If you need to ask for property back when the term has expired, you must make sure that you have served your legal notices properly and have done everything that the law expects. If you don’t, you could run into expensive legal bills or be stuck with a tenant that you legally cannot get rid of!
New legislation, the Homelessness Reduction Act comes into effect this year. As a consequence of the act, council officers who come into contact with people who have been given a notice to end a tenancy will be obliged to check very carefully that the landlord has done everything perfectly. If the landlord hasn’t, they might have to intervene to prevent the landlord recovering the property. This could leave landlords in very difficult situations.
So it’s even more important than ever that landlords have their paperwork in perfect order and have carried out their legal responsibilities.
This blog doesn’t pretend to offer comprehensive legal advice – we just do quick summaries to raise awareness – so get googling for more information. The websites of the various professional landlord organisations are a good place to start. But here are a few things that can stop you from legally ending a tenancy by issuing a section 21 notice (which is by far the most common procedure).
- Not carrying out all the required steps to protect a deposit if one has been taken.
- Not giving a tenant a ‘How to rent’ booklet on more recently created tenancies.
- Not using the prescribed form to serve a section 21 notice.
- Not having a current gas safety certificate in place.
That’s not the full list – as I say – get googling. But one to be particularly aware of, is the requirement to have given a tenant a ‘how to rent’ booklet. (And to be able to prove that you have done so).We have blogged on this issue before, but know that a great many landlords in Sandwell seem completely unaware of this legal duty. Please make sure you understand your responsibilities here or you could get a nasty surprise.