Renting out your property can be a fantastic idea, a great investment and highly rewarding when the rental of the property runs smoothly. However, disagreements between tenants and landlords can be lengthy and in some cases become confrontational.
Most difficulties can be prevented with the right legal advice at the start of the process. By using a solicitor, you will be able to gain substantial legal rights, and in turn provide your tenants with the crucial reassurance that you have your tenancy agreement prepared, and all legal matters have been carried out properly.
The law can be complex, so it’s important to get the necessary legal advice which will stand you in good stead. Solicitors are the pros when it comes to the law and how it impacts you. If you are considering investing in a property to purchase and then to let, a solicitor can offer you advice on the property you are considering, for example, suitability and achievable rental income and furthermore deal with the legalities of the purchase on your behalf.
The key to a properly carried out tenancy, and everyone being happy, is for both landlord and tenant to understand their rights and responsibilities. Using the services of a solicitor to deal with the rental of your property makes sure that you are being advised of current legal requirements, offering you the peace of mind that you are keeping on the right side of the law, as failure in doing this may end in you paying out significant costs.
So with this in mind, here is some guidance in regard to using a solicitor as a landlord, and a few situations in which they can come in use to you.
Your obligation as a landlord
As a landlord, there are certain obligations which you have. These include:
● Registering as a landlord with your local council. You need to renew your registration every three years. This is in order for the local council to determine if you are a “fit and proper” person to be acting as a landlord. It is an offence to act as an unregistered landlord, and you could incur a fine of up to £50,000.
● Electrical safety checks. Which must be done on annual and a 5 yearly basis.
● Preparation of an Energy Performance Certificate, This requires to be displayed at the property and must be renewed every 10 years.
● A legionella risk assessment test. This should be done every two years.
● Landlords Gas Safety Inspection If the property is serviced by gas. This needs to be on an annual basis.
● Installation of hard-wired and interlinked smoke detectors.
The landlord and tenants acts
The vast majority of legal proceedings that are issued arise under the Landlord and Tenant Acts in relation to property disputes. Solicitors are specialists who are able to understand the various Landlord and Tenant Acts that govern the obligations on both landlords as well as tenants. By instructing solicitors in Landlord and Tenant Act matters, the issues that come with such proceedings are diminished. The complexity of the Landlord and Tenant Acts indicates that it is much more sensible to instruct solicitors who will be able to interpret the law and indicate to you whether or not any breach has taken place. By working with a solicitor as early as possible, a comprehensible, concise assessment regarding the merits of the case can be made and this will give you a realistic opinion as to the chance of success under the Landlord and Tenant Acts.
A couple of the examples of the types of landlord and tenant claims that are made under the Landlord and Tenant Acts often include:
● Problem tenants. This is classed as a tenant not paying rent or if they are acting unreasonably.
● When there has been a breach of the tenancy agreement by either the landlord or a tenant.
● Figuring out how to end a tenancy.
● How to evict a tenant during a fixed term tenancy, or after it has expired. Under the Landlord and Tenant Acts, landlords are not legally permitted to remove tenants themselves from the property. Landlords must not also change any of the locks either. Any kind of attempt to do so could result in the tenant bringing an action for harassment or unlawful eviction under the Landlord and Tenant Acts.
● An unlawful eviction of the tenant carried out by the landlord.
Why should I consider legal assistance as a landlord?
Not only can we help you with the tasks mentioned above, we can also offer assistance in other situations such as:
● Advising leaseholders in respect of acquiring the
● Challenging excessive service charge claims
● Assisting with problem neighbours and
● Advising in all aspects relating to Rent Act protected tenants
● As a landlord, you may want to have a specialist landlord solicitor by your side, who can help you with your day-to-day questions. We’ve extensive experience and knowledge to help you in every situation.
Common legal issues a landlord solicitor can deal with
Tenancy agreements and leases
providing the right tenancy agreement or not having the right lease in place can make your life so much simpler. It permits you to create a good relationship with your tenants and lowers the likelihood of disputes. It also provides you with protection in the eventuality of a dispute if it does arise.
Rent arrears and rent recovery
If your tenants are not able to keep up with paying their rent, there are certain options for a solicitor who can pursue this on your behalf to recover any outstanding payments. In lots of cases, these matters can be dealt with quickly with a solicitor’s letter. Moreover, where more serious action is called for, they can advise on your options, the fees involved and what is best for your long-term interests.
Regaining possession of a rental property
If you’re trying to get back possession of your property, a solicitor can also guide you through this process. They will help you by serving the correct notice to the tenant and getting a court order. Our expert team can also support you in enforcing their order, if needs be.
Tenancy dispute resolution
When there is a dispute over a problem such as disrepair or anti-social behaviour, a solicitor will be able to advise you on your legal rights as well as responsibilities. They will be able to help you reach the outcome you require as swiftly and quickly as possible. In most scenarios, court proceedings are not required, this can save you a significant amount of time, money and hassle.
Crystal Law Solicitors – landlord solicitors here to assist you
At Crystal Law Solicitors, we understand that the area of landlord and tenant law is complex. Situations and experiences within this legal area can be both stressful and difficult. That’s why our team of landlord and tenancy solicitors provide a clear, comprehensive and cost-effective legal service to our clients. Our priority is to ensure that everything is crystal clear. Our landlord solicitors always communicate and engage with each client in a way that suits their needs, offering down to earth, jargon-free advice. We understand the law can be complex; our rental property lawyers provide up-to-date tailored legal advice and work hard to guide and advise you on the best solutions for your case. To find out more about the legal services we offer, please feel free to get in touch, we’d be delighted to hear from you.