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Important Renting Rules for Landlords and Tenants to Follow

Understanding the Rules

When renting a property to tenants, several issues can come up, from late rental payments to disputes over damaged property. Some of these problems can be dealt with swiftly while others take longer to resolve. 

Having a good understanding of what renting rules you need to follow as a landlord, as well as the responsibilities tenants have, can help you manage the situation effectively should one of these problems arise. 

By reminding yourself of the rules that need to be followed, you can maintain a healthy relationship with your tenants without any underlying resentment towards them. 

Renting Rules for Landlords 

Do the right tenant checks 

Before prospective tenants sign the tenancy agreement, you should undergo tenant referencing to find out more about the people that want to move into your property. 

As a landlord, you are legally required to carry out Right to Rent checks on all occupants aged 18 or over, even if they’re not mentioned on the tenancy agreement. These checks are done to ensure that tenants are legally allowed to rent a residential property in England. 

Also, you should carry out a credit check on prospective tenants after they have given permission. A credit check will detail the credit history, County Court Judgements (CCJs) and bankruptcy or insolvency of a tenant. 

If you are barred from carrying out a credit check by your tenant, they could be at high risk of falling into rent arrears, i.e. falling behind with rent payments. Seek out a guarantor or request rent in advance if that is the case. 

Don’t enter the rental property without your tenant’s permission 

Disputes over the right to enter and inspect a property can deteriorate relationships between landlords and tenants. 

According to the law, landlords should provide at least 24 hours’ notice before they enter a property. To avoid disturbing your tenants, it is wise to come at a reasonable time of day. 

Even when it comes to carrying out repairs and maintenance, landlords should inform tenants in advance, unless immediate access is needed in an emergency. 

Meet safety requirements and be prompt with repairs 

To keep your tenants safe, ensure your property is protected from dangerous hazards.  

Gas appliances and electrical systems must be installed properly and maintained regularly. Smoke alarms should appear on every floor of the property and carbon monoxide alarms should be fitted in rooms with solid fuel-burning appliances. 

It is important to be upfront with tenants about what you’re responsible for repairing as a landlord. So when tenants contact you for repairs, you can bring assistance as soon as possible. 

Being responsive to any problems that arise will keep you on good terms with your tenants. Delaying repairs will only strain your relationship with tenants, which can result in legal proceedings for serious cases. 

Protect your property and finances with insurance 

Make sure you have insurance in place to protect your finances from property damage. 

Landlord insurance policies can protect you against a wide variety of risks. Not only do policies include building protection, but can also cover emergency repairs, missing rent payments and damage caused by tenants. 

They can even extend to cover legal expenses and the cost of overnight accommodation for tenants if the situation gets worse. 

Renting Rules for Tenants

The rights of tenants 

tenant in a privately-rented property has the right to

  • Know who their landlord is 
  • Have a tenancy agreement that is fair and complies with the law 
  • Live in a property that is safe, undisturbed and in a good state of repair 
  • Know who their landlord is 
  • Have a tenancy agreement that is fair and complies with the law 
  • Live in a property that is safe, undisturbed and in a good state of repair 

Knowing what rights tenants have can shape your obligations as a landlord, providing a property where renters can live peacefully and are treated with respect. 

Perform a thorough inventory check 

Before tenants unpack their belongings, it is recommended that they carry out a detailed check of the property’s inventory. This can help them get an overview of what state the rental property was in before their stay. 

If and when a dispute arises concerning damaged property, photos of various appliances, flooring and furniture can be provided by tenants as evidence to landlords. 

An in-depth inventory check can help tenants receive their full deposit back at the end of their tenancy. 

Stick to the terms of their tenancy agreement 

Much like landlords, tenants are responsible for sticking to the terms set out in their tenancy agreement, which includes: 

  • Taking good care of the property 
  • Paying the agreed rent – even if repairs are needed or their in dispute with the landlord 
  • Paying other charges as agreed with the landlord, such as council tax or utility bills 
  • Paying for any damages they have caused 
  • Only subletting a property if they have permission in their tenancy agreement or directly from their landlord 

If they fail to meet these responsibilities and haven’t spoken to their landlord explaining the situation (e.g. struggling to pay rent), then their landlord has the right to take legal action to evict the tenant from the premises. 

Notify their landlord if repairs are needed 

Landlords can only respond to repairs if tenants immediately notify them about repairs that need to be made. 

As part of their tenancy agreement, tenants should give their landlord access to the property to inspect and carry out essential repairs, as a majority of repairs fall under their responsibility. 

Any signs of damage should be reported immediately so it can be fixed before the problem gets worse, causing greater damage to the property. 

Get permission before making property improvements 

Tenants may be inspired to make improvements to the rental property they’re occupying, such as repainting a room or adding extra storage space, but they’ll need permission from their landlord first before anything goes ahead.  

To avoid the chance of losing their deposit at the end of their tenancy, they should check their tenancy agreement to make sure they can make alterations. 

Even if the tenancy agreement allows tenants to make changes, they should still get written confirmation from their landlord before making significant property improvements. 

Insurance for tenants 

For all tenants renting properties, there will always be a risk of possessions getting damaged or stolen. Therefore, tenants should get insurance on their valuable items. 

Some policies include tenancy liability insurance, which will protect tenants against damage to their landlord’s property. 

In Summary

Renting a property can be an exciting endeavour for both landlords and tenants, but both parties need to keep in line with renting rules so that the renting process remains smooth sailing and stress-free. 

As a landlord, managing your obligations towards your tenants by understanding their rights put you in a better position if a small issue or major dispute should arise. 

Keey is here to help landlords manage their rental property, from guest approval to professional maintenance. Visit our website to learn more! 

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