Letting what do you a need property to know?

Owning a buy-to-let property has become increasingly popular in recent years. Before letting out your property or before becoming a tenant you need to be aware of your responsibilities and rights.

Words by Gemma Cook

When letting out a residential property the tenancy will automatically be an assured shorthold tenancy (unless you agree otherwise in writing).

This means the landlord has the right to:

  • Get the property back after six months
  • Charge a market rent
  • Get the property back during the initial six months if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent – but there must be at least eight weeks owing.

If the landlord wants to ensure that they can regain possession of the property smoothly from the tenant, they need to get things right from the start.

  • A written tenancy agreement will be required. If the tenancy is informal this can cause problems.
  • If the tenant paid a deposit on or after 6 April 2007 the deposit must be protected in a tenancy deposit scheme.
  • The landlord must provide the tenant with an Energy Performance Certificate, Gas Safety Certificate and the current version of the government booklet ‘How to Rent’. The government booklet must be provided in hard copy unless the tenant agrees to receive a copy by email.

These requirements currently apply to all tenancies which commenced after October 1st 2015.

However, from October 1st 2018, these requirements will apply to ALL assured shorthold tenancies (not just new tenancies or renewals).

If the landlord fails to comply with these requirements they will not be able to serve a two-month section 21 notice requiring possession of the property and will only be able to get the property back if the tenant breaches the terms of the tenancy, for example, by not paying their rent.

Landlords also need to be aware of their responsibilities in relation to data protection, as a result of the new General Data Protection Regulations. This involves safeguarding tenant’s data, making sure that they only pass it on if they are legally entitled to do so, and not retaining it for longer than necessary

For an initial no obligation consultation please contact Claudia Roberts on (01983) 527878 or email
[email protected] who will be able to discuss your options with you.


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