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Private renting housing standards for landlords

Your responsibilities

Landlords must keep the property in a good condition. Tenants could take the landlord to court if a landlord does not carry out repairs after being told about them.

We have a duty to deal with unsatisfactory housing conditions in the private sector. We have set up the Guildford Lettings Accreditation Scheme to help raise standards and promote good landlords. 

We have a duty to deal with serious hazards. Three of the main hazards are damp/mould, excess cold, and fire safety. 

We have different ways of dealing with hazards, including:

  •  informal hazard awareness notices
  •  formal improvement and prohibition notices
  •  specific provisions for dealing with urgent hazards

Damp, mould and excess cold are often found together. See our advice on dealing with damp and mould.

An Energy Performance Certificate is needed in most properties, this is to show the heating costs but does not take account of any damage to systems.

Fire safety can be enforced in any domestic property under the Housing Act. Further fire safety guidance is available.

Help available for private renting standards

Private renting information

Fire safety in rented properties

How to rent checklist

Information on electrical safety

Learn your electrical safety duties if you're a private landlord.

Landlords must have the electrical installations in their properties. These must be inspected and tested every 5 years.

The regulations apply to:

  • all new tenancies granted from 1 July 2020
  • all existing tenancies from April 2021

You must make sure:

  • you meet national electrical safety standards. These are set out in the 18th edition of the 'Wiring Regulations'
  • you get a report from the person doing the inspection and test and set a date for the next inspection and test
  • you supply a copy of this report to the existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection and test
  • you supply a copy of this report to a new tenant before they move in
  • you supply a copy of this report to any prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a request for the report
  • you supply the local authority with a copy of this report within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy
  • you keep a copy of the report to give to the inspector and tester who will carry out the next inspection and test
  • you must complete the work within 28 days if the report shows that work is needed
  • you give written confirmation of the completed work from the electrician to the tenant and council within 28 days of finishing the works

Please send your electrical safety certificates to For more information, see our Electrical inspection and testing - advice for private landlords page

If there is a breach of the regulations

If there is a breach of the regulations but no urgent action is required, we will serve a remedial notice. The notice will state the breach and action to be taken.

You can make representations against the notice within 21 days from the date it is served. This will suspend the notice until we have considered it. If we do not receive any representations, or the notice is confirmed, you have a duty to follow it.

If there is no appeal or the notice is upheld or varied, the works must be carried out within 28 days of the decision.

If urgent action is needed

Where urgent action is needed and we believe you are in breach of your duty to carry out works, we can do this work (with the consent of the tenants).

We will have to serve a notice, setting out:

  • the work required
  • the date the work was or will be started
  • the right to appeal the notice.

For more guidance on the regulations, see Guide for Landlords on Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector.

    Information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

    All privately rented homes must be fitted with a working smoke alarm on each floor of the property. A working carbon monoxide alarm should also be fitted in a room that has a solid fuel burning appliance. You could be fined if you do not comply with this.

    See the guidance booklet for further information.