You would be forgiven for thinking that it is simply too much trouble to be a Landlord in private rental properties these days. There have been numerous additional restrictions and obligations imposed on Landlords over the past few years making it more and more difficult to use the no-fault basis for recovering possession of your property should the need arise.
Not only could you face difficulties in getting your property back but Environmental Health, Trading Standards, the Home Office and your Tenant have been given additional rights to reprimand and obtain penalty payments from you for any deviation from your legal responsibilities.
To avoid potential pitfalls and to ensure that you are fully aware of what you should do, obtain legal advice before you start and if you adhere to that advice, you should be able to successfully navigate your way around difficult tenancies. In addition, a well drafted tenancy agreement and very detailed inventory and schedule of condition will ensure that both parties know where they stand.
Crucial areas for compliance are in relation to:
- Deposits: securing them in a tenancy deposit scheme and providing prescribed information to the tenant within 30 days of receipt.
- Gas safety: a valid gas safety certificate must be provided to the tenant before they move in and updated every 12 months with new certificates given.
- Houses in Multiple Occupation: A valid licence must be in place for a property where there are multiple occupants (5 in some areas and 3 in others) from at least 2 households sharing facilities.
- Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards: The property must have an energy rating of at least an E to rent out or be registered as an exemption.
- Tenant fees: For tenancies starting on or after 1st June 2019, landlords and letting agents are severely restricted in their ability to charge tenants.
There can be no demands for fees for inventories, tenancy agreements, reference checks or any other start up or end of tenancy fees. In addition, the agreement must not require the tenant to have the property professionally cleaned even where there are pets or incur any costs generally.
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