Legal Advice for Renting Property
When it comes to renting property, legal matters can be sometimes overlooked in the race to find a place to live. Renters should be aware of their legal rights before they start searching for an apartment or house and, likewise, landlords should be aware of where they stand legally before they rent out a property.
Tenants living in privately rented property have certain rights, as well as responsibilities.
Tenant rights are broad ranging and include the right to:
Live in a safe and secure property, and one that is in a proper state of repair
Get their deposit returned to them at the end of a lease
Seek to challenge any excessive charges by a landlord
Know the identity of their landlord
Reside in a property undisturbed by a landlord or someone acting on their behalf
Have access to a property’s Energy Performance Certificate
Receive a written agreement in cases where there is a fixed-term tenancy of more than three years in duration.
A tenant is legally required to allow a landlord to access a property for the purposes of inspection or to carry out repairs. A landlord has to give the tenant(s) 24 hours’ notice if they wish to access the property and their visit must occur at a reasonable time of the day, unless there is an emergency situation requiring access by the landlord straight away.
A tenant is also required to:
Ensure a property is kept in a good state of repair and pay for any damages caused by themselves or visitors to the property
Pay the rent agreed under their lease, even if the property requires repairs or a dispute has arisen with the landlord or their agents
Pay for other charges as agreed in the lease – examples of these charges might include utility bills or Council Tax
Undertake a sublet only if the tenancy agreement or the landlord permits it.
If a tenant does not follow their responsibilities then the landlord has the right to initiate legal action and apply for eviction.
A particular legal obligation for landlords is to create a safe environment in which tenants can live. In addition to meeting legal requirements on tenancy arrangements, notice to vacate and so on, a landlord has to ensure that the property in question meets health and safety requirements. So, for example, if the property being rented is an upper-floor flat or apartment, are there proper fire exits with access to the ground floor?
One way of ensuring that legal obligations are met and adhered to is to use the services of a reputable property management company, such as Hamilton King.
As a long-established successful property management company, Hamilton King has experience of lets across the spectrum of apartment developments, from new builds to converted properties. Hamilton King’s professional approach and expertise ensures that properties are managed according to the terms of the lease. Run separately from any contractor or insurer, Hamilton King provides peace of mind that it is operationally independent.
With the proper legal advice renters and landlords alike will be aware of their rights and obligations and disputes can be kept to a minimum.
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