Your Rights as a Landlord
It may seem as though it’s the tenant that has all the legal rights on their side if you become a landlord, but in fact you have several legal rights as a landlord, and if the tenant does not respect those rights then you could have a right to take certain legal action against them.
Rent EntitlementIt sounds obvious and should go without saying, but if you are a landlord renting out your property, you are entitled to receive a reasonable amount of rent from your tenant on an agreed basis and at agreed periods, for letting the property.
If your tenant ups and leaves your property and doesn’t give you the proper amount of notice (this should be set out in the tenancy agreement) you are legally entitled to charge them rent for either the amount of time that was left on the tenancy agreement, or for the notice period, usually whichever is the shorter.
If tenants miss rent payments, and you can’t get them to come to an agreement to pay the rent amicably, you can go to the court and issue possession proceedings - if the rent is more than 14 days overdue. You can also start possession proceedings if the tenant is in breach of any of the terms of the tenancy or if they become bankrupt, or enter into a voluntary arrangement with their creditors.
Access to The PropertyIf you need to get access to the property while it’s being let, either you or your agent is allowed access to the property for two reasons.
To carry out property inspections It’s your legal right to keep an eye on the property and make sure that it’s being kept in a good state of repair, and that the tenants appear to be abiding by their tenancy agreement. If you need to gain access to the property for this reason, you must give the tenant at least 24 hours notice, in writing.
To show prospective tenants around the property It’s usual to put a clause in the tenancy agreement that says you, as a landlord, or your agent, have the right to gain access to the property at a reasonable time, to show any prospective new tenants around, if your current tenant will not be renewing the tenancy. You’ll be expected to give the tenant notice of any appointments; this should be at least 24 hours.
Treatment of Your PropertyWhen you let a property, the tenants are legally obliged to make sure that they look after both the property and its contents and they are expected to maintain it by carrying out any small maintenance jobs like keeping windows clean. Any specific maintenance issues should be set out in the tenancy agreement.
If a tenant damages any of the furniture or fittings provided in your property, you should be informed so that you can agree with the tenant about how the repairs or any replacements should be organised. You could be entitled to cover the costs from the tenant’s deposit to cover the cost of any damage.
If the tenant has caused substantial damage to your property or they are abusing it in any way, you could be entitled to evict them. You are also entitled to dispose of any of the tenant’s property that is left at the property, after a period of time.