Rules and regulations

As a landlord, you need to know your legislation, or at least have a professional agent, who knows it for you.

Let’s chat, call 020 8520 9300

Landlord’s obligations

These are determined in Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. You will be responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of your property, heating and plumbing installations and dealing with other routine repairs.

Leasehold properties

If your property is leasehold, your lease will specify whether or not it is necessary to obtain permission to sublet from the freehold company or managing agent. It is essential to clarify the situation before marketing your property as some leases place restrictions on the type of sub-letting that will be approved. If your property is leasehold, you will be responsible for paying the service charge and ground rent.

Buildings and contents insurance

All landlords should ensure that they have adequate buildings and contents insurance cover. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents and personal belongings.

Please note: standard homeowner insurance policies will not suffice once a tenant is in residence as you are no longer the owner-occupier. It is also important to check on cover periods when the property is empty. We recommend that you check your policy thoroughly. We can supply you with names of specialist insurers if required.

Tenant’s obligations

The tenant has a duty to take proper care of your property and use it in a responsible way, pay the rent and keep to the terms of the tenancy agreement. If the tenants cause damage to the property, they are responsible for the cost of repair providing it is not deemed to be fair wear and tear.

Local Authority Private Landlord Licensing Schemes

Every privately rented home in Waltham Forest must apply for a private rented property licence (PRPL), unless an exemption applies. And if you’re the owner of multiple rented properties in the borough, you must complete an application for each property. Licence fees covering the application for a PRPL vary across different councils, and are issued for a maximum of five years. This fee is non- refundable for submitted applications - or if you sell or stop letting your property. Talk to us and we’ll always give you the latest and accurate costs.

What you need to know

Statutory Obligations under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. The landlord has a statutory responsibility under Sections 11 to 16 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which state that landlords must:

  • Keep the structure (including the drains, gutters and downpipes) and the exterior of the Property in good order and repair
  • Keep the appliances for supply of gas, electricity and water in good repair
  • Keep the appliances for supply of space heating and water heating in good repair; and keep the sanitary appliances in good repair
  • Carry out repairs within a reasonable time

If the landlord does not comply with the statutory obligations, the tenant may ask the local authority to issue the landlord with a Notice requiring the work to be done. The tenant also has the right to arrange for the work to be done and withhold rent equivalent to the amount spent.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it is a criminal offence to let premises with gas installations pipe-work and appliances that have not been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The landlord should ensure that all gas appliances are serviced and maintained at least once a year and keep a record of such maintenance, which must be undertaken by a Gas Safe registered engineer in order to comply with the regulations. By law a gas safety check must be carried out once a year and a copy given to the tenant prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

  • Pipe work, appliances and flues provided for tenants and maintained in a safe condition
  • All appliances and flues that are provided for tenants use have gas safety check every 12 months
  • Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a business/engineer registered on the Gas-Safe register
  • All gas equipment (including any appliances left by previous tenants) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting
  • Provide a record of safety checks to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in
  • Keep a copy of the safety check record for two years

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1993

It is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine and/or a prison term, to let premises with upholstered furniture which cannot be proven to comply with the safety regulations. The landlord must ensure that all furniture, soft furnishings, padded beds and headboards, mattresses, pillows and cushions supplied to the property comply with the provisions of the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1993. If labels are not on the relevant items or satisfactory documented proof of compliance is not received prior to the commencement of the tenancy, we reserve the right to remove and dispose of non-compliant items at the cost of the landlord.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

The landlord warrants that the electrical installation and appliances in the Property are in safe working order and where appropriate comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994. The regulations also state that instruction books for all items of electrical equipment must be left at the Property, otherwise the item will not be deemed safe and must be removed. The landlord is responsible for ensuring that all electrical appliances within the Property comply with the above regulations and are tested to ensure compliance. It is best practice to ensure an electrical safety check is carried out annually.

Part P Building Regulations (Electrical Safety in Dwellings) 2005

These state that any person having certain types of hard wiring work, known as “notifiable works”, carried out at a property must use a contractor who is part of an approved scheme. Any other person carrying out such work must obtain consent from the building inspector prior to starting the job and have the finished work inspected and approved by the inspector. All electrical contractors carrying out work instructed by the agent on behalf of the landlord while the agent is managing the property will be members of an approved scheme. The agent can only use the landlord’s preferred contractor if proof is provided that the contractor is a member of an approved scheme, has current public liability insurance and is easily available.

Smoke Detectors Act 1991

Although it is deemed best practice, there is no legal requirement to install smoke alarms in a property unless it was newly built from 1992 onwards or it is a house in multiple occupation when the alarms must be wired into the mains electricity system (HOM), with a battery backup. If the landlord has installed any type of smoke alarms, fire extinguisher, or fire blankets in the property they must be regularly checked to ensure they are in working order. In particular the landlord must ensure they are tested prior to the start of a tenancy and be noted as in working order. Failure to do so could mean liability for any injury suffered by a tenant or other visitor to the property. By signing this agreement the landlord gives the agent authority to replace any item that the agent believes is not in working order at the landlord’s expense.

The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007

An Energy Performance Certificate (known as an EPC) details the energy and efficiency rating of a property and gives landlords and prospective tenants information on how much the average cost is to heat and light the property for a year. An EPC is valid for ten years. Please note that EPCs must be arranged and the certificate given to tenants prior to any new tenancy agreement being signed and as soon as possible after our instructions to market the property. There is currently no legal requirement for EPCs to be given to tenants of properties whose agreements (fixed term or periodic) commenced prior to October 2008. Estates East can arrange an EPC on your behalf at a cost to you of £75 plus vat.

Sections 47 and 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987

In accordance with Section 47 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 any rent demand, which includes the tenancy agreement, must state the landlord’s actual address. Should the actual address of the landlord not be shown, the rent is not lawfully due from the tenant. In accordance with Section 48 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, the landlord must provide an address in England and Wales where Notice of issue of proceedings may be served upon them by the tenant. Please note that the rent is not legally due to the landlord unless this requirement of the Act is satisfied.


We will not discriminate against any person under the definitions of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 or the Equality Act 2006. We will not discriminate, or threaten to discriminate Against any prospective tenant of the landlord’s property because that person is, will not be, or is unlikely to be accepting services that the agent will (directly or indirectly) provide.

Data Protection Act 1998

We take all reasonable care to prevent any unauthorized access to or use of your personal data. We have a responsibility to keep your information confidential and will only use it:

  • In the event of non-payment of fees to a debt collection agency
  • Where specifically required to do so by law
  • When instructing solicitors
  • To change account details for council tax
  • When a contractor’s invoice has not been settled by you

Deregulation Act 2015

If the deposit was received before 6 April 2016 and is held against a statutory periodic tenancy, which also began before 6 April 2007:

  • The landlord is NOT required to protect the deposit under the Housing Act 2004. BUT from March 26 2015, if the landlord wishes to gain possession of the property under section 21 Housing Act 1988, the deposit must be protected and prescribed information must be served before a valid section 21 notice may be issued. No financial penalty applies for late protection. If the deposit was received before 6 April 2007 and is held against a statutory periodic tenancy which began after 6 April 2007:
  • Unless the landlord has already done so, the landlord must protect the deposit and serve prescribed information by 23 June 2015 or if earlier, before a court decides on proceedings under s21 Housing Act 1988 (for possession) or s214 Housing Act 2004 (for failure to protect a deposit). If on 26 March 2015 the tenancy no longer exists or no deposit is being held, the deposit protection requirements are deemed to have been complied with. If the deposit was received on or after 6 April 2007 and was correctly protected at the time the deposit does not need to be re-protected nor prescribed information served again renewal (or at the start of a statutory periodic tenancy) if:
  • The tenant(s), landlord(s) and premises remain the same
  • The deposit is held in the same scheme Prescribed information can include details of a person representing the landlord. The Act confirms that where an agent has protected the deposit on behalf of the landlord, the agent’s contact details may be provided in place of the landlord’s.
Estates East
Estates East
Estates East