Typical Questions Landlords Get Asked
Being a landlord is about far more than simply collecting the rent every month.
You have responsibilities, none more so than ensuring the tenant living in your property does so safely and in comfort. That means making sure the heating is working properly, that there is running water, the appliances are all in good working order and are safe, and that the premises are secure.
It also means having a good line of communications with your tenant, and making sure that you are complying with all legislation introduced (and, as any landlord will tell you, there has certainly been a lot of changes in recent years!).
Here we list some of the common questions you might be asked by your tenant – and how you can answer them (and stay on the right side of any tenancy laws):
Can Landlords Increase My Rent?
If the Tenancy Agreement with your tenant is for a fixed term ie six months, or a year etc, then you can only increase the rent at the end of the lease period. The only time you can increase the rent during a fixed term is if there is a clause in the Tenancy Agreement saying that this is indeed the case – and in which case your tenant should know about it anyway.
If your tenancy is periodic ie rolls on from month to month, then it is possible to increase the rent – but only once within a year. You would also have to give the tenant notice of your intention to increase it, and by how much. You would need a written record of this and for it to be signed by both yourself and your tenant. With a fixed term tenancy, it’s also possible to increase the rent at the end of the lease period via a ‘Landlord’s Notice Proposing a New Rent’ form.
In terms of the length of notice you need to give your tenant, it’s a month if you receive rent weekly or monthly and six months if you have a yearly tenancy.
What Is the Most a Landlord Can Raise Your Rent?
When calculating how much to put the rent up by, government guidelines say the amount should be ‘fair and accurate.’ In other words, it should be in line with market costs ie for the location in which the property sits, it’s size and the condition of the property itself.
It may be that your tenant finds the increase is too much for them – in which case it’s not a bad idea being prepared to negotiate if you don’t want to lose them as a tenant. If they leave, after all, you could be faced with a couple of months of voids until you find a replacement tenant.
Tenants do have the right to officially contest a rent rise by taking their case to an independent tribunal in their area.
Can I Rent With a Pet?
The majority of landlords don’t want pets in their properties for fear of damage and/or disturbing the neighbours. For this reason, many landlords already state on their advert and again, have a clause in their Tenancy Agreement, saying no pets are allowed.
This doesn’t always work though as surveys show many tenants simply hide their dog or cat from the landlord. They do this by giving them to a friend during the inspection and making sure there are no hairs or smells in the flat.
And be aware too that if you do allow pets, you will have a far higher pool of would-be renters to choose from. You will also no doubt have happier tenants who appreciate you.
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