A private landlord has certain legal responsibilities even if they are not mentioned in the tenancy agreement.

Before tenancy starts

Before renting out a room or property, private landlords and agents are legally required to check immigration status and the status of any adult who will be living in the property. This is called a right to rent check.

Start of tenancy information


At the start of the tenancy the landlord must give the tenants:

  • an energy performance certificate (EPC) 

  • a gas safety certificate if your home has gas appliances

  • if it's an assured a shorthold tenancy that started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015, the landlord must also give the tenant a copy of the How to rent guide.

Tenancy deposits

Landlords must protect the tenancy deposit in a deposit protection scheme if it's an assured shorthold tenant.

If the deposit is not being protected, tenants can claim compensation and it can be more difficult for the landlord to end your tenancy. Lodgers' deposits don't have to be protected. 

The landlord should return the deposit when the tenancy ends unless they have a reason to make deductions.


The landlord is responsible for most repairs.


If the landlord needs access to the property to inspect its condition they should:

  • give at least 24 hours notice in writing

  • arrange a suitable time to visit

Health and safety 

The landlord must:

  • arrange gas safety checks every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer

  • make sure wiring and electrical appliances are safe

  • provide smoke alarms on each floor and carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a coal fire or wood-burning stove 

Smoke alarms are not required if you live with your landlord.

Rent and rent increases

The landlord must tell the tenant when and how the rent should be paid. If the rent is to be paid weekly, the landlord must provide a rent book.

Landlords must follow rules on rent increases that vary according to the type of tenancy you have.

Letting tenants enjoy their home

Landlords must let tenants live in their home without unnecessary interference. 

The landlord should not let themselves into the property without the tenant's permission.

The landlord should not harass their tenants or make it difficult for them to live in the property.

Eviction rules

The landlord needs to give notice in writing and get a court order before court bailiffs can be used evict to tenants from:

  • an assured shorthold tenancy - the most common private tenancy type

  • an assured tenancy

  • a regulated tenancy

A court order isn't needed for the eviction of lodgers.

It's an illegal eviction if a landlord tries to force tenants to leave without following the correct procedure. This is a criminal offense.