Landlords: know your rights

by Leeds Building Society


From property repairs to securing a tenancy deposit, landlords have a number of responsibilities.

However, renting out a property is a two-way street, and you are entitled to expect a number of things in return from your tenants. Here are a few of the rights landlords can expect when renting a property.

1.Signing of a contract

Before the tenancy begins, it is advisable that both you and your tenants draw up an agreement.

An assured shorthold tenancy is one of the standard agreements used by the private rental sector. It outlines certain terms, such as the amount of rent to be paid, when it is due and the duration of the tenancy period.

Assured tenancy agreements are usually for a period of six or 12 month period, after which you can either create a new one or allow the tenancy to move onto a periodic ‘rolling’ tenancy.

2. Payment of rent

Tenants are obliged to pay any rent in full and on time, in line with the terms of the tenancy agreement.

If they fall behind you will need to seek legal advice to find out what your next steps should be.

3. Reasonable access to your property

While you cannot visit the property whenever you wish, your tenancy agreement should detail when you can visit the property and what notice you will need to provide.

4. Tenancy deposit

A deposit is taken at the start of the tenancy, to cover you in the case that rent goes unpaid or property is damaged. The deposit is usually the equivalent to one month’s rent and must be held in an approved tenancy deposit scheme.

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5. Reclaim cost of repairs

Outside of the usual ‘wear and tear’ that occurs during a period of occupancy, subject to the terms of the tenancy agreement, tenants can be required to pay for the things they damage or break.

It is a good idea to agree on the condition of the property by creating an inventory of possessions and their condition before the tenancy begins.

6. Ending the tenancy

At the end of the fixed term outlined in the tenancy agreement you may decide to allow the tenants to remain in the property by entering into a new tenancy agreement or allowing them to stay on a periodic ‘rolling tenancy’. Alternatively, you may wish to terminate the tenancy agreement by providing the tenants with sufficient notice.

There are also a number of situations that may mean you want to end the tenancy before the fixed term period has expired, for example if the tenants fail to pay their rent. For further information on this you should seek independent legal advice.

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.