The team can help you find a tenant to suit your requirements. The team also offers ongoing support during the term of the tenancy.

Advice and assistance

The Council operates a Landlord Forum. The forum aims to keep landlords up to date with issues affecting them. If you would like to be sent details of the next forum please email privatesectorhousing@stalbans.gov.uk. We offer 1 year's FREE membership of the National Landlords Association for new landlords on the Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

We have produced a tenants information pack that gives useful advice and information. You can give this to your tenants at the start of the tenancy.

Deposits

If you take a deposit from your tenants you must pay this into an approved government scheme

Landlord associations

Landlord associations can provide services such as an advice line, training sessions, regular email updates, local branch meetings and a magazine.

Click here for The Eastern Landlords Association. 

Click here for The National Landlords Association

Repairs

It is your responsibility to make sure that your property is a safe and healthy place for your tenants to live. Properties are assessed using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

There is also Government guidance for landlords and other property professionals .

Complaints from tenants

If the Council receives complaints from your tenants about their home an officer from the team will visit.  If there are things that are of cause for concern we will write to you.

The Council’s approach to enforcing housing standards can be found in its enforcement policy.

Gas safety

If your property has gas appliances you will need an annual Landlords Gas Test Certificate.  These can only be provided by a Gas Safe Registered engineer

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Before you can market your property you will need to obtain an EPC by using  a local energy assessor. EPCs are valid for 10 years although you may find it beneficial to get a new one if you carry out some energy improvements.

Electrical safety

It is good practice to have the electrical installation checked every 10 years.  This can be done by a Part P registered electrician.

The requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) require an inspection every five years.

Fire safety

As a landlord you have responsibilities in respect of fire safety.  These include:

  • Ensuring that all furniture and furnishings are fire safe
  • Fitting mains wired smoke detectors

There are additional requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Rent

You should keep a record of the rent you receive from your tenants.  If you have more than one property you should keep a separate record for each one.  This should be made available to tenants upon request.

If your tenant receives housing benefit this will be paid four weekly in arrears.

Charges

As a council we are able to charge for various types of enforcement action taken under the Housing Act 2004.  The charge is £300 per notice or order per recipient i.e. two owners would be charged £300 each.  The enforcement options covered by this are
 
·         Improvement notice (including Suspended Improvement notice)
·         Prohibition Order (including Suspended Prohibition Order)
·         Emergency Remedial Action
·         Hazard Awareness Notice.
·         Emergency Prohibition Order
·         Demolition Order
 
When one of these options is used the owner(s) will be sent an invoice after the notice/order is served or made.

Enforcement

The Private Sector Housing Team have updated the Council’s enforcement policy.  The policy lasts for two years and reviewed on a regular basis.  During this time we anticipate some revisions and additions to the legislation that the team enforces.  These will be incorporated into the policy as and when the need arises.  Anticipated changes include
 
·         Widening the scope of HMO landlords
·         New powers to deal with Rogue Landlords 
 
The policy document can be found under Housing and Benefits / Housing Publications Library / Reports. 

For more information please contact the private Sector Housing Team on 01727 819447 or at privatesectorhousing@stalbans.gov.uk

In this section

Refugee Crisis – information

Tenant finding service

Housing Health and Safety Rating System

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Benefits Landlord Portal page