Understanding your legal obligations as a landlord is clearly essential. Legislation is an absolute minefield. There are currently 170 rules and regulations applicable to the PRS and you need to be familiar with all of them. You are a very rare landlord if you are. You also need to pay very close attention to legislative changes, which can often be sudden.
If you are not able to keep yourself updated on your legal obligations as a landlord, you may very well find yourself unknowingly breaching the law. This, in turn, can be extremely costly. Both from a personal perspective and financially. Here are just a few of the things you need to might want to know…
Legal obligations as a landlord: Am I required to have a tenancy agreement?
It might sound like stating the blindingly obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of landlords who don’t have an effective tenancy agreement in place. Clearly, not having one at all puts you at great risk. Even if you are renting to a friend or family member, you still need one. You don’t have a crystal ball.
Tenancy agreements aren’t legal obligations for landlords. But whilst your tenant will of course still have their rights; not having a written agreement in place could expose you to a catalogue of disastrous outcomes. You might need help with this.
What can I do when my tenant can’t pay their rent?
This is probably the number 1 concern for landlords in the current climate. You might be tempted to begin the eviction process immediately. With Section 21 due to be scrapped however, with an assured shorthold tenancy – you can do so, using a Section 8.
It won’t be a quick process though. It’s also advisable to make every effort to resolve matters yourself before taking legal action.
We’d recommend taking out rent guarantee insurance. Remember, they are not all created equal and you might not get your money back. There’s a different option you might like to consider.
What are my legal obligations in relation to my tenant’s deposit?
You are legally required to put your tenant’s deposit into a TDP within 30 days. There are 3 different types. Find out more here. The legal consequences of failing to do this are severe.
Are there any legal obligations associated with tenant selection?
Asking the wrong questions could very well lead to some serious consequences. Avoid anything that could possibly be deemed as discriminatory. You also face the possibility of dealing with intentional attempts made by tenants looking to make a claim. It’s quite easy to innocently fall into the trap of asking questions that could land you in trouble. So, think carefully first.
The following 4 blunders will land you with the heftiest fines
- Failing to comply with HMO regulations
- Breaching safety regulations
- Unlawful evictions
- Failing to conduct right to rent checks
Here to help you make the right choices
You don’t have to worry about your legal obligations as a landlord if you use a quality agent. We take care of everything for you. From careful tenant selection to covering rental voids and legal costs. You can choose to take your guaranteed full market rent, a year upfront, in one lump sum too. There is no extra cost for this. Calculate here.