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Waste Responsibilities for Landlords and Tenants

If you are a landlord or a tenant of a property, you may have wondered exactly what waste you are personally responsible for, and what can be left to the other party. In this blog post we help to clear up any confusion, by explaining the different waste responsibilities of landlords and tenants.

Landlord responsibilities

If you own a property that is rented out to tenants, you need to know all of the applicable laws and regulations and make sure you are fully compliant with them. Here are your responsibilities when it comes to the waste and your property.

1. Commercial waste



An important factor in understanding the responsibilities of landlords and tenants when it comes to waste is distinguishing between household and commercial waste. While household waste is fairly self-explanatory, being the waste produced by inhabitants of a property on a day-to-day basis, commercial waste is waste created by the landlord as a result of property maintenance, or by people acting on behalf in the landlord. Seeing as the landlord owns the property for commercial purposes, the waste falls under the category of “commercial waste”. For example, this could be waste from construction, demolition, garden landscaping or similar, created by the landlords themselves or by contractors or builders commissioned by the landlord. The landlord is solely responsible for the disposal of commercial waste.

Councils generally don’t collect commercial waste, e.g. from construction. The best way to dispose of commercial waste is to hire a skip. Skips are perfect for disposing of rubble and soil from construction work. However, please note that items such as electrical equipment, hazardous materials, liquids and mattresses cannot go in a skip. Willshee’s offers specialist disposal of specialist materials such as hazardous materials—please get in touch if you would like more advice on the disposal of such substances.

2. When household waste becomes commercial waste



Generally, tenants are responsible for disposing of their own household waste. However, something you need to be aware of is that once a tenancy reaches its end and tenants move out, any waste they leave at the property, in particular bulky items, becomes commercial waste and therefore your responsibility. If waste is left in outdoor areas or left on the street illegally, the landlord could face a hefty fine and, if waste is on the street, even prosecution.

3. Providing sufficient bins and methods for waste disposal



Although tenants are the people who need to dispose of household waste day-to-day, under an HMO license it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure that there are sufficient bins and methods of waste disposal at the property and that tenants are informed of how and when to dispose of household waste.

Tenant responsibilities

As a tenant, it’s good to know what is and isn’t your responsibility when it comes to waste. Perhaps there is still rubble lying around from construction work? Or maybe you aren’t sure what goes in which bin?

1. Household waste



Although the landlord is legally responsible for ensuring that you as a tenant have enough bins to dispose of household waste properly and are informed about where to dispose of your waste, you as a tenant have a responsibility to make every effort to dispose of your own household waste. You should receive communications from your local council about when your bin days are, what can be recycled, and what can be put in your general household waste bin. If you are unsure, you should contact your local council.

Commercial waste such as rubble from construction, however, is the responsibility of your landlord. They should dispose of it quickly and safely.

2. Bulky items you no longer want



If you want to get rid of a bulkier item, such as a fridge or sofa, whilst living at a rented property, it is your responsibility to dispose of it. Often if you call the council they will pick such items up for you free of charge.


We hope this post has answered your questions on the responsibilities of landlords and tenant when it comes to waste.

If you would like professional, affordable skip hire then give us a call on 01283 702 340 to see how we can help!

Please note that this post does not constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice should be sought in the case of landlord-tenant disputes.


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