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Stockton Rental Standard

Guidance on management standards

Right to Rent

Landlords must check that all tenants or lodgers can legally rent residential property in England. Before the start of a new tenancy, landlords must make checks for all tenants aged 18 and over, even if they are not named on the tenancy agreement, of there is no tenancy agreement or the tenancy agreement isn't in writing. Further information can be found by visiting www.gov.uk and entering Right to Rent in the search box.

Gas Safety

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe. Gas Safety checks must be completed annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and any advice notices must be complied with. A copy of the certificate must be provided to the occupants and the landlord must retain their copy for a period of two years. Landlords can find a Gas Safe Registered engineer through the Gas Safe website.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC's) are valid for ten years and must be made available to perspective tenants when marketing a property. As EPC's are transferable recently purchased properties may already have one in place.

Landlords can use the EPC register to check if a property has a current EPC or to find a Domestic Energy Assessor.

Landlords can receive a fixed penalty of £200 per dwelling for not having a current EPC when required.

Deposits

Where a tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), landlords must protect any deposit received in a Government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme and the prescribed information given to the tenant within 30 days of receipt. Failure to do so could result in landlords being ordered by the courts to pay up to 3 times the deposit amount to the tenants and being restricted from using a Section 21 notice for possession.

Emergency repairs

Repair response times will vary dependent on a number of factors but any emergency repairs (repairs required to avoid imminent danger to health, risk to the safety of the occupants or serious damage to the building or internal contents) should be addressed within 24 hours of report of the defect. An example of an emergency repair is an interruption to the supply of water or heating.

Non-emergency repairs, outside of issues to be addressed as part of ongoing maintenance, should be addressed within a reasonable time period, usually between one and four weeks.

Tenancy agreements

Tenants must be supplied with a point of contact in case of emergencies as part of a written tenancy agreement. Landlords should also provide a written inventory at the start each new tenancy.

Ending a tenancy

Landlords are advised to act with diligence and caution to protect themselves against accusations of harassment or illegal eviction. In all cases the correct legal procedure to acquire possession must be followed. Landlords should seek legal advice if in any doubt.

Landlord Accreditation Scheme

All landlords operating in the Borough are encouraged to join our free voluntary scheme. We will actively support landlords to gain accreditation status and offer support and advice on queries related to the private rented sector and landlord/tenant matters.

For further information, visit our accreditation for landlords page.

Tenant referencing

Landlords should conduct tenant referencing on all prospective tenants to help protect themselves, their property and neighbours of the rental property.