Landlord and tenant relations
Landlord and tenant law
Both landlords and tenants have specific rights under current law that regulates tenancy contracts. A landlord has the right to:
- Draw up a contract and decide the conditions of tenancy
- Charge a market rent on new lettings
- Receive the rent when due from the tenant
- Be informed of disrepair
- Inspect a property for disrepair after giving appropriate notice in writing
- Be given proper notice that the tenant wishes to leave
A tenant has a right to:
- Know the conditions of tenancy (start date and length of tenancy, amount of rent and dates on which it should be paid)
- Know the name and address of the landlord or managing agent
- Have a rent book (if they pay weekly) or receipt for rent payment
- Have a decent standard of safety and repair
- Be given notice in writing that the landlord wishes to inspect the property
- Be served with a court order if being asked to leave against their will
- Have their deposit placed in an accredited deposit protection scheme
Harassment and illegal eviction
Harassment is anything done by a landlord or someone linked with them that stop a tenant living safely and quietly in their home. Illegal eviction is when a tenant is forced out of their home without the landlord or landlady following proper procedures. Such actions are likely to constitute criminal offences under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 and the private sector housing team has powers to prosecute.
Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which the landlord and tenant cannot agree, however reasonable both parties think they are being. Both parties should seek advice before relationships deteriorate and before vast amounts of time and energy are wasted on trivial problems. There is no reason why a landlord should not approach an advice agency for assistance.
Tenancy agreements and ending a tenancy
It is advisable to use written tenancy agreements, as verbal contracts can be misunderstood. It will also make it easier to sort out any disagreements that may arise later, and enable the landlord to get possession of the property by formal means if necessary. When ending a tenancy, the action a landlord needs to take depends on the type of tenancy.
Whether you're a landlord or a tenant, if you have a problem with a tenancy which might lead to people becoming homeless, contact the housing solutions team immediately for advice and, if necessary, investigation.