Critical Landlord Responsibilities to be Aware Of

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Almost every country has critical landlord responsibilities that you must take seriously. From fire safety to preventing legionella, here are a few you need to take action on.

Gas and Electrical Safety

Two of the most crucial are gas and electrical safety. These are among the biggest causes of disaster and death in private and rented homes. Because of this, some countries take swift legal action against failure to take these seriously. For example, an annual Gas Safety Certificate is required in the UK. Performing portable appliance testing (PAT) and wiring checks are also required every few years, or you can face harsh penalties, fines, and possible time in prison.

While we don’t have mandatory guidelines like these in Central Florida, it’s always important to be aware of your local rules and regulations.

Fire Safety and Carbon Monoxide

Fire safety checks are also a requirement for landlords. All properties should have a working smoke alarm. And if the alarm is beeping because it needs batteries replacing or is dying, you should remedy this issue immediately. Another check that is often overlooked is carbon monoxide. This is especially dangerous because it is odorless, but kills quickly. A CO alarm is very cheap and will alert residents when carbon monoxide is present in the home.

Landlord Responsibilities Concerning Pests

There is something of a gray area when it comes to pest control. Often, the landlord is responsible for pests that occur because of structural problems such as termites causing wood damage. However, most landlords take action against pests no matter the cause because it can get out of hand. Of course, if pests are occurring because of something a resident is doing (such as not cleaning the home), this needs to be discussed to come to an arrangement.

In our leases, we specify that the landlord is responsible for termite treatment, but the tenants are responsible for bug/roach control. Being clear on the lease is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings.

Water and Legionairre’s Disease

The water tank is a precious resource in the home. However, not many people understand that the water in their homes can kill them. If water is not kept above 50°C, then it can harbor the deadly legionella bacteria. It is advised that you inform the residents that the boiler or furnace needs to be above this, preferably 60, in order to prevent the bacteria from forming and killing any that are present. You are responsible for this as the landlord, and checks must be made.

Fitness for Human Habitation

People often just want somewhere comfortable to live and get on with their lives. As a landlord, you have a human responsibility to ensure the properties you let are fit for people. Tenants with children, disabilities, and mental illness are especially prone to escalating issues. Checking in on tenants and addressing problems head-on is the best way to look after residents. Common issues include damaged walls, leaks, and mold. No one should have to live in poor conditions.

A yearly inspection is a great way to get a look at your property and make sure everything is up to shape.


Gas and electrical safety are critical landlord responsibilities that should be taken care of. There are also issues such as pest control, for which you may or may not be liable. When all is said and done, you have the responsibility of ensuring your properties are fit for people to live in.

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