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Legal advice for landlords

 

As a landlord you have many obligations towards your tenants, these are imposed both by your lease agreement and by statute.

Statutory obligations include; ensuring the property is fit for habitation and ensuring the safety of the property.
 
For example under the Furniture and Furnishings Regulation 1993, the landlord has a duty to ensure the fire safety of furniture and furnishings provided under the tenancy.
 
In addition, if the lease is for seven years or less you will also have a duty to maintain and repair the property (The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).
 
If you are unsure as to what obligations you have and whether you are complying with them, a solicitor will be able to help you by advising of any changes which you must make.
 

Deposits

One issue where commonly there can be problems between landlord and tenant surrounds the deposit. You will need to ensure that any deposit taken is held in an approved tenancy deposit scheme.
 
The reason this is so important is because if you are found not to have protected the deposit, the courts can order you to pay the tenant three times the deposit amount. Should you be in any doubt it is advised you speak to a solicitor.
 
It is also recommended that you set out in the lease agreement specifically what the deposit can and can’t be used for, so that there can be no disagreement at the end of the tenancy.
 
Indeed a well worded lease can ensure that your property is used in the manner and only for the purposes you desire; including whether or not to permit alterations and whether you allow your tenants to have pets in the property.
 
If you would like a solicitor to draft you a new lease agreement or look over your current one they will be more than happy to assist.
 

Eviction

Finally, it should also be noted that in order to evict a tenant, the correct procedures must be followed.

You must have a valid reason for eviction and these cannot be discriminatory in any way.
 
A valid reason could be that the tenant has repeatedly missed rent payments, or they have caused the condition of the property to deteriorate.
 
You must then serve your tenant with a notice to quit, stating the reason for eviction.
 
If your tenant has refused to vacate your property, your options are to obtain a possession order from the court that can be enforced by the court bailiffs; you are not allowed to forcibly remove the tenant yourself.
 

If you would like to obtain legal advice on the law between a landlord and tenant, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist property / landlord law solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local property / landlord law solicitors please call us on 0808 129 5759 or complete the web-form above. 

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