Why use a Solicitor when renting your property?

Renting your property can be a very rewarding experience when the rental of the property runs smoothly, although disagreements between tenants and landlords can be long and sometimes bitter.  Yet most can be avoided with the right legal advice at the start.

By leasing your property you grant substantial legal rights to your tenant, therefore it is essential that you have your tenancy agreement prepared professionally.

The law can be complicated so it’s important to get the best advice you can. Solicitors are the experts when it comes to the law and how it affects you.

Being a solicitor is a lot more complicated and regulated than most people realise. To be a practising solicitor these days means that you have had to prove you are qualified and regulated to the highest level.

Solicitors are also professionally qualified to prepare tenancy agreements and to advise you on the implication of granting a lease to your tenant and can deal with all areas of landlord and tenant law.

Should you be considering investing in buy to let property, a Solicitor can give you advice on the property you are considering, such as suitability and achievable rental income and furthermore deal with the legal purchase for you.

The key to a happy tenancy is for both landlord and tenant to understand their rights and responsibilities.  Using a Solicitor to deal with the rental of your property ensures that you are advised of current legal requirements providing you with peace of mind that you are keeping on the right side of the law as failure to do so may result in significant costs to you.

Your obligations as a landlord  include:

  • registering as a landlord with the local council. You must renew your registration every three years.  This is in order for the local council to determine whether you are a “fit and proper” person to act as a landlord.  It is an offence to act as an unregistered landlord and you could incur a fine of up to £50,000.
  • electrical safety checks. Which must be carried out on annual and on a 5 yearly basis.
  • Preparation of an Energy Performance Certificate, This requires to be displayed at the property and must be renewed every 10 years
  • Legionella risk assessment testing. This should be carried out every two years
  • Landlords Gas Safety Inspection If the property is serviced by gas. This is required on an annual basis.
  • Installation of hard wired and interlinked smoke detectors.
  • The Immigration Act 2014 comes into force in 2015 and requires private landlords to check the immigration status of tenants, preventing those with no right to live in the UK from accessing private rented housing.

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