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A Guide to Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities

Date Published 28 February 2020

The latest figures show that private renters make up 20% of households in the UK and it shows no sign of slowing down. However, despite this proportion of renters, many people are unsure of just who is responsible for what in a rental property.

To make things easier, we have put together a list of the main obligations for tenants and landlords when entering a rental agreement.

Landlord responsibilities:


Landlords must ensure that their property is safe to live in. Since March 2019, a new law was introduced which meant landlords must make sure their properties are ‘fit to live in'.

For example, gas equipment must be installed by a Gas Safe registered engineer and inspected annually. Also, electrical systems and appliances must be safe to use and regular checks must be carried out.

What's more, there are important fire safety obligations, including smoke alarms on each floor of the property, carbon monoxide alarms in the relevant rooms and accessible escape routes.

Maintenance and Repairs

Tenants have a duty to report any maintenance issues they find whilst living in the property. But it is the landlords' responsibility to arrange structural or exterior repairs.

Landlords must also look after heating and hot water, ventilation and household wiring, as well as repairing faulty appliances they have supplied.

Furthermore, the landlord is responsible for dealing with pest infestations and carrying out any repairs needed to prevent pests from getting into the property.


In the cases of a shorthold tenancy (which are by far the most common), landlords must ensure the deposit is held under a government-approved deposit protection scheme. If the deposit is not protected - then a landlord could face a significant penalty and lose their authority to end a tenancy.


If a landlord wishes to evict their tenant they must follow a strict legal procedure. In most cases, a landlord will require a court order and give written notice before the eviction can proceed. However, the exact process depends on the terms stated in the tenancy agreement.

Tenant responsibilities:

‘Right to Rent' documents

Once a tenant has signed a rental agreement they must be able to provide legal documents, such as a passport to ensure they have a ‘right to rent' in the UK. If a tenant is unable to provide these documents landlords can refuse a tenancy.

Rent and other charges

Tenants are obligated to pay their rent on time, as specified in their tenancy agreement. They are also responsible for paying other charges. This most commonly includes utility bills and council tax.


In the event that a tenant, their friends or family cause damage to the property it is the tenant's responsibility to arrange and cover the cost of repairs.

Cleaning and caring for the property

Tenants need to ensure that the rental property is kept in good condition throughout the tenancy agreement. This includes keeping the property clean and tidy.

When a tenant moves into a property they should be given an itinerary of all the furnishings, appliances and damages. At the end of the rental contract, it is then the tenant's duty to leave the property as they found it.

It is also encouraged that both tenants and landlords take photographs at the beginning and end of a tenancy to avoid any possible disputes.

Responsible behaviour

Tenants are responsible for the behaviour of anyone who lives in or visits the property. Landlords might take the legal steps to evict you if they continue to receive complaints of noise or antisocial behaviour from your neighbours.

Respect tenancy terms

Most tenancy agreements will have a set of terms which your landlord will want you to follow. This might include no smoking, no subletting and no pets. If a tenant does not follow these obligations then a landlord may evict them.

Marshall Properties can help

We hope this has given you some insight into who is responsible for what when renting a property!

But if you're still unsure, get in touch with our team of expert letting agents today. With over 30 years of experience in letting, Marshall Property is one of the best independent estate agents in Liverpool. Contact us now!