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Essential Checklist: London Landlord Certificates and Legalities

Being a landlord in London comes with a significant amount of responsibility. In addition to managing your property and ensuring it’s well-maintained, you also need to comply with various legal requirements and obtain specific certificates. 

This can seem overwhelming, but it’s crucial to understand your obligations as a landlord to avoid potential penalties and ensure a smooth tenancy for both you and your tenants.

Our essential checklist will provide you with an overview of the essential certificates and legal obligations you need to be aware of as a London landlord.

Potential consequences of non-compliance

Some you might be thinking about only getting some of these certificates or following a few of the obligations. Don’t do this because you might be subjected to various punishments if you do. Failing to comply with certificates and legal requirements can result in serious consequences for London landlords, including:

  • Fines: You could be fined up to £5,000 for certain offenses, such as failing to obtain a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Gas Safety Certificate (CP12).
  • Rent repayment orders: If your property is deemed unfit for habitation, you may be ordered to repay rent to your tenants.
  • Prohibition orders: In severe cases, you could be prohibited from renting out your property altogether.
  • Damage to your reputation: Non-compliance can damage your reputation as a landlord, making it difficult to find and retain tenants in the future.

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Outline of the checklist

Our essential checklist includes the main certificates and obligations you need to follow. Also some additional legal rules and resources we should keep in mind for your benefit. The checklist is divided into the following sections:

  • Essential Certificates: This section will cover the key certificates required by law for London landlords, including EPCs, CP12s, EICRs, Legionella risk assessments, and smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations.
  • Key Legal Obligations: This section will outline your legal responsibilities as a landlord, including tenancy agreements, deposit protection schemes, repairs and maintenance, right to rent checks, fire safety regulations, data protection regulations, and health and safety regulations.
  • Additional Legal Considerations: This section will discuss some additional legal considerations for London landlords, such as lead paint regulations, electrical safety checks, and furniture and furnishings regulations.
  • Resources and Support: This section will provide you with a list of helpful resources and support organizations to assist you in complying with your legal obligations.

Essential Certificates for London Landlords

As a London landlord, you are legally required to hold several certificates to ensure the safety and well-being of your tenants. Having these certificates demonstrates that your property meets the necessary standards and protects you from potential legal repercussions.

1. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

  • Required by Law: Yes, for all rental properties.
  • Validity Period: 10 years.
  • Display Requirements: You must provide a copy of the EPC to prospective tenants before they view the property and give them another copy before they move in.
  • How to Obtain: Hire a qualified surveyor to assess your property’s energy efficiency.
  • Potential Penalties: Up to £5,000 for failing to obtain an EPC or displaying it correctly.

2. Gas Safety Certificate (CP12)

  • Required by Law: Yes, if your property has any gas appliances, including boilers, cookers, and fires.
  • Frequency of Checks: Annual.
  • Who Can Conduct the Check: A Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • Validity Period: 12 months.
  • How to Obtain: Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and issue a CP12 certificate.
  • Potential Penalties: Up to £6,000 for failing to obtain a CP12 or allowing a tenant to live in a property with unsafe gas appliances.

3. Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

  • Required by Law: Yes, for all new tenancies and every five years thereafter.
  • Who Can Conduct the Check: A qualified electrician.
  • Validity Period: 5 years.
  • How to Obtain: Contact a qualified electrician to inspect your property’s electrical system and issue an EICR report.
  • Potential Penalties: Up to £5,000 for failing to obtain an EICR or failing to comply with its recommendations.

4. Legionella Risk Assessment

  • Required by Law: Yes, if your property has a shared water system, such as a shower or jacuzzi.
  • Frequency of Checks: At least every two years, or more often if necessary.
  • Who Can Conduct the Check: A qualified assessor.
  • Validity Period: Two years.
  • How to Obtain: Contact a qualified assessor to assess your property’s water system and issue a Legionella risk assessment report.
  • Potential Penalties: Up to £20,000 for failing to carry out a Legionella risk assessment or failing to comply with its recommendations.

5. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (SCMA) Regulations

  • Required by Law: Yes, you must install a smoke alarm on every floor of your property and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance.
  • Testing and Servicing: You must test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly and replace them if they are faulty.
  • Penalties: Up to £5,000 for failing to comply with the SCMA regulations.

Additional Notes:

  • This is not an exhaustive list of all certificates required for London landlords.
  • You may be required to obtain additional certificates depending on the specific circumstances of your property.
  • It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest legislation and regulations regarding landlord certificates.

Key Legal Obligations for London Landlords

In addition to obtaining the necessary certificates, London landlords have a range of legal obligations to ensure a fair and safe living environment for their tenants.

1. Tenancy Agreements:

  • Written and Legally Compliant: You must provide your tenant with a written tenancy agreement that complies with current legislation.
  • Key Clauses: The agreement should include details such as rent amount, tenancy period, termination clauses, and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant.
  • Deposit Protection: You are legally required to protect your tenant’s deposit in a government-approved scheme and provide them with prescribed information about the scheme.

2. Tenancy Deposit Protection:

  • Approved Schemes: Choose from government-approved schemes like the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), Deposit Protection Service (DPS), or MyDeposits.
  • Deposit Registration: Register the deposit within 30 days of receiving it and provide your tenant with a certificate of protection.
  • Deposit Return: Return the deposit to your tenant at the end of the tenancy, minus any deductions for unpaid rent or damage to the property.

3. Landlord’s Repairs and Maintenance Responsibilities:

  • Habitable and Safe Property: You must ensure your property is fit for habitation and meets basic standards of health and safety.
  • Specific Responsibilities: This includes repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.
  • Tenant Responsibilities: Tenants are responsible for minor repairs and keeping the property clean and tidy.

4. Right to Rent Checks:

  • Conducting Checks: You must conduct right to rent checks on all new tenants before they move in.
  • Acceptable Documents: Acceptable documents include passports, visas, and biometric residence permits.
  • Penalties: Failing to conduct right to rent checks can result in fines of up to £3,000 per tenant.

5. Fire Safety Regulations:

  • Fire Alarms and Extinguishers: You must install smoke alarms on every floor of your property and provide at least one fire extinguisher.
  • Fire Escape Plan: You must create a fire escape plan and ensure all tenants are familiar with it.
  • Tenant Responsibilities: Tenants must cooperate with fire safety procedures and not obstruct fire exits.

6. Data Protection Regulations:

  • Securely Handle Data: You must handle tenant data securely and in accordance with data protection regulations.
  • Tenant Consent: Obtain consent from tenants before collecting and processing their personal data.
  • Data Breaches: Report any data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

7. Health and Safety Regulations:

  • General Obligations: You must ensure your property is free from health and safety hazards, such as electrical faults and exposed wires.
  • Asbestos Regulations: You must manage asbestos in your property safely if it is present.
  • Legionella Control: Implement measures to control the risk of Legionella bacteria in your property’s water system.

Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list of all legal obligations for London landlords.

By understanding and complying with these key legal obligations, London landlords can demonstrate responsible management practices and build positive relationships with their tenants. Remember, consulting with legal professionals for specific advice on your tenancy situations is always recommended.

Additional Legal Considerations for London Landlords

Beyond the essential certificates and key legal obligations outlined previously, London landlords should also be aware of several additional legal considerations to ensure responsible and compliant property management.

1. Lead Paint Regulations:

  • Lead Paint Risk Assessment: You may need to conduct a lead paint risk assessment if your property was built before 1974.
  • Safe Management of Lead Paint: If lead paint is present, you must manage it safely to prevent exposure to tenants.
  • Penalties: Failure to comply with lead paint regulations can result in fines and imprisonment.

2. Electrical Safety Checks:

  • Periodic Inspections: You are recommended to have your property’s electrical installations inspected and tested every five years by a qualified electrician.
  • Remedial Work: If the inspection identifies any electrical faults, you must take immediate action to rectify them.
  • Landlord’s Electrical Safety Certificate (LESC): While not mandatory, obtaining a LESC can demonstrate your commitment to electrical safety.

3. Furniture and Furnishings Regulations:

  • Fire Safety Standards: Furniture and furnishings supplied with your property must meet specific fire safety standards.
  • Upholstered Furniture Regulations: You must ensure any upholstered furniture supplied with your property is compliant with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
  • Penalties: Failure to comply with furniture and furnishings regulations can result in fines and imprisonment.

4. HMO Licensing:

  • Requirement for HMO License: If your property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you may need a license from your local council.
  • Additional Regulations: HMOs are subject to additional regulations regarding fire safety, overcrowding, and amenities.

5. Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Dispute Resolution:

  • Dispute Resolution Process: If a dispute arises between you and your tenant regarding the deposit, you can use the TDS dispute resolution service.
  • Independent and impartial: The TDS will investigate the dispute and make a binding decision on how the deposit should be returned.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): You can also use other ADR services, such as mediation, to resolve tenancy disputes.

6. Consumer Rights Act 2015:

  • Unfair Terms: You must ensure your tenancy agreement does not contain any unfair terms that disadvantage your tenants.
  • Consumer Rights: Tenants have certain rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, including the right to expect the property to be fit for habitation and free from defects.

7. Energy Efficiency Regulations:

  • Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES): You must ensure your property meets the minimum energy efficiency standards set by the government.
  • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs): Your EPC must reflect the current energy efficiency of your property.
  • Penalties: Failure to comply with MEES can result in fines and potential enforcement action.

8. Tenant Fees Act 2019:

  • Restrictions on Tenant Fees: You are only allowed to charge certain fees to your tenants, such as rent, security deposits, and holding deposits.
  • Transparency and Fairness: You must be transparent about any fees charged and ensure they are fair and reasonable.
  • Penalties: Failure to comply with the Tenant Fees Act can result in fines and penalties.

Disclaimer: This is not an exhaustive list of all additional legal considerations for London landlords.

By remaining informed about these additional legal considerations, London landlords can ensure they are managing their properties responsibly and complying with all relevant regulations. This can help to avoid potential disputes and legal issues, fostering a more positive and productive relationship with their tenants.


Navigating the intricate legal terrain of being a London landlord requires a comprehensive understanding of essential certificates, legal obligations, and additional considerations. This guide provides a checklist to ensure compliance, fostering a smooth tenancy experience for both landlords and tenants. 

However, it is important to note that this information is a general overview and not a substitute for professional legal advice. For personalized guidance, consult with a qualified lawyer or tenancy advisor.

Seeking professional help from legal experts or tenancy advisors is encouraged to ensure specific guidance and support in managing London properties and maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship.


What are the essential certificates a London landlord must obtain?

Gas Safety, Electrical Safety, Energy Performance, Legionella risk assessment, and Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms are crucial certificates.

What key legal obligations should London landlords be aware of?

Landlords should understand responsibilities related to tenancy agreements, deposit protection, repairs, right to rent checks, fire safety, data protection, and health and safety.

What additional considerations should London landlords take into account?

Consider regulations on lead paint, electrical safety checks, furniture and furnishings, HMO licensing, tenant dispute resolution, consumer rights, energy efficiency, and tenant fees.

Why is professional advice recommended for London landlords?

Seeking guidance from legal professionals or tenancy advisors ensures specific and accurate support tailored to individual circumstances.

How can London landlords build a positive relationship with tenants through legal compliance?

Actively managing properties, staying informed about legal responsibilities, and ensuring timely certificate renewals contribute to a strong foundation for a successful landlord-tenant relationship.

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