There are certain legal duties the landlord has to perform on his property as well as in the life of his tenants before they move into his property. These roles vary depending on the kind of tenancy you have. Basically, all these roles are similar, but there are variations.
Also, some legal obligations are required to be met after the tenant has moved in and become an occupant of the property, such as carrying out maintenance or repair work, inspection and protection of security deposit.
In as much as the tenant has the responsibility to pay the security deposit, keep the property neat and even maintain a cordial relationship with you, you, as the landlord, are required to effectively shoulder the following legal responsibilities before your tenant moves in to occupy your property.
You should ensure that the property is in a move-in ready condition
You must clean up the property, paint it, and ensure that the necessary appliances are provided. Appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines, dryers, etc., and furniture should be provided, and an inventory taken before handing over the keys to your tenant.
It will be embarrassing and distasteful for your tenant to start running around for these appliances immediately after moving into your property.
You should ensure that the safety standards are met
The safety of your tenants should be of paramount importance to you. As such, it is your duty to install smoke alarms in your property, carbon monoxide detectors to take care of wood-burning stoves, coal fires, and any other thing that constitutes a safety and health hazard.
Furthermore, you are required to:
- Ensure that the electrical equipment, furniture, and appliances provided meet the minimum safety standards
- Ensure you get gas and fire safety certificates for each gas appliance and fire equipment provided.
This seems to be the number one rule. The law has mandated you to provide all the necessary information pertaining to your address, email, and phone number to your tenants at the beginning of tenancy or within 21 days. This basic personal information includes:
- Your full name and address
- Energy performance certificate for your property
- Guide on how to rent provided by government.
You should adhere to the rules set out for renting
As a matter of fact, you must tell your tenants when the security deposit and rent will be paid and how they are to be paid, either by cash or cheque.
You should tell your tenants the type of scheme you are operating before they even sign any document. Most tenants are not knowledgeable about the conditions upon which proper rent is made as a result of ignorance.
On your own part, you shouldn’t take the ignorance of your tenants as means of exploiting them; rather the ideal thing to do is to educate them. In so doing, you will be able to create a long-lasting relationship with your tenants.