Things You Cannot Do As A Landlord
1. You cannot let yourself into the property. Many people have the mentality that as it is their house they can go in whenever they please, but this is not the case. Even if you are aware the tenant won’t be home, you cannot let yourself in. You need to confirm a time and date with your tenant to visit. There are a few exceptions to this rule, for example, an emergency such as a leak or outstanding gas safety test. Even in this case, you should still write a letter giving notice of your intention to enter the property.
2. You cannot make it uncomfortable for a tenant to live in the property if they are refusing to comply with a section 21 notice. Some Landlords think they can cut off the electric supply or change the locks to ‘get the tenant out’, but doing this would be illegal. As stated in previous articles, the only legal way to get a tenant to vacate is to apply for a court order.
3. You cannot leave a gas safety check outstanding. These tests must be carried out annually to ensure safety standards are met.
4. You cannot raise the rent whenever you feel like it. This has to be done in accordance with the tenancy agreement and also within a fair market comparison. The best bet on this is to ask your agent when you can increase the rent and to give you an idea of the current market.
5. You cannot discriminate. This might seem obvious, but you can’t turn down a tenant on the basis of personal attributes such as gender, age or race.
6. You cannot hold onto the deposit. This must be protected through a government approved scheme. An agent can help you with this.
7. You cannot refuse to make repairs if they are fair. In accordance with your obligations as a Landlord you need to address the tenants issues. Tenants have a right to live in a safe environment and you need to comply with this. It is advisable to have a few trusted tradesmen on your books for emergency repairs.
8. You cannot ask a tenant to leave without notice because you are selling, there is a procedure you need to follow in this scenario. Your agent will guide you through this.
9. You cannot ignore EPC regulations. From the 1st April 2018 the requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector must have a minimum energy performance rating of ‘E’ on an Energy Performance Certificate.
10. You cannot let a tenant into a property without completing a ‘right to rent’ check. If you do this and it is found that the individual should not be living in the country, you would be liable. Again, an agent can run these checks for you.
I hope this helps with any questions you may have as a Landlord!