Increasingly, more people are renting rather than owning their own homes. It is important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of the rules around renting properties. With the right approach, it is possible to avoid any issues and resolve disputes.
There are two main types of tenancies. A periodic tenancy goes from month to month, while a fixed term date has a clear end date.
As a tenant, you have certain rights. This includes the right to live in a property that is in a fit state, deposits returned if you meet your tenancy agreement, the ability to dispute excessive charges and most importantly of all protection from unfair eviction. On 1 June 2019 new rules came in preventing landlords paying certain charges (this is referred to as the Tenant Fees Act).
A tenancy agreement is vital as it shows what responsibility you have for the property, as well as the responsibility of the landlord.
While a tenancy agreement details your rights, it also clarifies your responsibilities. This can include taking care of the property in the absence of the landlord, reporting issues promptly and paying your rent and bills as detailed in the agreement and within the time stated.
Landlords are expected to make sure the property is safe to live in (such as making sure all electrical and gas equipment is safely installed and properly maintained.) It is also expected that any deposits are placed in a government approved scheme, as well as following regulations on fire, taxes and whether you have permission from your mortgage lender to rent out your property.
You should also give reasonable notice before you evict your tenants (around a month or a week if the tenant is someone who lives with you).
Where possible, landlords want to avoid eviction where possible. If you are having trouble paying rent, as a tenant you should discuss this with your landlord as soon as possible. It is important as a landlord to follow the process properly or you could be charged with harassment or illegal eviction.
A Section 21 notice is given if you want a property back at the end of the tenancy, while a section 8 can be given if it is felt that a tenant has broken the rules of their agreement.
If a tenant does not leave after their agreed date, then it is possible for the landlord to apply for a standard possession order if they owe rent or an accelerated possession order if you are not chasing any unpaid rent from the tenant. In extreme cases when the tenant still refuses to leave then you could get a warrant for possession, so bailiffs could forcibly remove them.
We can help
Whether you want to come up with a tenancy agreement or you are looking to resolve a dispute around a deposit, we can help. Contact us today so we can get you in touch with our legal specialists so that your rental legal issues can be resolved.