Most tenants and landlords know the basic rules of letting a property. Gas safety checks, energy performance certificates, ECIR’s, notice before inspections – all key requirements for a rented home.
But it’s hard to keep up with all the legalities as regulations are constantly changing to better reflect our current world and culture.
Here at Belvoir, we are proud to be up-to-date with all industry laws and equipped to provide the best possible advice for both tenants and landlords.
So we’ve put together a list of the Top 5 Landlord Rules You Didn’t Know Existed. Did you know…
1. Pets Are Now Allowed In Rented Properties By Default
A new law passed by the Government in January of this year sides with animal lovers looking to rent a property. The Model Tenancy Agreement favours responsible tenants with well-behaved pets, dictating that landlords are no longer allowed to issue a blanket ban. Instead, consent for pets is now the standard. If a landlord wants to object to a tenant keeping a pet in their property, they have to do so in writing, within 28 days of the request and give a valid reason for doing so. This will be welcome news for those who have previous struggled to find a home which will allow their furry friend.
2. Subletting A Rented Property Without Permission Is Illegal
If you are renting a property and decide to sublet it to someone else, you could find yourself in serious trouble. If your tenancy agreement explicitly says you cannot sublet, then you are in breach of contract which could mean you lose your home and face legal action.
Even if your contract doesn’t state that you must ask permission it is recommended that you do so anyway, for if you don’t, you could be served notice and those subletting the property could be asked to leave.
3. Landlords Can Charge A Tenant If They Decorate
It is courteous to ask permission to decorate a rented property, but not everyone does. Most landlords will be delighted with a new coat of paint on the walls in a neutral colour, to freshen the place up a bit. But if a tenant paints the house in lively tones or hangs bright garish wallpaper without permission, the landlord is well within their rights to charge the tenant for the cost of redecorating. Most rented properties are let as blank canvases so as to appeal to as many people as possible.
4. Pest Control Can Be A Shared Responsibility
Nobody wants pests in a rented property. It is upsetting for tenants and landlords will want to get rid of any infestations promptly in order to protect the structure of the building. A wasps nest, for example, would have to be dealt with by a landlord if it is due to a fault in the fabric of the building or removing it may cause a problem with the structure. But conversely, if the wasps nest doesn’t affect the building itself, it would be down to the tenant to take responsibility for removing the wasps.
The same would be true of rats. Many would argue that a landlord has a responsibility to maintain their property to be a safe and secure place to live – and that is true. If rats are due to the disrepair of a property, it would be down to the landlord to fix this. However, if rats are caused by a tenant’s poor housekeeping, leaving rubbish piled up or food exposed, then they would be expected to deal with the problem. Sometimes these responsibilities are specifically mentioned in a tenancy agreement so that all parties are clear from the outset.
5. A Prison Stint Doesn’t Terminate A Tenancy
A landlord must legally end any tenancy agreement before they can advertise for a new tenant, no matter why that tenant is no longer occupying the property.
For example if the tenant has been imprisoned for a crime, a landlord would have to service a notice to the tenant either under Section 8 for breach of agreement as they’d be unable to pay rent, or Section 21 if the tenancy has no end date.
The tenant could also be requested to surrender the tenancy.
This sort of problem can be tricky to manage with families who are dealing with the imprisonment of a loved one, or a similar long stay away from the let, such as hospitalisation or ill health.
It can be a minefield to navigate all the necessary rules that need to be followed and potential problems that can occur as a landlord. We can help. Find out here why you should let your property with Belvoir – we offer numerous benefits for landlords including a 24 hour online chat service, rent and legal protection cover and exceptional tenant matching skills to ensure your home is in the right hands.
Contact the team today on 01536 261666 to discuss how we can help you manage your property portfolio or find your next rented home.