10 Things Landlord's Can't Do...
Many tenants don't understand their tenancy rights and some landlords don't their own landlord's rights. Let's look at 10 things landlord's can't do.
We often come across common questions from clients we deal with, both from tenants and private landlords trying to resolve a situation. A key question asked is the rights of a landlord. While most private landlords understand the rules and regulations around this, some ignore or don't fully understand the legitimacy of some of their actions. We've provided a list of 10 things that private landlords can't do to try and prevent any confusion or issues arising in the future.
Both tenants and landlords should be aware of their responsibilities and do everything required by the law. - Ignorance is not always bliss!.
1. Landlords can't discriminate
This may seem obvious, however, landlords can’t discriminate against or harass tenants on the basis of age; gender; sexual orientation; disability; religion or belief; race; being a transgendered person; being pregnant or having a baby. These ‘protected characteristics’ protect tenants from discrimination
2. Landlords can't spend security deposits
A security deposit from a tenant must be protected in a Government approved scheme with in 30 days of receiving it .
It is not a legal requirement for a landlord to take a security deposit from a tenant, however, most day and if so, then it must be protected. A security deposit can't be used to pay for ongoing repairs or purchasing new furnishings within the property, for example, during the tenancy period. A security deposit can only be used at the end of the tenancy to cover issues such as unpaid rent,damages or cleaning required, due to anything other than reasonable wear and tear.Security deposits are paid back to a tenant within 10 days following agreement of the amount of deposit that will be returned to them.
3. Landlords can't enter the property without permission from the tenant
Generally landlords must give a minimum of 24 hours notice to the tenant to permit them to enter the property - and this can be refused by the tenant. A landlord can't turn up and let themselves in or force entry - even if they claim it's an emergency. The tenant must give permission first.
4. Landlords can't "change the locks"
A landlord can change the locks on the property if the tenancy agreement legally ends and their are no issues, however, a landlord cannot simply "change the locks" on a property, even if the tenant is in arrears.
5. Landlords can't harass tenants
A landlord cannot continually contact a tenant - meaning that a landlord can't keep calling, knocking or send texts to get in touch with a tenant, even if the tenant ignores initial contact. This can be frustrating for landlords but they must not be deemed to harass a tenant by continually trying to get in touch with them.
6. Landlords can't refuse to carry out repairs
It is a legal obligation for a landlord to carry out basic repairs
Landlords can't refuse to keep up with repairs, they are obliged to make the essential repairs which may include repair of the exterior of the building, the supply of heat, light and water and sanitation.
7. Landlords can't kick out tenants if they are selling the property
Landlords can sell the property, even if a tenant lives in it, however, they can't just kick the tenant out. A landlord must provide proper notice, unless there is an early termination notice in the lease.
8. Landlords can't raise the rent until the end of the orginal lease
Landlords can raise the rent, it's not illegal, but not until the lease ends
Landlords can put up the rent and can dictate the value, however, they can't raise the rent in the until the original lease comes to an end or have provided a notice period for a rent review written into the original tenancy agreement.
9. Landlords can't avoid annual gas safety checks
Landlords must provide each property with a gas safety check, by a professional, within 12 months. Failing to do so can have serious outcomes if the gas system is at fault. The Landlord may face criminal conviction and can also affect insurance or fines.
10. Landlords can't charge excessive late payment fees
Landlords can charge late payment fees if a tenant fails to pay their rent on time. Excessive late payment fees can be challenged by the tenant and if deemed to high can be disputed.
If you are a private landlord having difficulty with late payments from a tenant, get in touch with 2 Way Tenancy Solutions for a low cost solution.