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Your obligations as a landlord if you sublet your home

If you take in a lodger or are renting out a room in your house, you will have obligations as the landlord. The rights of your tenant will depend on the type of tenancy they have.

The pages on taking in a lodger and subletting your home explain the different kinds of tenancy your lodger or subtenant could have.

The right to privacy

As a landlord, it's important you respect the rights of your lodger or subtenant to live in the property. You do not have the right to enter the property without the subtenant's permission (or to enter your lodger's room without permission), although you do have the right to enter if you need to carry out repair work, provided you give them reasonable notice.

Even if your tenants are causing problems, be careful not to do anything that can be construed as harassment. Harassment can include:

  • cutting off water, gas or electricity supplies
  • entering the premises late at night without permission
  • behaving in an intimidating way
  • insulting your tenants because of their race, gender or sexuality.

Harassing your tenants is a criminal offence - don't do it!

Communication

Communication between landlord and tenant is very important if the tenancy is to be a success. Make sure your tenants know how to contact you, so that they can get in touch if they need to. If problems arise, for example if repair work needs done or if your tenants are falling behind with their rent, act quickly to put the situation right.

Rent

Remember, as the 'head tenant' you are still responsible for paying all the rent to your landlord, regardless of whether your lodger or subtenant pays you on time. The page on rent and deposits has more on your responsibilities regarding rent.

Repairs

As tenants, both you and your lodger or subtenant are entitled to expect your landlord to keep the property in a decent state of repair. However, it is up to you, not your lodger or subtenant, to negotiate with the landlord if repairs need to be done. The section on repairs has more information on landlords' responsibilities as regards repairs.

Asking your tenant to leave

If you want your subtenant or lodger to leave, you have to give them a notice to quit. The section on eviction explains what landlords need to do if they want their tenants to leave.

Landlord registration

Any landlord who rents out property has to register with the council. However, there are some exceptions, and if you are a tenant subletting your home and your landlord is already registered, you won't need to register yourself. You can find out more about landlord registration here.

Further information

You can find out more about being a good landlord here.

Scotland map Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.
This content applies to Scotland only.
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The important points

  • As a landlord, it's important you respect the rights of your lodger or subtenant to live in the property.
  • You do not have the right to enter the property without the subtenant's permission (or to enter your lodger's room without permission).
  • Communication between landlord and tenant is very important if the tenancy is to be a success.
  • Remember, as the 'head tenant' you are still responsible for paying all the rent to your landlord.

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