Private rented housing is another viable business opportunity in the real estate sector. Many tenants today find renting from a private landlord more flexible than any other form of living arrangement .In most cases, the tenancy is let under the assured tenancy regime and most of the properties are short assured tenancies.
Before you let a tenant in, it is important that you first understand all the fundamental private renting laws governing this kind of living arrangement so that you are able to avoid being penalized or imprisoned due to a breach. While you could give your tenants additional rights, you can never withdraw the fundamental rights that they have. Here are the basic legal rights of your tenants that you need to know;
1) Right to A Rent Book
A rent book is basically a document that records the regular amounts of cash that your tenant has paid as rent. The document must show the amount of rent, when they have to pay that amount, your name and address as well as the amount of rates they must pay if at all there is any. The tenant has a right to demand this document from you if he/she wasn’t issued with it at the time they moved in.
2) Freedom from Illegal Eviction and Harassment
Any action by you or your agent intended to stop your tenant from enjoying any of their rights as a private tenant equals to harassment. This might include denying them electricity supply, acts of violence on them as well as entering their premise without their permission except during times of emergency. Illegal eviction includes any attempt to make them vacate the premise when you have not followed the appropriate legal procedure. All these acts are criminal offences and if you are found guilty you could be liable for a fine or even imprisonment.
3) Due Process of Law
The law states that you must follow the right legal procedure to evict a tenant and that you cannot force them to vacate unless you obtain a court order. This means you cannot throw out their belongings or change the locks without issuing them with at least a month’s notice and obtaining a court order.
4) Notice to Vacate
Before you evict your tenant, you must issue them with at least a month’s notice to leave the premise. This must be in written form and it should depend on how long they have occupied your property. For an occupant who has stayed for up to 5 years, the notice should be 4 weeks whereas for that who has occupied the premise for between 5 to 10 years it should be 8 weeks. If they have stayed in the house for 10 years or more, you must issue them with a 3 months’ notice. However, it isn’t a good idea to keep chasing away your tenants, if you are finding them hard to retain due to one or two reasons seek property renting advice on how to work well with them.
This information can help with private renting because it protects you from breaching the rights of your tenants that could see you pay a hefty fine as a penalty or even go to prison.
While most landlords avoid tenants who rely on government benefits due to their uncertainty to pay rent, you could make the most out of this. However, it is important that you check with the private renting DSS (department of social security) to learn how you can be able to recover loss when you evict a tenant who has failed to pay rent.