Landlord and Tenant Dispute Lawyers London
The rental sector is enjoying a significant period of growth, meaning that a significant number of people are now tenants in rented property.
Unfortunately, it is possible that disputes may arise due to difficulties in rental payments or a lack of understanding of the responsibilities tenants owe in respect of the property.
Selecting the proper recourse to a situation is essential; particularly with the considerable protection tenants are afforded under the law.
What Rights Do Landlords Have?
Payment of Rent
Landlords should always have a written tenancy agreement in place, such as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. This establishes the amount of rent payable, when and when this will be reviewed.
Should the tenant fail to honour this agreement for an established period of time with no attempt at negotiation, only then will the landlord be permitted to serve an eviction notice.
There is also procedure by which landlords may aim to recover unpaid rent.
Raising the rent
The tenancy agreement establishes when rent may be increased – usually this is set to a fixed term. However, rent may not be raised unreasonably. The sum must be justifiable and comparable to similar properties in the area.
Should this not be the case, landlords risk a formal complaint from the tenant and risk being required to significantly reduce the rent.
Mitigating neglect and damage to property
Tenants have responsibilities to keep the rented property clean, in good condition and to undertake basic maintenance (this includes tasks like using heating systems appropriately and changing light bulbs).
Although the landlord is responsible for most repairs, if the damage is caused by the tenant, then the cost of repair may be recovered. The exception to this is for general wear and tear.
Should a landlord wish to charge a tenant for repair of damages, it is good practice to recover evidence of the damage occurring while they were renting the property, cost the level of damage and receive quotes to support this figure if disputed.
If the tenant will not repair damages nor reasonably pay for these to be completed, an eviction notice may be served and the cost of repairs may be recovered from their deposit.
Beyond the Rights of the Landlord
- Landlords must not enter the rented property without advanced notice to the tenant.
- Any attempt to remove tenants must be done according to law and their physical removal is forbidden.
How to Evict a Tenant?
This is a sensitive process and may be conducted in stages:
- The tenancy agreement should specific a notice period for requiring the tenants to vacate the property.
- Should the tenant refuse to leave at the end of the notice period, the court may be petitioned for a possession order.
- If the tenant does not comply with the possession order, a warrant of eviction may be obtained from the county court. It is then the responsibility of the court to enforce this through bailiffs.
How to Enforce Landlord Rights?
Landlords must follow strict procedures if they want tenants to vacate their property. Should they fail, they risk being guilty of illegal eviction or harassment.
At Hudson McKenzie, through our personal and approachable service, the firm has significant experience in assisting with landlord and tenant disputes.
Whether seeking advice on a robust tenancy agreement or in the late stages of a dispute, we are able to provide you with personalised, responsive and effective legal advice.
Contact our Landlord & Tenant Dispute Solicitors London, UK
For further information, please contact our Landlord & Tenant Dispute lawyers in London – click here or call us on +44 (0)20 3318 5794.