The Roles and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants in the UK Lettings Market

When renting out a property, it can be tempting to just let the tenant do their thing and not worry about what that means for your investment. However, as with most things in life, there are responsibilities and rights that come along with letting property. Understanding the legalities of letting property is essential so that your intention is clear and you don’t find yourself inadvertently breaking the rules. This article will address some of the key roles and responsibilities of a tenant and landlord in the UK letting market.

Rights of a tenant

The right to expected services: The landlord is legally required to provide certain services to the tenant. In most cases, the landlord is legally obliged to maintain the building and provide heating, hot water, electricity, a telephone line, and a drainage system. As a tenant, if you are unsure about the services, you may seek help from letting agents in Maidstone.

The right to quiet enjoyment: The tenant can live peacefully in their rented property and not be disturbed by loud noises or other disturbances. 

The right to privacy: The tenant is entitled to expect their rented property and its contents to be kept private, including from government authorities seeking access to information about the property or the tenant. 

Responsibilities of a tenant

Making repairs: The tenant is legally obliged to make repairs to the rented premises. In most cases, the landlord must make these repairs. However, the tenant can be held liable if they fail to do so. 

Paying the rent: The tenant must pay the agreed rent on the date. If the rent is not paid by the due date, the landlord can evict the tenant by serving a section 21 notice. It is illegal for a landlord to threaten to evict a tenant over unpaid rent. 

Keeping the premises clean: The tenant is legally obliged to clean and maintain the rented property to a standard acceptable to the landlord. If the tenant consistently neglects to clean the property, the landlord has the right to request that the cleaning be done or to charge the tenant a cleaning fee. 

Rights of a landlord 

The right to rent: The landlord has the right to put their property up for rent. 

The right to enter: The landlord can enter the property at reasonable times, such as when rent is due, or repairs are needed. 

The right to enter without notice: The landlord can enter a rented property with reasonable notice if they have a legitimate reason, such as serving a section 21 notice. Also, the landlord can enter a property without notice if the tenant has left it unoccupied. 

Responsibilities of a landlord 

Keeping the property clean and tidy: A landlord’s responsibility includes keeping the property clean and tidy – inside and out. This also includes keeping the floors clean, the windows sealed, and the appliances in working condition.

Knowledge of rent payments: Ensuring that the tenants are up-to-date on their rent payments. This means notifying them of any changes in their rent amount and ensuring that the rent is paid on time. 

Ensuring tenants’ awareness of their rights and responsibilities: Ensuring that the tenants understand their obligations under the law and informing them of any vital safety precautions put in place. Tenants should also be notified of any potential repairs or maintenance that must be carried out on the property. 

Holding records of all dealings: Records include copies of all agreements made between the landlord and tenant, documents of all rent payments, correspondence relating to rent payments, and any notes about tenants. This will help track down any problems or disputes that may arise. 

Things to remember when letting property in the UK 

Before you start advertising, you must be legally allowed to rent out property in the UK. Keep accurate records of tenants who sign a lease with you, including their full address and contact information. It’s a good idea to keep a notebook of the details of each tenancy, so you can quickly look them up if there is any trouble. Make sure you clearly explain the terms and conditions of the lease to each tenant. This includes the length of the lease, how you expect the tenant to pay the rent, and whether you will accept a deposit. And be careful about tenants wrecking the property or not paying the rent on time.

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