can limit the number of people allowed to occupy one room or home, in line with private rented property licensing.
Inspections and regulations
We inspect houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) to ensure they meet the required safety standards, have adequate facilities for the number of occupants, and that proper management arrangements are in place.
HMO minimum standards
Your HMO property must meet the minimum standards (PDF, 194.28 KB) in the areas of fire, electrical and gas safety, and amenity standards.
We work jointly with the London Fire Brigade (LFB) to identify fire hazards in HMOs. Where necessary, we will carry out a joint inspection at the premises with the LFB.
View our guidance on fire safety in HMOs (PDF, 236.81 KB).
We work closely with landlords and agents to improve housing conditions.
Section 49 and 50 of Housing Act 2004 gives us the power to make a charge to recover certain reasonable expenses incurred when taking enforcement action, such as serving formal notices. A charge will normally be made where it has been necessary to take one of these enforcement actions:
Hazard awareness notice
Hazard awareness notice (if subsequent notice is required)
Emergency prohibition order
Emergency remedial action
Review of suspended improvement notice
Review of suspended prohibition order
Charge for any subsequent notice served at the same time for the same property
View our enforcement policy (PDF, 257.68 KB).
The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
This regulation imposes duties on managers of HMOs to maintain, repair and keep the property and its facilities in good order.
- provide occupiers with contact information
- maintain all fire safety measures
- protect occupiers from injury
- maintain water, drainage, gas and electricity supplies
- maintain common parts and installations
- ensure properties are clean and fit at the time of letting and maintained
- provide rubbish disposal facilities
If any contravention(s) to the regulations are identified in the property, you will be at risk of enforcement action being taken by the council, either by way of a civil penalty or prosecution.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or see:
- The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006
- Housing Act 2004 - section 254 - Meaning of a house in multiple occupation
- Houses with multiple private tenants - standards and landlord obligations
- Houses with multiple private tenants - licensing
- Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
- The Licensing and Management of HMO Regulations 373 Prescribed standards for deciding suitability for occupation of HMO
- Licensing and Management of HMOs Regulation 373 - Persons forming a single household
- Housing Act 2004 - section 258 - Persons not forming a single household
Household rubbish and recycling
The landlord must:
- provide tenants with enough rubbish and recycling bins for the number of occupants, and make sure recycling can be separated
- include rubbish and recycling bins in the tenancy agreement inventory
- put clear signage on or near the bins to show how to separate rubbish and recycling
- keep gardens, outbuildings and other external areas free from rubbish and fly-tipping
- carry out regular checks to ensure tenants are complying with their responsibilities to separate, store and put rubbish and recycling out for collection on the correct day
- make sure we can access bins on collection day (this may mean providing an access key or code if bins are kept locked)
- give written information to tenants at the start of their tenancy to make sure they understand their responsibilities for the correct storage and disposal of household rubbish and recycling. This information should include how to:
- separate and store household rubbish and recycling and put out for collection
- dispose of bulky household items
- access to communal rubbish and recycling bins in secure areas