What is a Landlord?

by Readers Question

13:47 PM, 4th February 2016
About 3 years ago

What is a Landlord?

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What is a Landlord?

Am I landlord in the legal sense if I allow my daughter and granddaughter to live in a second home that I own outright, and although they pay no rent, they pay for the upkeep of the property? What is a Landlord

If I am a landlord, then can I assume I have a responsibility for their health and safety in terms of gas certificates, electrical certificates, smoke alarms, etc? If I am not deemed to be a landlord, what responsibilities do I have towards my daughter?

Similarly, if the same house is owned by a trust, where my daughter is one of the beneficiaries, is the trust deemed to be a landlord? If so, do all the trustees bear a joint responsibility towards the person living there, albeit, one of the trustees?

I just wondered if anybody reading Property118 has been in a similar situation.

Thanks

Brian

 



Comments

Jamie M

10:48 AM, 5th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Make sure you take responsibility regardless of the technical definition of who is the landlord.

You will go to jail if someone dies in your property and you dont have a gas safe cert

Mandy Thomson

12:38 PM, 5th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Brian

I've set out your main questions with my answers below.

Q. Am I landlord in the legal sense if I allow my daughter and granddaughter to live in a second home that I own outright, and although they pay no rent, they pay for the upkeep of the property?

A. Yes, you would be legally regarded as a landlord IF YOU CHARGE RENT, any rent (whatever purpose you might deem the rent as being for). However, if you keep this rent under a certain amount, which I understand is £250 a year, this need only be a contractual tenancy (also known as common law tenancy, or non assured tenancy). The RLA do an agreement template for this type of tenancy. However, even as a contractual landlord, you would still need to get yearly gas safety checks, inform your insurance provider and if you DID have a mortgage you would have to get consent to let. However, as your tenant is family, you would be exempt from selective licensing under The Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2000.

Q.If I am a landlord, then can I assume I have a responsibility for their health and safety in terms of gas certificates, electrical certificates, smoke alarms, etc? If I am not deemed to be a landlord, what responsibilities do I have towards my daughter?

A. You would be subject to all legal health and safety requirements, such as smoke alarm and gas safety, but not local authority selective licensing as you would be exempt as stated. However, you would not be subject to landlord’s repairing obigations, only handing over the property in a reasonable state fit for human habitation (as every occupier, and failing that, owner, is responsible for under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 toward any visitor to a space you control).

Q. Similarly, if the same house is owned by a trust, where my daughter is one of the beneficiaries, is the trust deemed to be a landlord? If so, do all the trustees bear a joint responsibility towards the person living there, albeit, one of the trustees?

A. A beneficiary to a trust of land is simply a party who is entitled to a share of the capital of the real estate. Similarly, a trust itself does not hold the legal title. But even with a full legal owner, they can assign an entitlement to rent and manage the property to another party, making the second party the landlord. In short, the answer to your last question is no, a trust or trustee would not be the landlord, unless the legal owner made them the landlord.

14:31 PM, 5th February 2016
About 3 years ago

no technical definition of landlord you either are or your just the agent

Mandy Thomson

14:33 PM, 5th February 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mandy Thomson" at "05/02/2016 - 12:38":

Edit to my second answer above: I meant to say you wouldn't be subject to landlord's repairing obligations under a contractual tenancy, or if of course you simply let them stay rent free.


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