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3 ways to make a landlord love you

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Debate rages about the number of plays written by William Shakespeare. Some say it was 37, others are certain it was 38, while the publication of Double Falsehood by The Arden Shakespeare series means certain scholars are convinced The Bard of Avon actually penned 39 plays.

3-ways-to-make-a-landlord-love-youBut the total output of Shakespeare – including his 154 sonnets – pale into insignificance when compared with the amount of literature produced about the responsibilities of a landlord.

Much less, however, has been written about the responsibilities that rest on a tenant’s shoulders.

As a small step towards addressing this imbalance, Assetgrove presents 3 ways to be a good tenant.

1. Pay the correct amount of rent on time every month

One of a landlord’s two greatest fears is non-payment of rent. The other is void periods.

Laws prevent a landlord or letting agent from going round to a rental property and demanding unpaid rent from a tenant. Instead, they must take the following steps:

  • Issue a written Section 8 notice to leave the property after 14 days if a tenant whose rent is due every month is 2 months in arrears.
  • If a tenant fails to leave after the specified date, the landlord must prove to a court that they have grounds for possession. If the possession order is granted then it takes effect 14 days after it has been issued, although this may be extended to six weeks if a tenant proves they will face serious hardship as a result of the repossession.
  • Hire a bailiff in possession of a valid warrant from the court to evict a tenant in arrears.

2. Keep the property in good condition

Landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure their rental homes comply with set standards, including carrying out annual gas safety checks and the property having a minimum EPC rating of D from 1 April 2018.

But case law states tenants should “do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do”.

The Lord Justice Denning Report, which quotes the 1954 Warren v Keen case he was involved in, says that this includes “unblocking sinks when blocked by the tenant’s waste, keeping toilets and drains clear, regular cleaning including windows, putting refuse out for collection and gardening if applicable”.

The majority of Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements include clauses stating that tenants must keep the property in good condition. Even if your tenancy agreement does not make this explicit, a 63-year-old legal judgement (Warren v Keen was actually heard in the Royal Courts of Justice on 9 October 1953) makes this obligatory.

3. Seek written permission before making alterations to the rental property

We advise every landlord whose property we manage to decorate it in plain, neutral tones.

Although shades of white are not to every tenant’s taste, there is often a good reason why a rental property is in a particular decorative order.

Never be tempted to redecorate or drill holes in the walls to hang pictures without getting written permission. Failure to do this is likely to result in the landlord withholding some or all of the security deposit to make good unauthorised alterations.

Landlords who sign up to Assetgrove’s rent guarantee scheme can be assured that their properties will be kept in good condition.

Not only does our rent guarantee scheme provide landlords with a fixed monthly payment every month for up to five years, even if the property is empty, we treat every property we manage as if it was our own.

For more information about our rent guarantee scheme, click here.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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