Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Landlords of rented property FAQs
I own a flat that I let out. The current tenant has been in the flat a couple of years and I now want the tenant to leave but I did not get him to sign a written agreement. What do I do?
It is more than likely that your tenant is an assured shorthold tenant and he can be evicted using the usual procedures under the Housing Act 1988 (as Amended) and, if necessary, the usual court procedures. If the tenant is still up to date with his rent, you can serve Section 21 Notice but it is very important that the Notice expires on the correct date. Therefore, consult with your agent or speak to a solicitor to ensure a correct and valid notice is served.
My tenant has been in my property for some time and has been reliable when paying the rent. However, recently the rent payments have been erratic and the tenant is currently late with last month’s rent. What do I do?
You need to take steps immediately to ensure that the rent arrears do not get out of hand. Speaking to a tenant is a good start point but you should certainly consider preparing to serve the appropriate Notice on the tenant so that you can recover the possession of the property as soon as possible under the court procedures if the arrears increase. Seek advice from your solicitor or your managing agent who can advise you on the right notices to serve, when to serve them and the steps that you can take if the arrears are not paid. The longer you delay in taking appropriate action against the tenant the more the arrears will build up and less likely it is that you will recover any of the arrears.
I found a suitable tenant for a property that I want to let and we have agreed the rent. I was thinking I would just allow the tenant into the property and not bother with the tenancy agreement. Are there any risks?
You will almost certainly create an assured shorthold tenancy agreement whether or not there is a written agreement between you and your tenant. However, it is always better to prepare a properly drafted tenancy agreement because that will explain the terms of the agreement to both you and your tenant and, should there be any problems during the term of the tenancy, both you and your tenant can refer to the tenancy agreement so that you both know who is responsible for what should any problems arise. It is invariably better to have spent the time preparing a good tenancy agreement before letting a tenant into the property.