Not having a tenancy agreement
It is essential that Landlords ensure all prospective tenants sign a tenancy agreement before giving them access to the property otherwise it is difficult to prove what the terms of the tenancy are including the amount of rent payable.
Additionally, if there is no formal tenancy agreement signed:-
- There is no authority for the landlord to make any deductions from the tenancy deposit (no matter what the state of the property is when the tenant moves out)
- Rent is payable in arrears if there is no tenancy agreement term to say it is payable in advance
- Landlords will be unable to use the Accelerated procedure for possession – used for Section 21 claims
Which tenancy agreement to use.
The most common tenancy agreement is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) – however there are other types of tenancy agreements depending on circumstances so it is important to ensure Landlords use the correct agreement.
Protecting the deposit within the 30 day period
All deposits taken by landlords must be safeguarded by a Government approved schemes within 30 days of receipt of the money. If a deposit is not properly protected the Landlord can be held liable for fines up to 3 times the deposit amount.
If you are in breach of the tenancy deposit regulations you can’t serve a section 21 notice.
Serving the prescribed information within the 30 day period
In addition to protecting the deposit, the tenancy deposit protection legislation requires the Landlord to provide the prescribed information to the tenant explaining how the deposit has been protected and the relevant terms and conditions.
Not having a proper inventory/condition schedule
Although it is not compulsory to take an inventory in practice it is essential to formally record contents and condition of your property at the start of the tenancy.
The inventory will need to be signed by the tenants or (if they do not sign) it should be prepared by someone independent (an adjudicator may not accept your unsupported evidence at adjudication).
All evidence must be dated including photos and video footage.
Including all adults on the tenancy agreement
Everyone who is over 18 who is living at the property should be on the tenancy agreement (and referenced). Otherwise it can cause problems if the person who signed moves out leaving the person who didn’t sign in occupation. Adult children should sign if they are to live there, but maybe not if they are living in college and only come back to stay in holidays.
Allowing tenants to move in before guarantees are signed
Guarantors must sign their guarantee deed and confirm that they agree to the terms of the tenancy agreement before tenants move in.
Initial payments cleared
It is essential that the first rental payment and deposit have been paid into your bank and cleared before tenants are allowed into your property. This covers the Landlord should something go wrong.
If you are unsure of any of the above or simply want some advice on renting your property do not hesitate to contact Phillips George Sales and Lettings 0116 216 8178.