Landlords and Tenants Rights

Tenants rights are often dismissed as irrelevant when arranging the letting of a new property. At the time they seem flippant and unimportant. However, in the event that you become the victim of either a lousy landlord or tenant, then these rights will become vitally important to you.

The most common type of tenancy in England and Wales is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). This was introduced in 1997 and all tenancies started since 28th February 1997 will automatically be an AST unless the correct steps were taken to make it an Assured Tenancy.

Protecting Deposits

When tenants are leaving a property the amount of the deposit returned is often the most debated factors. The tenant is likely to feel hard done by as they fail to see why any money has been withdrawn from the kitty, whereas the landlord is merely looking out for their best interests. However, this is one area where the rights of both parties have changed recently and need to be considered.

Tenants

For starters, no matter what figure is promised by the landlord, the tenant must receive the promised amount within a 30-day period. If this is not reimbursed in this time frame, then they are entitled to the whole sum, regardless of the damage done. This deposit must now also be placed in a secure account once handed over at the start of the agreement. The days of a landlord using it to redecorate their downstairs, and then making up frivolous excuses to why it has not been returned are sincerely over. The money remains in one of these holdings for the entirety of the stay. They then have to prove that they are using the money withheld to repair the damage allegedly caused.

Finally, if the tenant remains disgruntled upon the announcement of the amount of deposit returned then they can make steps to regain this money. They have the right to start a dispute with the landlord which will be decided by the TDA (Tenant Deposit Scheme) officiates. The companies that run the tenancy deposit schemes are listed below:

  • The Deposit Protection Service
  • My Deposits
  • The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Landlords

Due to the imposed regulations the landlord is no longer free to personally hold onto the deposit of their tenants. They must now place this is one of the two designed holdings, so that all leftover money is accounted for. Also, in the event of a dispute, they must relinquish the amount of money disputed. During this time this sum will be unavailable to them as it is property of the TDA. It then will be decided whom it belongs to and will then be either returned or taken away. In terms of deposits, the landlord’s rights have been drastically reduced due to years of mistreatment and suspected sleaze. The majority of landlord’s rights now lie in eviction and inspection.

Although most major disputes between these two often-conflicting parties come on the topics already discussed, it is important for both to know what their landlords and tenants rights are.

Tenants’ Rights

Tenancy Agreements

Every single tenant is required to be given both a copy and explanation of the tenancy agreement. They are also required to receive a new tenancy agreement after any agreed change on either behalf. For example this can be due to another resident or an increase in rent. A tenancy agreement lays out the terms of the tenancy. There are a number of standard clauses in tenancy agreements.

Contact details

Since the introduction of the tenancy deposit scheme and other related statutes, tenants are required to be provided with the name and address of their landlord. This means that in event of a malfunction of an appliance or a serious problem, they can contact the landlord instead of going through the tedious process of getting hold of them through the estate agency.

Adequate facilities

Each tenant is legally entitled to enjoy suitable living conditions and working appliances in their property. Things that fall into this category are essentials like a working oven, hot water and functional phone ports.

Repairs

Tenants are also entitled to immediate action upon reporting a problem inside the property. This must result in the repair of the said problem within a short period of time. This aims to eliminate the problems associated with lacklustre landlords who are not committed to updating their lettings.

Insurance

It is a good idea for tenants to take out insurance when living in rented accommodation as their possessions won’t usually be covered on their landlords insurance.

Landlord’s rights

Taking possession

The landlord has the right to take possession of any property that they own if the tenant fails to pay rent. Of course they have to follow the correct legal procedures and serve the relevant notices before doing this.

Removal of goods

Landlords are exercised the right to any leftover belongings that are left behind in the property upon departure. If you have maintained a good relationship with your tenant then you might want to notify them of this, however you are under no obligation to do so.

Inspection

As it is your property, you, as the landlord, are legally allowed to enter the premises at any time, providing you give 24 hours notice. This means that if you suspect mistreatment of the property or any dodgy behaviour you can thoroughly inspect your property.

Overdue Payments

The landlord of a property also is allowed to physically attend his tenants and prompt outstanding rent payments. If a tenant is overdue they can demand the remaining sum by visiting them at any time.

Insurance

A landlord should take out adequate insurance before letting out a property and must inform the insurance company if there are any changes in the type of let or the policy can be invalidated.