It’s been a boom time for the rental sector, 40% more people now live in rented accommodation than in 2006. Michelle Hayter, Dispute Resolution Partner says, "Arguably there has never been a better time to be a landlord but problems can arise such as rent arrears and damage to property. Landlords must also consider the large number of obligations placed on them when letting residential property, not least the new requirement to carry out ‘right to rent’ checks on tenants."
Sometimes, problems can be avoided by getting a few of the basics right, these include;
- It’s a good idea to take dated photos of the contents and condition of your property and add them to a detailed inventory signed by both the landlord and the tenant – these documents will be invaluable in the event of a dispute as to damage caused by the tenant in the future.
- Have a signed Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement in place. This will set out the amount of rent due and when it should be paid along with numerous other things such as the deposit paid, whether pets can be kept at the property etc.
- Ask your tenant to pay their rent by standing order, you will then have clear evidence of any missed payments
- Keep track of rent arrears and chase tenant’s immediately when payment is overdue, don’t let arrears accumulate before taking advice as to what you can do Obtain credit checks against any prospective tenants, the small fee payable for these checks is nothing compared to what your losses may be if the tenant is unable to pay the rent
- Comply with the deposit protection legislation – landlord’s not meeting their obligations in this regard is one of the biggest reasons for claims against landlords. If in doubt, take advice.
Being clear on your obligations as a landlord from the start can avoid many problems down the line, as can having a good Assured Shorthold Tenancy in place, if you are a landlord and would like some more advice on these issues please contact any member of our team who will be happy to help.
Our Dispute Resolution Team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Michelle or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.