Code of Practice

1 Aim to.
1.1 Ensure a good standard of service within the private rental sector.
1.2 Provide for a means of resolving disputes.

2 Business Conduct.
2.1 Dishonesty deception or misrepresentation shall not be used.
2.2 Good principles and the law relevant to residential landlords shall be observed.

3. Management Duties.
Landlords must:
3.1 Comply with the law and all local authority requirements.
3.2 Respond promptly to all reasonable requests.
3.3 Not discriminate on grounds of sex, race, age, religion, marital status or disability.
3.4 Respect the tenant’s rights as set out in the tenancy agreement.
3.5 Have policies and procedures for dealing with management matters.
3.6 Communicate accurately, clearly, concisely and courteously.
3.7 Give normal contact telephone numbers.
3.8 Assist tenants in understanding their tenancy agreement.
3.9 Regularly inspect the property.
3.10 Maintain efficient records relating to the building.
3.11 Keep them selves informed of developments in the law.
3.12 Have policies and procedures for handling tenant disputes.
3.13 Keep formal records of all money received or expended on each tenancy.

4. Deposits.
4.1 Should be returned promptly or tenants should be given written reasons for withholding deposit.

5. Rent Payments.
5.1 A rent book or the legal equivalent shall be given.
5.2 An explanation of how arrears have arisen.
5.3 Rent reviews must be in accordance with the appropriate legislation.

6. Services.
6.1 Comply with the law regarding gas installations and fittings.
6.2 Common areas are kept clean in accordance with the tenancy agreement.
6.3 Comply with the Fire Precautions Act.
6.4 Where applicable, tenants make satisfactory arrangements for the supply of public utility services.

7. Contractors.
All contractors that are engaged shall:-
7.1 Be suitable and comply with Regulations where appropriate.
7.2 Have public liability insurance.
7.3 Shall be employed by the landlord or his management company.

8. Repairs.
8.1 Have an established procedure for dealing with urgent repair work.
8.2 Deal promptly with tenants’ reports of disrepair.
8.3 Follow the procedure given in the tenancy agreement for inspection of the property at reasonable times and with reasonable notice.
8.4 Ensure repairs are completed in a reasonable time.
8.5 Comply with the appropriate codes of practice to ensure the safety of residents and the workforce.

9. Insurance.
9.1 Normal risks for the property and its facilities shall be insured as per legislation and in the interest of property owners and tenants.
9.2 Adequate insurance for the provision of alternative accommodation shall be considered.
9.3 Insurers should be notified of claims at the earliest opportunity.

10. Information
Landlords must provide tenants:
10.1 At the commencement of the tenancy, with their name and contact details.
10.2 With a rent book or equivalent rent document.
10.3 Can apply to increase rent payable as per the regulations laid out in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
10.4 A copy of the house rules and where necessary, copy of the floor plan showing exits, location and identity of each unit separately.
10.5 Fire fighting appliances should be identified and location clearly shown and each unit should have adequate fire fighting equipment i.e. fire extinguisher suitable for the possible risk. Fire blankets should also be supplied.
10.6 Fire alarms are absolutely necessary and desirable that an automatic system be installed, or where battery systems are operated ensure that batteries are replaced regularly, and that the system should be checked on a regular basis in conjunction with the tenant.

11. Disputes between Occupiers.
Landlords should:
11.1 Have policies and procedures for handling disputes between tenants and their neighbours.
11.2 Deal fairly with all parties.
11.3 On receipt of a complaint in writing, investigate and if necessary seek to enforce the conditions of occupancy on other residents.
11.4 Endeavour to resolve disputes by informal means before turning to formal procedures.

12. Arrears.
Lasndlords should:-
12.1 Monitor whether rents are received when due.
12.2 Should follow the procedures laid out in Residential Tenancies Act 2004 when arrears occur.

13. Terminations of Tenancies and Vacation.
Landlords should:-
13.1 Be aware that they cannot take possession until the tenancy has come to an end and the tenant has vacated.
13.2 Have a system in place to monitor the response from a tenant regarding the vacation of a property when notice has been served.
13.3 Inspect the property within 24 hours following the vacation to see whether it has been returned to the condition specified in the tenancy agreement.
13.4 Not return the tenant’s deposit until final inspection has taken place and they are satisfied that the deposit or part thereof is refundable. The grounds for retention of all or part should be provided to the former Tenant in writing.
13.5 Advise the local authority and utility companies of any change in occupancy.
13.6 Check that all utilities have been paid.
13.7 Investigate immediately if the tenant fails to vacate on the due date and take the appropriate action.