Frequently Asked Questions: Landlords
Do I need to notify my lender before granting a tenancy?
Yes. Your mortgage lender will need to give you permission before you can let your property, and they may impose special conditions. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you may be able to obtain a buy to let mortgage. We can liaise with your mortgage lender when drafting the Tenancy Agreement, to ensure any necessary conditions are contained in the agreement.
Do I need to do anything else before granting a tenancy?
Since 2015, landlords have been obligated to serve certain documents on tenants prior to granting a Tenancy under the (Deregulation Act). Failure to serve those documents could result in the landlord being unable to serve a Section 21 Notice on the tenant and recover possession of the property where the tenant has not breached the tenancy. Speak to a member of our team today to find out what steps you need to take before granting a tenancy.
Can I enter my property to inspect?
Yes, as long as you give reasonable written notice to your tenant. Generally, there are provisions for inspection contained in the Tenancy Agreement which you should follow.
Do I need to protect the tenant's deposit?
Yes, since 2007 landlords have been obligated to protect tenant's deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
What do I do if my tenant has failed to pay the rent?
If your tenant fails to pay the rent, they will have breached the Tenancy Agreement. Under the Housing Act 1988, landlords can recover possession of their property if the tenant has failed to pay the rent as long as there is a requisite amount of arrears and a valid Section 8 Notice has been served on the tenant correctly. Unfortunately, with landlord and tenant law, there are a number of pitfalls in drafting and serving the Section 8 notice and court proceedings which can often catch landlords out.
If your tenant is in rent arrears speak to one of our Litigation Team who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
What do I do if my tenant has damaged the property or there are complaints about anti-social behaviour?
If your tenant damages the property and fails to repair it, or they are causing a nuisance and disturbance to neighbours, they may have breached the Tenancy Agreement. Under the Housing Act 1988, landlords may apply to the Court to recover possession of their property if the tenant breaches the tenancy. A Section 8 Notice needs to be drafted setting out the grounds for possession and served on the tenant.
How do I recover possession of the property if my Tenant has not breached the Tenancy Agreement?
Generally, most tenancy agreements granted are Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements. If so, under the Housing Act 1988, if a landlord wants to recover possession of a property where the tenant has not breached the Tenancy Agreement, he can serve a Section 21 Notice on the tenant giving the Tenant 2 months' notice to vacate the property.
Unfortunately, with landlord and tenant law, there are a number of pitfalls in drafting and serving the Section 21 Notice which can often catch landlords out and cause wasted costs.
If you want to recover possession of your property speak to one of our Litigation Team today who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
How long does it take to obtain possession and how much does it cost?
Once court proceedings have been issued by the Court, a hearing will generally be fixed within 28 days. At the hearing, a judge will usually award a 14-day possession order but there are circumstances where that period can be extended.
What happens if the tenant does not leave the property in accordance with the Possession Order?
If the tenant fails to leave the property after the Court Order, then we can instruct a bailiff on your behalf to carry out an eviction.
How do I recover the rent arrears from my tenant?
We can ask the court to award you a money Judgement against your tenant for the arrears at the Possession Hearing. If, however, you are not claiming possession of the property but you wish to claim the rent arrears we can assist you in issuing a money claim against the tenant.
What if my tenant has lived at the property for many years?
If your tenant has lived in the property since before 1989 or the annual rent is below £250 or above £100,000 then your tenant may not be occupying the property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
Our Litigation Team can help you to determine the status of your tenant and their rights.
To find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our dedicated solicitors will be delighted to help. Contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments are available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.