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Tenant Rights

Tenant Rights

What are your rights as a tenant?

Your rights and responsibilities are defined in the tenancy agreement. As a tenant moving into a privately rented property, you have a number of rights and responsibilities, just like your landlord.  If you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities just read through the agreement for clarification. It will define your rights and responsibilites.

The rights of a tenant

As a tenant in a private rented property, your tenancy agreement thatr is co-signed by you and your landlord before you move in provides you with a number of rights:

What are the most common landlord mistakes

What are the most common landlord mistakes

Overpricing the rental value

Vendors will often talk up the rental value of their property, but landlords can easily check the actual value by talking to estate agents and checking properties on the market.

In a highly price sensitive market, seeking an inflated rent will mean the property remain will remain vacant while the outgoings continue.

Price it right at the beginning rather than reducing it a few weeks down the line.

Poor presentation and cheap furniture

People rent as a lifestyle choice, perhaps they can’t afford to buy. Many tenants will rent on long term basis. They want a property that feels like home, If the property is not looked after by the landlord, tenants will treat it badly or move into a better property.

Good furniture lasts longer and presents the property better.

How to recover outstanding Service Charges

How to recover outstanding Service Charges

The leaseholder is required by the terms of their lease to pay the service charges and ground rent as determined by their lease in advance of the anticipated year’s expenditure. Any non payment will result in a breach of the lease.

The landlord or resident management company would be required to collect the service charges and should initially try proactively to seek to get them paid, for example, finding easy ways for payments to be made, i.e. direct debit or making a concession as long as a precedent is not set.

Many leases allow late payment interest fees to be charged by the landlord where leaseholders breach their lease by late payment.
If you are a Residents Management Company, a Managing Agent or even a Landlord, then statistically, service charge arrears are the main causes of disputes between freeholders and leaseholders.

A service charge is the cost of providing services for a property which usually contains multiple dwellings.

In the vast number of cases these charges are ‘fair and reasonable’ and expected by the leaseholder and usually include some or all of the following:

General maintenance.
Building Insurance.
Security, heating, cleaning and lighting of shared areas.
Repairs
Landscaping and general gardening.
Provision and servicing of lifts.
Management Costs.
Reserve fund contributions.

What are development finance pitfalls?

What are development finance pitfalls?

It is vital to make smart desicion when  developing a property, it is not all about chosing the right development loan. There are common mistakes that even the most experienced developers can make.

Here is a guidance list to follow

Shop the market 

Every lender will give you different loan amounts and different pricing structures. By shopping around and speaking to non-bank lenders, you’ll have far more visibility of the best available deals.  Putting down a large deposit can be avoided, simply by finding a more generous loan offer with an alternative lender.  This can free up funds for investment in other schemes and bigger sites, and prevent or reduce hefty profit share payouts to investors.

Covid-19 Government Guidance for Landlords and Agents

Covid-19 Government Guidance for Landlords and Agents

UK Government has issued detailed guidance for the private rented sector to consolidate the various regulations that have changed, and guidance that has been given, in the last weeks.

The measures set out in the guidance are in force until the end of September 2020, but can be extended if necessary.

Tips on issuing a service charge demand

Government guidance
updated guidance on moving home during the pandemic
the latest recommendations for Property inspections, maintenance and repairs
the changes to Evictions and possession proceedings set out in the Coronavirus Bill
Details of the Government help available for businesses

Tips on issuing a service charge demand

Tips on issuing a service charge demand

An incorrect service charge demand is one of the most common reasons given by leaseholders for non-payment of their service charge contribution.

Read and understand the lease

The first step is to check the lease. This is the legal contract that exists between landlord and leaseholder and it will set out (in varying levels of detail) the who, when, what, where, and how you should be making your service charge demands.

The lease will dictate the format of the service charge and will usually prescribe the dates of the service charge period, and how often payments should be made – annually, half-yearly, quarterly, in advance or in arrears.

The lease may state that demands are to be served by first class post or recorded delivery, along with explanation of how the demands are to be addressed.

Get it wrong and you need to be prepared for leaseholders to use it as a valid defence for non-payment. It is important to read your leases.

If you strictly follow the lease and statute/legislation then the demand will be deemed correctly served, and the leaseholder will be contractually liable to pay their service charge.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) for residential lettings

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) for residential lettings

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect cannot be detected by testing alone.

Where a landlord provides an electrical appliance as part of a tenancy, the law expects the appliance to be maintained in a safe condition that will not cause harm to the tenant. Failure to do so could lead to the landlord being sued for negligence. Portable appliance testing is always best practice for landlords but it is not a legal requirement.

Electrical Safety Regulations for rental properties

Electrical Safety Regulations for rental properties

Government announced its proposed new regulations for electrical safety in the private rented sector in England. The regulations are due to come into force from 1 July this year for new tenancies, and 1 April 2021 for existing tenancies.

The regulations are to be passed by both Houses of Parliament before they are finalised and come into force.

Regular inspection of electrical installations – at least every five years – will be mandatory for all properties privately rented in England.
There are some exceptions, for example lodgers living in shared accommodation with a landlord or their families though the vast majority of private rented properties will come under the new regulations.

Electrical installations must be inspected by a ‘qualified person’ at least every five years, and more often if the most recent safety report requires it.

The new regulations will replace the existing section of the HMO Management Regulations on fixed electrical installations, to ensure consistency across the sector.