Being a landlord can be lucrative and it can give you a sense of pride in knowing that you actually own a property. However it can also be extremely stressful and expensive if any problems do arise and it is more than likely that they will!
Poor tenants? Rent not being paid on time? Pets ruining the home. There are so many problems that can occur and often landlords do not know their rights so they are unable to do anything about it. So, if you do own a home and you are not sure what rights you have as a landlord, here you will find the information that you need in order to make the best decision on what to do if a problem does arise.
You Have to Know What You Are Responsible For
In order to know your rights you have to first understand what you are actually responsible for. Every landlord within the UK has to:
See to Any Repairs
As a landlord you do have to make repairs both to the inside and to the outside of the property. Now, it generally depends upon how the problems to the property came about as to whether you are actually responsible to pay for the repairs or not. For example, was it something that the tenant could not control, or was it caused specifically by the tenant? If it was something that nobody could have controlled then you are responsible for the repairs. If however it was something that the tenant specifically did on purpose, then they will have to pay for the repairs to be done themselves.
Properly Install New Sanitary Units
If anything needs replacing or changing regarding hot water, sinks, baths or basins then you will need to take care of it. It is essential so you will have to make the changes as quickly as possible otherwise the tenant could report you. So, ensure that you do make the necessary changes to any sanitary units whenever possible and that way you will be sticking to your landlord obligations.
Make Sure That The Home is Properly Heated
As a landlord you will have to make sure that the property is fit to live in and that the tenants will not get ill once they are in the property. In order to do that you have to make sure that it is hygienic and that it is properly heated. If the property is not heated then there is a big chance in colder months that the tenants will get ill and if you have elderly tenants the cold could even kill them. So that is why heating within the property is essential and required by law.
Overall you just have to make sure that everything works properly and that the tenant can live happily within the home. There should be no danger within the property such as faulty wiring or a faulty boiler and all repairs will need to be made. As long as you keep the property up together you are ensuring that your landlord obligations are met. So just what do the tenants have to do?
What the Tenants Are Responsible For
Obviously each tenant will have different responsibilities based upon the tenancy agreement that they sign at the beginning of the tenancy.
You should have created one in order to state what the tenant can and cannot do. For example, are they allowed to have pets? If so are there any conditions of them having pets such as fumigation at the end of the tenancy? What date is the rent due? Are they allowed to smoke?
Once the tenancy agreement has been made the tenants have to stick to it.
Keep in mind however that there are certain things that you are not allowed to add into the agreement. The “Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations” state what you can and cannot add to the agreement so it is advised to go through that thoroughly before you print one out.
Generally within the UK, tenants have to:
Pay Their Rent on Time
This is one of the most obvious things that the tenant has to do. When they enter into the tenancy agreement they are stating that they will pay the rent on the date that it is due. If they fail to do so then you do have the right to either demand the rent from them or give them an eviction notice. However, you should read through the agreement in order to see how much notice needs to be given and when you can start giving the eviction notice after rent has not been paid.
Look After The Property
The tenant has to look after the property that they rent and they have to ensure that nothing within the property gets damaged. If they do not look after the property then they can be evicted but again you will have to give the proper notice.
Paying Utility Bills
Most tenants are responsible for paying Utility bills and council tax bills. This should be stated within the tenancy agreement so that there is no confusion to both you and the tenant.
Overall there are organisations set up in order to help you know what your rights are as a landlord. You do have the right to evict tenants if they have constantly failed to pay the rent and if they have been warned about it. Also, if the tenant does not look after the property then that also means that you can evict them in the proper way. You are not allowed to enter the property unless it is needed due to repairs and you should not turn up unannounced or bother the tenant in any way. As long as you follow your rights and know what rights the tenant has, you should be able to go through the renting process quite easily without many problems.
Article by Jonathan Chippeck. Jonathan is part of the evict tenant team at http://www.Landlordaction.co.uk. LandLord Action is a UK based tenant eviction troubleshooting agency specialising in providing rent and property recovery solutions to corporate and private landlords with bad tenants.