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Private housing advice for landlords

We recognise the importance of the private rented sector and the essential role landlords play in providing safe, warm and healthy homes to the residents of Peterborough. We are keen to provide decent landlords operating within the borough with the recognition and support they deserve.

Private sector housing standards

If you rent a property you must ensure that property is safe, free from hazards and in a good state of repair. Major repairs are generally the responsibility of the landlord.

This includes repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations.

How to let guide

This guide is for landlords to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process.

Landlords must provide a copy of this guide, either via a link or as a printed copy, before the tenancy agreement is signed.

You can find the how to let guide on GOV.UK.

Gas safety

If you supply a gas appliance to your property, for example a cooker, fire or gas boiler, you are required by law to ensure that it is safely installed and to carry out an annual gas safety check and provide your tenant with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate.

Under the Deregulation Act 2015 you will not be able to serve a section 21 notice if you cannot prove that you have given you tenant a copy of the gas safety certificate.

Further information about gas safety is available from the Health and Safety Executive.

Electrical safety

As of April 2021, the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 requires all landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at an internal of at least every 5 years. Landlords have to provide a copy of the electrical safety report to their tenants, and to their local authority if requested.

More information on these regulations is available online.

Fire safety

Advice and tips to help prevent a fire in the home. Any residential premises should provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier, or visitor. A dwelling should therefore be designed, constructed and maintained with non-hazardous materials and should be free from unnecessary and avoidable hazards.

For further advice and to download the fire safety regulations for landlords visit the fire safety section of GOV.UK.

Furniture and furnishings fire safety

If the landlord supplies furniture and furnishings in a property they must meet the levels of fire resistance set out within the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1998.

The Fire Safety Advice Centre has further information about furniture and furnishings fire regulations.

Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide regulations

These regulations cover all forms of rented housing and came into force on 1 October 2015. The regulations place a duty on landlords to install a fire alarm on each storey of their rented property and to maintain them in working order. They also require landlords to provide and maintain carbon monoxide alarms in rooms containing solid fuel heating appliances. 

Failure to comply with the regulations could result in a penalty of up to £5,000. Further information is available from the links below:

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

It is a legal requirement for landlords to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when required in respect of all rental properties. EPC’s are valid for 10-years, the fine for not providing an EPC when required is £200.

In addition key changes under the Deregulation Act 2015 make Section 21 Notices invalid if the landlord cannot prove that they have shown their tenants the Energy Performance Certificate at the start of the tenancy.

With effect from 1 April 2020 all privately rented properties must have either an EPC rating of E or above or must hold a valid exemption certificate. This affects both new and existing tenancies.

These quick guides will help you understand how your property is affected.

 Further information can be found by reading's guidance.

Legionnaires disease

Landlords of domestic rental properties should be aware of their duty to assess the risk of exposure to Legionella, to ensure safety of their tenants and implement control measures necessary.

For more information about Legionella and landlords' responsibilities visit the Health and Safety Executive website.

HMO licensing

If you rent out a building with three or more storey's, including basements and loft conversions, which is occupied by five or more tenants, forming two or more households who share facilities such as toilets, bathrooms and kitchens you may need to apply for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence.

Tenancy deposit schemes

All deposits for rents up to £25,000 per annum taken by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Under the Deregulation Act 2015 if landlords fail to protect the deposit they will be unable to serve a section 21 notice until the deposit is returned or the deposit protected.

Right to rent

Landlords must check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent their residential property in England if their tenancy started on or after 1 February 2016. There is a fine up to £3,000 for renting your property to someone who isn’t allowed to rent property in England.

You can find out how to check your tenant's right to rent from GOV.UK.

Fire safety in high rise residential buildings

From January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 make it a requirement for responsible persons of high-rise residential buildings to provide information on their building(s) to their local Fire and Rescue Service.

A high-rise residential building is defined as a building containing two or more sets of domestic premises and is at least 18 metres tall or has at least seven storeys.

The Regulations apply to England only and are introduced under Article 24 of the Fire Safety Order. You can find the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 on the website.

Provide information to the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Supporting documents