Residential Letting : a tenants guide

In this series of articles, Gwen Williams , Property Manager at Belvoir advises landlords about the day to day management of rental properties.

Property management is the provision of a letting and management service to house owners who wish to rent out their property. Most landlords will employ a residential letting agent to carry out the day to day management of their property for them, but some do choose to carry out this out for themselves.

What are a Landlord’s obligations?

A landlord’s obligations are clearly defined in section 11 of the Housing Act 1985. He is responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of his rental property including the basins, sinks, baths and other sanitary installations as well as the heating and hot water systems. He is not generally responsible for damage caused by the tenant but he should remember that a tenancy is a contractual agreement and even if there is no written agreement a landlord must supply whatever he has agreed to supply.

What are a Tenant’s obligations?

A tenant’s obligations will cover such items as council tax, water and sewerage, gas, electricity and telephone charges. The tenant does have a duty to take proper care for the property and use it in a responsible way, pay the rent as agreed and keep to the terms of the tenancy agreement.

General management

One of the keys to a smooth running tenancy is a well maintained property. A house that is kept in good condition by the landlord will ensure that its day to day management is kept to a minimum and that the occupants are happy during their tenancy.

Internal inspections of the rental property are another aspect of the general management and should be carried out regularly i.e. every 3 to 4 months. A tenant has the right to live in a property with “quiet enjoyment” and as a result a landlord must ask for permission before he enters the premises. He must give at least 24 hours notice in writing but a good agent/landlord will usually give at least one week’s notice in writing and will try to be a little flexible, with appointment times to suit the tenant as well as themselves.

If you have any questions call Gwen 01234 290685 or pop in and see us in our Tavistock Street office