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Landlord FAQ

A look at some of the common questions asked by landlords.   

Where can I find landlord training courses? 

The National Residential Landlord's Association is the largest landlord body in the UK and they provide a wide variety of face to face and web based learning. To become a member and see what courses are available. 

What standards does my property have to meet before I let it out? 

The legal requirements vary depending on the type of property you are letting. In all lettings you will need to consider energy performance, electrical safety, gas safety and fire safety. We have individual pages for each of these topics and a general standards page: 

In addition, we operate selective licensing. You will need to apply to the Council for a licence before letting in Whitechapel, Spitalfields & Banglatown and Weavers. Please visit our selective licensing page for further details. 

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a house or a flat which is occupied by three or more unrelated persons, who do not form a single household  and share amenities such as bathrooms. Please see the licensing requirements

What if I am unable to complete works or checks due to something outside of my control? 

Landlords are encouraged to keep records of their attempts to arrange inspections and any obstructions to performing checks and/or carrying out repairs. As a landlord you should strive to show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications you have had with your tenants and tradesmen as you tried to arrange the work, including any replies.  You may also want to provide evidence of any other steps you have taken to address the hazard/issue whilst you endeavour to arrange repair works. 

Do I need a licence to be a landlord in Tower Hamlets? 

 Only under some circumstances. You will need a licence if: 

  • You rent any property in the selective licensing areas covering Whitechapel, Spitalfields & Banglatown and Weavers. 

  • You are operating an HMO with more than 3 or more people living as 2 or more households in certain areas of the borough - this is called additional HMO licensing. 

  • You rent an HMO with more than 5 or more occupiers living in 2 or more households in any other part of Tower Hamlets - this is called mandatory HMO licensing 

Do I need to have a written agreement with my tenant?

Yes if your property is covered by a licence. If it is not you do not legally require one, but we strongly recommend you have one.  

A tenant can not claim benefits without a valid contract. 

A tenancy agreement is a legal document that secures your position as landlord. It’s sensible to put everything in writing so that both you and the tenant have a clear record of both your rights and responsibilities as the landlord and your tenant’s rights and responsibilities. The agreement should include information about: 

  • the type of tenancy 

  • the length of the tenancy 

  • how much rent the tenant should pay and how often 

  • who is responsible for repairs 

  • how to end the tenancy and the procedure for leaving the property 

The tenancy agreement should also show the landlord’s (or agent’s) name and address and a contact telephone number. Regulations concerning contract fairness forbid you from adding clauses that are unfair, for example high interest fees for arrears. Neither can you contradict housing law, for example saying that you can enter the property at any time without written notice. Please see our fees page and tenancy management pages for further info. 

How do I set up a tenancy agreement? 

A solicitor would be able to advise if you have particular requirements, and would help you draft an agreement for a set fee. If you are a member of a landlords association, they usually provide standard tenancy agreements for members free of charge, or at a cost for non-members. However this would not be tailored to specific requirements, and only cover general points. Please refer to our tenancy management pages 

How do I end a tenancy agreement? 

There is a legal procedure which must be followed to end a tenancy agreement. You will normally have to serve a written notice on your tenant. The type of notice depends on when the tenancy started and why you want them to leave. For further information regarding this, please visit our tenancy management page and please also note our harassment / illegal eviction page and retaliatory eviction page.