As a landlord, managing your own rental property can often mean you have to deal with tricky questions from tenants about various aspects of their tenancy. These can range from basic maintenance needs to more complex compliance issues.
In this week’s blog, we answer those typical tenant questions for you. We asked our team of Property Manager’s what the five most common tenant questions where and have outlined key, factual responses.
As a tenant, what should I look for in a tenancy agreement?
When you’ve finally found a property to rent after what can seem like an endless time searching, all you want to do is move in as soon as possible. However, every tenant should thoroughly check the contract placed in front of them before it is signed. If both parties fully understand their responsibilities and rights, difficult circumstances between the landlord and the tenant are less likely to arise during the tenancy.
We’ve complied the following list of the most important things you should check for in every contract, establishing full clarity between tenant and landlord;
- The start and end date of the tenancy
- The landlord’s full name and address
- The address of the property to be rented
- The rental price, when it is due, and how it is to be paid
- The deposit amount to pay, and circumstances which will prevent the deposit from being fully repaid at the end of the tenancy
- The responsibilities the tenant has to upkeep the property
- The obligations the landlord has to maintain the property
- Who pays which bills
As a tenant, how much should I be paying for a deposit?
How much deposit you’re charged when you initially move into the property will depend on a number of factors, like the location or size of the property as well as the rent you’re being charged. In most cases, landlords tend to ask for one month’s rent as a deposit which they are then entitled to hold should problems arise regarding rental arrears or damage to the property or the furnishings within.
This is by no means an officially stipulated amount, and as of 1st June 2019, landlords in England are limited to charging a maximum of 5 weeks’ rent for a deposit for all new and renewed tenancies, or 6 weeks if the annual rent is £50,000 or more.
As a tenant, what other fees do I have to pay?
It’s really important that tenants are up to date on the specifics of their contracts, because from 1st June 2019, most fees that tenants used to have to pay have been banned. This covers private tenancies, student accommodation and lodger agreements.
Now, tenants starting or renewing tenancies will only incur extra fees for the following;
- Rental payment arrears of 14 days or more
- Choosing to end your tenancy early or without due notice
- Lost keys
All other administration fees that tenants previously paid have been cancelled.
As a tenant, what are my responsibilities?
As a tenant renting a property, your responsibilities to the landlord are simple;
- Pay your rent, in full and on time
- Treat the premises well and with due respect
- Maintain, repair or replace any damages or breakages caused by you or anyone visiting you
- Keep the property hygienic and habitable
By adhering to these points and fulfilling your signed part of the contract, you should enjoy a cordial and mutually beneficial relationship with the landlord.
As a tenant, when can I give notice?
Unless it specifically states otherwise in your contract, you can technically give notice at any time during the tenancy. Most fixed-term tenancies tend to be set at one month’s notice, but again, this is not a legally stipulated time period.
A fixed-term tenancy is when the tenancy ends on a specific date established in the contract. If you signed the contract to pay rent until that date, the landlord may insist you continue to pay rent until your rental obligations are fulfilled to avoid him or her losing out on money.
If they can find another tenant quickly, they may allow you to only pay rent up until the next tenant begins paying.
Before you move into a property, be sure about notice periods and if the landlord will allow you to vacate the property before the final date on the lease.
The advantages of being a landlord with Stirling Ackroyd
Letting your property with Stirling Ackroyd’s Fully Managed Plus services means, you have a dedicated Property Manager who is the primary point of contact for your tenants. This means you don’t have to answer any of their tricky questions.
Furthermore, our Fully Managed Plus service ensures your tenancy is covered from a legal and compliance perspective, we will find you the best tenants and manage your maintenance issues. As a Fully Managed Plus landlord you do not have to worry, you can just enjoy the perks. Find out more about our Fully Managed Plus service by booking your free, no-obligation valuation today.