There are a lot of obligations on landlords when they rent a property. Failure to comply may mean that there is no entitlement to rent or possession of the property. In addition, it can lead to having to pay damages to your tenant or even criminal sanctions.
- If there is a mortgage on your property, ensure you obtain consent from the mortgage lender to rent the property out
- Ensure you have the correct insurance for a tenant-occupied property
- Prepare a schedule for the property's condition, with photographs, and ensure the tenants sign it
- Speak to us to ensure you fulfil all your landlord obligations
We would suggest that you speak to Taylor Bracewell before granting a tenancy agreement or allowing a tenant to occupy your property. Also before you make any changes to the tenancy agreement terms or seeking possession of the property.
Deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies after 6 April 2007 must be invested into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Despite this requirement being in force for almost 10 years, there are still Landlords who are failing to comply.
The deposit must be invested within 30 days of receipt with one of the prescribed schemes. This is whether the monies have been paid to you by the tenant or someone else on the tenant's behalf. You must also provide your tenants with certain information about the deposit which includes:
- The amount of deposit that has been taken
- The address of the property that the deposit relates to i.e. the rented property address
- Which scheme the deposit has been protected in and how it is protected
- Full contact details for the deposit scheme and also its dispute resolution service
- As a landlord you must provide your full name and address, or that of your agency; if you ever change your contact details you must keep the tenant updated of those
- If the deposit was paid by someone else, their name and contact details
- You need to set out under what circumstances you may keep part or all of the deposit i.e. non-payment of rent or property damage
- How the tenants can get the deposit back at the end of the tenancy agreement
- Steps that can be taken by the tenant if they cannot contact you at the end of the tenancy agreement
- What the tenants can do if you cannot reach agreement with them over the return of the deposit at the conclusion of the tenancy agreement
We would suggest that you photograph the property at the start of the tenancy as evidence to show its state of repair.
If you fail to comply and wish to bring the tenancy agreement to an end you may not be able to do so, until such time as remedial action has been carried out. This means that it could delay obtaining possession of your property and cost additional monies in rectifying. In addition to this, your tenant could apply to the Court for the failure to invest. A Court Order could include ordering you to refund the deposit back to the tenants or investing the same with a deposit scheme. Additionally, your tenants could be awarded damages up to three times the size of the deposit.
This is just one example of the obligations on landlords. There are a number of requirements that need to be complied with at the start of the tenancy and while you continue to have tenants. We would suggest that you seek legal advice before entering into a tenancy agreement and allowing occupation of your property.