When you enter a tenancy agreement you are entering into a contractual arrangement. This gives both landlords and tenants some important rights and responsibilities. Most of these are obvious but it is worth making sure that you have these covered off.
- Sign a tenancy agreement and give their tenants a copy
- Send any bond to Tenancy Services within 23 days
- Collect the rent and keep accurate rent and bond records
- Keep copies of all documents relating to the tenancy as a record and to help clear up any issues that may arise.
- Provide everything promised as part of the tenancy agreement (such as any chattels or improvements)
- Maintain the structure of the property and exterior and ensure that the property meets all building, health and safety requirements always.
- Deal with any problems with the water, electricity and gas supply. If a tenant informs you of a problem and you do nothing to resolve it, you may be responsible for the increased cost of outgoings.
- Maintain any appliances and furniture as part of the tenancy and make sure they are safe. Don’t provide dated electrical appliances unless you are certain they are safe. If in doubt get them inspected by an electrician or replace them with a new appliance.
- Carry out repairs as soon as you can.
- Give proper notice of visits. Landlords can’t walk in to a property whenever they like, there are rules to follow. Landlords must give tenants at least 48 hours’ notice before an inspection. They can’t give notice more than 14 days before the inspection. Landlords can inspect only once in any four-week period
- Respect the peace, comfort and privacy of your tenants (quiet enjoyment). Phone your tenant to check if your proposed time is convenient before giving notice for an inspection. Although your tenant can’t refuse an inspection it is a good idea for you to be flexible and willing to change the inspection time if needed. Legally, you can’t require your tenant to agree to an inspection before 8am or after 7pm. Your tenant doesn’t have to be present during inspections, but you should ask if they want to be.
- Locks and Security, Landlords must provide locks or security devices for their properties. Landlords and tenants may not remove or change any locking device without the consent of the other party.
Other things to consider:
Make sure your property can be well heated. Landlords don’t have to provide heating in every room, but they do have to provide a form of heating in any living room. If there’s a usable fireplace or solid fuel heater, it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s safe and regularly cleaned.
Inadequate ventilation can lead to mould growth and dampness. Make sure your property is easy to air and can be made safe and secure when doing so. Extractor fans with external vents in wet areas of the home such as a bathroom and kitchen are also a good way to reduce the amount of moisture released inside the house.
Click here for Tenants’ Responsibilities
At Rented we provide all our tenants with a welcome pack that outlines what they can expect from us as property managers and details their responsibilities as tenants. This covers off health & safety, monitoring of smoke alarms, responsibilities to pay rent on time and the implications should they not. They also get a first aid kit and our emergency contact numbers, so they are prepared should a major issue occur.
Tenant care is a priority for us as it should be for all responsible landlords. Looking after the people that are renting your property leads to longer term tenancies and better-quality tenants.