Our Top Tips for Residential Landlords
January 24, 2017
Make sure you have at least the basic knowledge of relevant law and the legal requirements imposed on residential landlords before you start letting any property – even if you intend using a letting agent. It is your property and you will be responsible to the tenant for your agents’ mistakes if they get things wrong.
Choose your tenants very very carefully. Once they are in possession of the property it will take time and court action to get them out again if they prove unsatisfactory.
Make sure you have a proper form of tenancy agreement which sets out all the tenant’s rights and obligations and protects your position as landlord. Make sure each tenant signs the agreement before they move into the property. Beware of older forms of tenancy agreements on the internet which may not comply with current legislation.
If you took a deposit from the tenant this must be protected under a government approved tenancy deposit scheme, otherwise you may face a financial penalty. Make sure you have a proper inventory/schedule of condition prepared for the property and its contents. Go through it with the tenant both at the start and at the end of the tenancy, otherwise your chances of succeeding in any dispute about the deposit are slim.
If the tenants are in rent arrears of two months/8 weeks, take immediate steps to serve a section 8 notice seeking possession and consider bringing possession proceedings.
If the tenants appear to have abandoned the property, you need to be very careful indeed before re-entering the property without a court order. Unlawful eviction of a tenant is a criminal offence and could also make you liable in the civil courts to pay the tenant compensation as well as their legal costs.
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.