Letting out properties can be a potential form of income. However, there are issues that landlords need to be aware of, both in terms of looking after the property and responsibility towards tenants. Being aware of these issues before you begin letting out your property will prevent problems later on.
Use up to date tenancy agreements
Having an agreement in writing helps to prevent a lot of problems. You can demonstrate when a tenant moves in, what they are aware of and can clarify what fees you are charging. For example, you can clarify the size of the room, as well as whether it covers bills such as council tax and electricity.
Another option that landlords are increasingly using are inventory companies. This means you have physical evidence of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy, so you can gauge what is reasonable wear and tear and what is damage that the tenant needs to be responsible for.
Fit for human habitation
This may sound obvious, but the room or property needs to be fit for human habitation. What this means is that you have appropriate bedding, no damp, as well as an adequate water supply and an appropriate amount of natural light. Another crucial aspect is to ensure you have the energy efficiency certificate and any other legal information that is required.
Don’t mislead the tenant
If you say that you have a free parking space, you need to be able to offer this. If you do not offer this when you have advertised this service, it could be considered a breach of the agreement.
Since the 1st June 2019 laws have been put in place to prevent excessive fees. You need to check this before having a tenant move in. For example, it is within your rights to charge for repairs that are the fault of the tenant. But this charge should not be disproportionate, or you could face legal action.
There are two main types of eviction- Section 21 refers to an eviction that occurs during the end of the tenancy or an agreed break. In this instance, you do not need to give a reason. With a Section 8, this kind of eviction should only be done if you have a specific reason, such as not paying the rent or causing some form of disturbance.
In practice, it is worth avoiding Section 8 evictions as much as possible. If you do this, make sure you have evidence as to why you are evicting the tenant, as this could leave you open to legal action.
We can help
The easiest way to ensure that your agreements are legally up to date, you have the right certification and that you are properly looking after your tenants is to get appropriate legal advice. At Larcomes, we have the legal specialists who can guide you through this process. For more information and to discuss your situation in more detail, please contact us today so we can get you in touch with our team today.