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Durham County Council

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Managing your tenancies


Renting out a property comes with certain rights and responsibilities. We can help you manage your property in an effective and responsible manner in line with all relevant housing legislation and associated guidance.

I'm a first time landlord

If this is the first time you've rented out a property the following leaflet has some useful advice:

Lacors: Thinking about renting out your home? (PDF, 400kb)

Vetting a prospective tenant

Making sure prospective tenants are reliable, by carrying out reference checks, will help minimise the risk of your property being damaged and the rent not being paid. If your property is within a selective licensing area, we can support you in this process through our tenant referencing scheme.

Tenancy agreements

Having a signed tenancy agreement will make it easier to deal with any disputes, should they arise. Assured shorthold tenancies are the most common type. You can get tenancy agreements from most stationery suppliers.

There's more information available on the gov.uk website:

Tenancy agreements - a guide for landlords (England and Wales)

Establishing your property's condition and an inventory of contents

The tenancy agreement should also include an inventory of all contents and their condition as well as the general condition of the d├ęcor and maintenance. Clear dated photographs of rooms, floor coverings, doors and windows should be used to establish this.The inventory should be checked and agreed by the tenant at the time of viewing. When the tenancy comes to an end, the inventory list can be used to decide how much of a tenant's deposit, if anything, will be returned.

Deposit or bond

Any deposit you take from a tenant must be protected through one of three government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes:

Proof of this should be given to the tenant within two weeks of taking the deposit.

Health and safety - property access and maintenance

We've set out some basic housing management standards which we expect private landlords and agents, as responsible operators, to adhere to. This is to ensure the comfort and safety of their tenants.

Once a tenancy begins, the landlord and tenant also have certain obligations in relation to the property's upkeep and repair. You can find out more on our Property disrepair web page.

Ending a tenancy

If you want your tenants to leave you must give them notice. How you give notice depends on the type of tenancy agreement. There's more information available on the gov.uk website:

Tenancy agreements: a guide for landlords (England and Wales) - Ending a tenancy

What happens if the tenant won't leave?

You can't forcibly remove your tenants without an eviction order. Once the notice period is up you can start an eviction process through the courts. There's more information in the section below.

Avoiding harassment and / or illegal eviction

Harassing tenants to leave and/or not following the correct eviction process is a criminal offence as detailed in the Protection from Eviction Act. Anyone who is harassed or illegally evicted can claim damages through the civil court. The Police could also become involved if a tenant is physically assaulted.

A landlord should not:

  • use threats or physical violence to get anyone to leave their accommodation
  • attempt to force anyone to leave their home or lock them out 
  • withdraw gas, electric or water supplies 
  • persistently disturb the tenant in their accommodation 
  • interfere with a tenants personal belongings
  • enter the property without the permission of the tenant and without giving reasonable notice.

There's more information on the gov.uk website:

Evicting tenants - the rules you must follow (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

More information and support

Contact us if you need help or further information and advice.