Advice for landlords

We support private landlords and letting agents in a number of ways to make sure their properties are safe and good quality.

Our landlord accreditation scheme offers benefits to landlords and we also administer mandatory licences for large houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

If you own an empty property we may be able to help bring it back into use too.

If you’re a landlord or managing agent you can find out more about your rights and responsibilities below, and find more detailed information for landlords on GOV.UK.

Repairs

As the landlord, it’s your responsibility to maintain the property and carry out repairs. It’s also your responsibility to make sure the property meets safety standards. You should give your tenants 24 hours’ notice before visiting the property.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) was introduced as part of the Housing Act (2004) to identify and protect against risks and hazards within a dwelling.

Your tenants may get in touch with us if you take too long to carry out repairs. If we inspect the property and find unacceptable hazards we’ll contact you to discuss the options available. If informal action doesn’t resolve the issue we can escalate the complaint by using enforcement procedures.

Energy efficiency and MEES

It' a legal requirement for all dwellings in the private rented sector to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 established a minimum level of energy efficiency for homes within the private rented sector, known as MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard).

From 1 April 2020 it became unlawful to let most properties in the Private Rented Sector if the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of the property is either F or G. Therefore, the property must be brought up to the minimum rating of E and from 2030 this will change to C.

An EPC measures the energy efficiency of a property on a scale of A-G. EPCs were introduced in 2007 and are a legal requirement for a property to be sold, let or constructed. Certificates are valid for 10 years. The most efficient homes are in band A, resulting in lower fuel bills. The average EPC rating for properties in Barnsley is D. An EPC includes recommendations on ways to improve the energy efficiency of a property to save money and help the environment. You can find if there is a current EPC by postcode on the Government website. EPCs are carried out by qualified Domestic Energy Assessors. You can access a list of local assessors by visiting the Government website.

Properties with an EPC rating of F or G must be improved to at least a rating of an E or the landlord must apply for an exemption that can last for up to five years. Please note exemptions remain with the landlord and not the property. Therefore if you purchase an F or G rated property you will need to apply for a temporary ‘New Landlord’ exemption which lasts for six months. There are a variety of exemptions landlords can apply for however you must be able to provide evidence to support your application. A few of the exemptions include requiring third party consent (planning permission), the improvements will cost more than £3,500 or that £3,500 has already been spent or that the works will devalue the property by more than 5%. Landlords can register an exemption on the Government website. If you fail to comply with the regulations or falsely enter information onto the exemptions register, a financial penalty may be imposed.

There are several ways to improve the energy efficiency of your property. For example: external or cavity wall insulation, underfloor insulation, loft or room in roof insulation and heat pumps. Depending on your tenant’s personal circumstances you may be eligible for financial support to make your home warmer and cheaper to run. Depending on consumption this could offer lower energy bills.  For further information, please contact our dedicated team.

In September 2021, we were awarded funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to raise awareness and improve property standards within the Private Rented Sector among landlords and letting agents. We hope to hold a landlord event inviting landlords and lettings agents to meet with Council staff and partners to discuss energy efficiency and how it affects your properties,  including advice regarding action you can take to improve your properties. As part of this funding, we're also taking steps to investigate around 436 properties within the Private Rented Sector which we believe have an EPC rating of F or G. All landlords are strongly advised to take action and speak with their tenants regarding future energy efficiency action required to comply with the regulations.

Waste management and recycling

Our goals for the recycling, refuse, and street cleansing services are to:

  • reduce the amount of waste produced, fly-tipping and waste in gardens
  • recycle more
  • ensure our streets are clean

We're committed to ensuring the appropriate enforcement action is taken against those involved with Environmental Crime. We now have a dedicated Environmental Task Force working to reduce environmental blight in Barnsley.

As a landlord, you play a critical role in helping us meet these goals. We're seeking your support in:

  • providing adequate storage facilities for your tenants to store refuse and recycling
  • provide adequate access for the emptying of bins
  • informing your tenants how refuse and recycling services work
  • taking action against your tenants if they do not use services properly (eg if they place refuse out for collection too early).

Your responsibilities as a landlord

Every landlord has a Duty of Care regarding the conduct of tenants. In relation to waste and recycling, as a landlord, you must:

  • provide a place to store the bins and provide suitable bins in accordance with the council’s bin collection policy, ensuring that where these bins are missing, they are replaced at the start of each new tenancy. A suite of four bins can be provided and delivered at a cost of £25
  • your tenants understand how to use the bins correctly. Find out more information about waste and recycling, you can use and print this information for your tenants.
  • any problems, such as missed collections, damaged or missing bins, are reported to us in good time so that we can resolve any issue as quickly as possible
  • your tenants follow waste and recycling collection procedures, including putting the correct bin out on time on the correct day, using the bins correctly, not leaving side waste out. Find out more about our waste and recycling service, including collection calendars and bulky waste
  • ensure that your tenants know how to contact the Bulky Waste Service
  • ensure you maintain the appearance of your building. This includes making sure that the building is kept clean and free from waste, fly-tipping and flyposting

If your property is made up of bedsits or is a shared house, you may need a licence. For details about these licences, please email our Private Sector Housing team at sharedaccommodationteam@barnsley.gov.uk. They'll also be able to help you with any questions you may have regarding waste disposal.

Bin stores

Used in larger blocks of flats or HMO’s. Residents can use these bins any time of day and are encouraged to dispose of their refuse in these bins regularly in small amounts.

Residents must not leave their waste in plastic bags or sacks outside of these bins as this will attract vermin. Action may be taken against those not adhering to the correct procedures.

Wheelie bins

  • must, where possible, be stored on the property and not on the pavement
  • must be put out for collection by 6am on collection day, at the front edge of the property, close to the pavement in a position that is clearly visible
  • any waste that does not fit in the bin provided will not be collected
  • contaminated bins will not be collected. Residents should be encouraged to decontaminate the bin into black sacks so the bin can be put back into use as soon as possible. Waste from a contaminated bin can be collected by the Bulky Waste Service.

Bulky waste

This service can be used by tenants to dispose of larger bulky items of waste, and household waste. Find out more about our bulky waste collection.

Empty properties

Once a property becomes empty, you should ensure it is secure and free from any waste left by the previous tenant as soon as possible. Leaving waste in gardens can attract vermin and spoil the amenity of the local area. Empty properties are a high target area for persistent incidents of fly-tipping, which is usually to the cost of the owner.

When household waste becomes commercial waste

Generally, tenants are responsible for disposing of their own household waste. However, please be aware that once a tenancy ends and tenants move out, any waste they leave at the property becomes commercial waste, and therefore, your responsibility. If waste is left in outdoor areas, gardens, yards, or left on the street illegally, the landlord could face a hefty fine and even prosecution if waste is on the street.

Any rubble, construction waste or waste from modifications is classed as commercial waste and must be disposed of in accordance with commercial waste regulations. Help us to help you! #Everybodythink

Additional information

Gas safety

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide(CO) poisoning. CO is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly with no warning, as you cannot see it, taste it, or smell it.

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords must make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure their tenants and the wider communities stay safe.

As a landlord, you're legally obliged to make sure:

  • gas pipework, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition
  • all gas appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use have an annual safety check. You can set a free email and/or text reminder so you don’t forget, visit the StayGasSafe website to do this
  • a Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in
  • you keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record until two further checks have taken place
  • maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer
  • all gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting

Before any gas work is carried out always check the engineer is qualified to carry out the work that needs doing eg natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the Gas Safe Register website or by checking the back of the engineer’s Gas Safe ID card.

Encourage your tenants to also check the card when the engineer arrives at the property, and to be aware of any warning signs that their gas appliance is working incorrectly, such as dark or sooty staining, excess condensation and pilot lights which frequently blow out.

From 1 October 2022, all landlords must install carbon monoxide alarms in any rooms with a fixed combustion appliance such as gas heaters/fires and boilers excluding gas cookers.

For more information and to find or check an engineer visit the GasSafeRegister website.

More useful information for landlords