Frequently Asked Questions
- Does a deposit need to be protected?
- All tenancy deposits on Assured Shorthold Tenancies from April 2007 have to be protected in a government authorised protection scheme. The landlord should provide a Deposit Protection Certificate (DPC) to the Tenant within 30 days
If a deposit is not protected it will be difficult for the landlord to evict the tenants and the landlord can be ordered by the Court to pay up to three times the amount of the deposit.
- What happens if the tenant damages the property?
- It is useful to take an inventory of the property before any tenants move in, to detail the contents and condition of the property. If the tenants then damage the property then they should pay for the repairs or replacement as required. Should the tenants fail to meet the cost of the damage, then this can be taken from the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
General wear and tear should however be accounted for.
- What responsibilities does the landlord have?
- The landlord is responsible for the following;
- That the property is fit for habitation
- Repairs to the structure and exterior of the property, heating and water systems and sanitary wear
- Safety of gas and electrical appliances
- Fire safety of furniture and furnishings
- Maintenance of any common areas
The landlord therefore is entitled to reasonable access in order to carry out any maintenance and repairs to the property.
- What responsibilities does the tenant have?
- The tenant is responsible for the following;
- Paying bills, such as council tax and water and sewerage charges
- Paying rent
- To keep within the terms of the tenancy agreement
- To use the property in a responsible way
- To take proper care of the property
- Right to quiet enjoyment of the property
- The tenant has moved out and left their belongings in the property, can I dispose of it?
- Any belongings left behind by a tenant still belong to the tenant. If you dispose of the belongings the tenant may bring a legal action against you.
The first thing you should do is try to contact the tenant and request that they collect their belongings. If you do not have any contact details for the tenant you will be able to dispose of the belongings, as long as you can show that you made reasonable efforts to find them. You may however charge the tenant for clearing out any belongings from the property.
If the belongings are sold the money strictly belongs to the tenant, however this may be deducted from any rent arrears.
- How can a landlord evict a tenant?
- Depending on the type of tenancy agreement, there are strict procedures that need to be followed.
Generally the landlord must serve a Notice on the tenant and if the tenant does not leave the property, can apply to the Court for a possession Order. This will give the landlord a right to evict the tenant and take back possession of the property. Landlords should seek legal advice on evicting any tenants, to ensure the correct Notice and procedure is followed for the tenancy agreement.