If you rent out your property or are thinking of renting it out then it is important you understand your legal rights and obligations otherwise you risk falling foul of the many rules and regulations that apply in this area. To help you understand some of the issues that could apply to you, we have set out below a list of just some of the things you should know.
1. Tenancy Agreements
Usually the renting of residential property for short term lets is dealt with by way of a written agreement called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. It is important to have a written agreement in place as this sets out the rights and obligations of each party. Also if there is no written agreement then it could make it more difficult for a Landlord to
get their property back from the Tenant.
Residential Landlords who take deposits must protect them within 30 days from receipt. This is done by protecting it with an approved deposit protection scheme. Landlords also need to give the Tenant prescribed information about the deposit. There are serious consequences for the Landlord if the deposit is not protected and the prescribed information is given within the set time limit. This can include a Landlord having to return the deposit to the Tenant and pay the Tenant compensation of up to 3 x the deposit.
3. Gas Safety Certificates
Residential Landlords renting out property with gas appliances must ensure they have a current gas safety certificate for the property. A gas safety check must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer every 12 months and a Landlord must provide the Tenant with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate. Failure to have a valid Gas Safety Certificate is a criminal offence.
4. Energy Performance Certificates
Residential Landlords must ensure they have a valid energy performance certificate for the property. If a Landlord does not get an energy performance certificate when they should have one, they could be fined.
If the property is being let furnished, then the furniture must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (FF(F)(S)R 1988) otherwise an offence will be committed.
In tenancies with a fixed term of less than seven years the Landlord is responsible for repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, baths and sinks, heating and hot water.
It is a criminal offence for a residential Landlord to unlawfully evict a Tenant. Proper procedures must be followed to evict a Tenant. Those procedures involve serving a Notice and if the Tenant does not leave voluntarily then obtaining a Court Order that the Tenant vacate the property.
8. Consent from your mortgage company
If you have a mortgage on your property you may need to obtain their consent to rent out your property.
Our specialist Landlord and Tenants Solicitors can advise you on all aspects of Landlord and Tenant law and can make sure you avoid making costly mistakes.
If you would like advice on Landlord and Tenant issues please contact us.