Landlord and tenant obligations

When you're a landlord or tenant, you should know your legal rights and obligations. The law protects tenants and landlords. But this doesn't allow you to take the law into your own hands. You should get advice if you're having problems with your landlord or a tenant.

Legal requirements

If you let, sell or manage rented property, you must follow:

  • the Disability Discrimination Order (NI) 2006
  • the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976
  • the Race Relations (NI) Order 1997

If you need guidance:

Landlord's responsibilities

A landlord is responsible for:

  • repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water systems, basins, sinks, baths and other sanitaryware
  • the safety of gas and electrical appliances
  • the fire safety of furniture and furnishings provided under the tenancy
  • ensuring that the property is fit for habitation
  • repairing and keeping in working order the room and water heating equipment
  • the common areas in multi-occupancy dwellings

The landlord is entitled to go into the property to inspect and carry out repairs.

Tenancy deposit

The landlord must give the tenant a rent book and a statement of tenancy terms within 28 days of the tenancy starting. They're also responsible for protecting the tenant's deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme.

Tenant's responsibilities

A tenant is responsible for:

  • paying the rent 
  • bills for gas, electricity and telephone if this was agreed with the landlord
  • keeping the property in a reasonable state of cleanliness and decoration
  • making sure that you, members of your household or your visitors do not harass, cause nuisance or annoyance to the occupiers of any neighbouring or adjoining premises

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