A landlord is defined as a person who rents out their property to tenants, either in the form of a lease or a license for less than seven years. This can be in a residential property which is flat or home that you rent and live in, or commercial properties including office spaces, shops, storefronts, garages and warehouses.
As a landlord, there are a number of different issues that can arise, such as issues regarding retrieving rent, raising rent, as well as damages and access to the property that has been rented out. Knowing your legal rights as a landlord is of paramount importance, in order to protect yourself but also to safeguard your property too.
Tenancy agreement and payments
Prior to a new tenancy starting, it is vital that the landlord has secured a tenancy agreement with the new tenants. This is to ensure they legally owe a specified amount of money for renting the property.
A further step to protect your legal rights is to get rental payments from your tenant through a standing order, which can be used as evidence if needed in the future.
If the tenant fails to pay rent within the required period of time, the landlord has the legal right to evict, with the option of serving an eviction notice.
It is within your right as a landlord to raise the rent of the building you are renting out due to market conditions, demand and perhaps and increased value of the property. However, rent prices must follow regulations on a pre-determined date known as a ‘rent review’ that is stated in the tenancy agreement.
Depending on what has been stated in the tenancy agreement, landlords may be legally obliged to wait until the end of the fixed term before raising rent. This increased rate must also be reasonable, with a justifiable reason for the raise in question.
Damages to the property
It is possible for landlords to serve tenants with an eviction notice if the owner believes severe damage was done to their property deliberately.
In most tenancy contracts, it is the tenant's responsibility to keep the property clean and when vacating the property, to leave it in the same condition that it was in when they first moved into the building. If there is a lack of compliance, then landlords have the right to charge for repairs.
However, landlords are not able to charge tenants for ‘fair wear and tear’. Things that fall into this category include standard damages to doors or walls that are inevitable as a result of daily use. It is only possible to charge for these repairs if evidence is given that it was during a specific tenants occupation.
The landlord has the right to serve an eviction notice as well as deduct repair costs from their deposit in the event that a valid charge has been made against the tenant and they do not fix nor pay repair costs themselves.
Access to property
Landlords are required to provide notice to their tenants 24 hours prior to entering the property, and this is only allowed for certain reasons such as repairs. If consent is not given and the reason is considered invalid, the landlord could be prosecuted.
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