Disagreements between Tenants and Landlords can be long and sometimes bitter. Yet most can be avoided with the right legal advice at the start.
We can deal with all areas of Landlord and Tenant Law and are skilled in settling disputes. However, prevention is better than the cure. The key to a happy tenancy is to understand your rights and duties as a Tenant and to make sure your Tenancy Agreement reflects them.
What is a Tenancy Agreement?
A Tenancy Agreement is a contract between you and your Landlord. This contract can be written or verbal. In England and Wales there is no law to say that Landlords have to provide a written Tenancy Agreement, but it is always a good idea to ask for one - even if your Landlord is a friend or family member. Otherwise, if you have a dispute with your Landlord about the terms of your Tenancy, it is your word against theirs as to what has been agreed.
What types of Tenancy Agreements are there?
There are several types of Tenancy Agreement. Of these, the two most common types at the Assured Shorthold Tenancy and the Assured Tenancy.
What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?
This is normally for six months. You have no right to stay at the end of the tenancy period agreed if your Landlord has given you valid notice to leave, but they cannot evict you without a court order.
What is an Assured Tenancy?
This is often used by the public-sector landlords. It gives far greater rights to stay at the end of the tenancy period agreed.
Ideally, you should contact us before you agree the terms of a Tenancy with your Landlord. This will give you the chance to check whether the terms are fair and legal before you commit to them.
If I seek legal advice regarding the Tenancy Agreement, how long will it take?
If the Tenancy Agreement you are considering is relatively straightforward, you will probably only need one meeting with us to check the Agreement through.
What will be covered in the meeting?
If your Landlord has given you a written Agreement to sign, bring it with you. We will go through it point by point to:
- check that it is legal
- explain the basic requirements; and
- warn you of any pitfalls
What issues do I need to think about when considering a Tenancy Agreement?
With any Tenancy Agreement you will need to consider the following key issues:
- Length and type of Tenancy
- Service charges and repairs
If any of your Landlords terms seem unreasonable or inconvenient, we can tell you how best to go about raising these concerns.
What do I do if I have a disagreement with my Landlord?
Sadly, most Tenants don't take advice until matters have reached crisis point and they find themselves evicted or their rights abused. Although it is rarely as easy to solve a problem at this stage, we have the knowledge and experience to see the matter through.
What is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
All rental properties now need to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate when being let out. This will give you an idea of how energy efficient the house is and subsequently how much it is likely to cost you in terms of fuel to run the house. It will also give suggestions as to how to make any improvements. You should ask for a copy of the EPC when viewing a property and if you have any questions about an EPC we can help answer your questions.