It is estimated that there are close to a million buy-to-let landlords in the UK and there are strict regulations which landlords must be aware of and adhere to.
Michelle Hayter, of our Dispute Resolution Team, says “Most residential tenancies are ‘assured shorthold tenancies’ and it is vitally important to have a detailed, written tenancy agreement setting out the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant.”
The terms should include:
- The details of the property
- The length of the tenancy and rent obligations
- The landlord’s obligations to keep the property in good repair
- The behaviour of the tenant
- The procedure required to end the tenancy
- Securing the deposit
- All tenancy deposits must be properly protected in a relevant tenancy deposit scheme and certain information must be provided to the tenant within 30 days of receipt. If this does not happen the tenant can make a claim for a penalty payment which can be up to three times the amount of the original deposit paid.
A landlord has very specific obligations which are set out in legislation to keep a property in good repair and is liable to claims from the tenant if that is not done. It is advisable to deal with issues raised by tenants promptly as disrepair claims can be very costly.
- A landlord is not entitled to retake possession by locking the tenant out – including cases of rental arrears
- A court order and thereafter a court bailiff is required to evict a tenant if they do not move out voluntarily
- Evicting a tenant without a court order/bailiff can result in a claim for unlawful eviction and lead to criminal prosecution of the landlord and a claim for compensation
There are many more regulations concerning fire resistant furniture, gas safety certificates, electrical wiring etc.
For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Michelle will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.