What landlords should and shouldn’t have to pay for when renting out their single let


It can sometimes seem as though there are never-ending bills to pay for when renting out your property -from agency fees to insurance costs, gas inspections to maintenance issues.

But there are also a lot of costs to the tenant – and sometimes it’s not always clear who’s responsible for what.

Read on, and we’ll explain what you can expect your tenants to pay for, and what you can’t.

Setup costs

There are certain things that you need to make sure are done and ready before a tenant moves into your single let.  

You need to pay for an annual gas safety check and in some cases an electrical check too, but this is only required if the electrics appear unsafe or are very old (please note, this is subject to change).

You are required to pay for buildings insurance too, and if your property is part or fully furnished, then it is wise to pay for contents insurance as well.

You are not legally obliged to cover the cost of installing a telephone landline so the tenant can access broadband and normal telephone services, but a lot of landlords do this. Some landlords also pay for the installation of a satellite dish or cable TV.


Once your tenants are in, they should assume responsibility for most household bills which often include but are not limited to council tax, energy and water bills, telephone, TV and broadband subscriptions. They will also need a TV licence.

Regardless of whether your rental property is furnished or unfurnished, your tenants are responsible for taking out contents insurance for their own items.

Agency costs

Most letting agencies retain a percentage of the rent to cover their fees, this is often referred to as the management fee. As a landlord, you are responsible for this, plus any other fees such as the cost of drawing up an inventory, or a charge applied when the property is vacant.

Landlord Tip: We recommend checking your management agreement thoroughly, as lettings agent fees can vary vastly depending on who you are dealing with.  

If a tenant loses the key to their rental property, then the agency will either charge them to have a new key cut. If they lose their key and a locksmith has to assist them with re-entering their property, then the tenant has to cover the cost of the locksmith to remove, supply and fit a new lock and replace all keys.  


As a landlord, you will generally be expected to pay for the repair or maintenance of the property. Examples include any issues affecting the heating, a water leak or a fault with one of the appliances in a furnished property.

Tenants should pay if a problem arises because of their actions – such as an accident that causes a broken window or the spillage of red wine on the carpet.

If no-one’s at fault; for example, a power cut causes a freezer to leak and damage flooring; the landlord would be responsible. But many accidental issues could be covered by insurance, so check your policy.

These are the main types of costs that arise in a typical buy to let property– but there can be others. If you’re ever unsure, do speak to the experts. At Progressive Lets we are experienced in a wide range of situations and scenarios and can advise you on how best to handle your rental property and tenants.