Landlords and rubbish: Your responsibilities

As a landlord, there are various responsibilities you have, and these include the disposal of any rubbish. Here, we will explore the issues of rubbish for a landlord, and outline the actions that you may need to take.

Related topics:  Landlords,  Property,  BTL,  Tenants
Property | Reporter
27th April 2023
Bulky waste 234

Don’t leave waste at the property

In instances where a tenant has left the property, it is the responsibility of the landlord to ensure any bulky waste left behind is disposed of effectively. The Environmental Act of 1990 ensures that not disposing of waste can lead to financial and even legal penalties for a landlord.

Fines of up to £2,500 can be issued for landlords leaving bulky rubbish on places like driveways, and disposing of rubbish on streets can result in penalties of up to £50,000 – or even a custodial sentence.

Landlords should consider using a skip or a professional waste management service to deal with bulky rubbish but should ensure the correct skip size is chosen – too small and you will still have waste left behind, too big and you are paying for a larger skip than you need.

Ensure tenants have the correct waste disposal units

It can be difficult as a landlord to keep tabs on your tenants’ waste management, especially as you are not living at the property. As a landlord, you are required to ensure that tenants have the correct bins for their rubbish disposal.

This, of course, will vary from council to council regarding the correct colour bins for things like general waste and recycling.

If there are additional services such as garden waste offered, ensure the correct bin or method of disposal is available to the tenants.

When the tenant moves in, it is important to not only provide the correct bins and ensure they are in good condition and accessible but also with the correct information so they have no confusion regarding which waste goes where.

Encourage recycling

As we all strive to do more to help the environment, as a landlord, you should try and encourage tenants to recycle more wherever possible.

As well as making sure they know the correct places for recycling, and that they are accessible, there are other options available. If your property has a garden, consider supplying your tenants with compost bins to ensure that household food waste is put to good use.

Tenants can utilise the recycling bins provided by the council but should also be notified of recycling centres, as well as encouraged to use professional waste management services for larger items.

Remove any professional waste

The effective and efficient disposal of waste is not limited to general household waste. Should any work or maintenance take place at the property, including demolition, then it is the landlord’s responsibility to dispose of the rubble. This relates to general waste but also garden waste and, should the situation arise, hazardous waste. Consideration must be taken as to dispose of the waste in the correct and responsible way, as not doing so can see you, as a landlord, facing potential legal issues.


Care needs to be taken with waste at a property. As you are not at the property constantly, it can be difficult to monitor. Providing the correct information as well as details of waste management facilities will go a long way to keeping the situation right.

Should bulky rubble be dumped; dispose of it as soon as possible. You can, depending on circumstances, go down the route of getting the money back from a tenant for the removal at a later date, but the efficient disposal of waste removes any chance of legal implications.

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